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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Book Review: The Emerald Talisman

The Emerald Talisman (Volume 1) by Brenda Pandos
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Release Date: Available Now
Publisher: Obsidian Mountain Publishing
Pages: 280
Source: Received from author for honest review

Summary: To be normal, sixteen-year-old Julia Parker would shed her empathic gift in a second. Life has been difficult since her mother's mysterious disappearance ten years earlier - an event she witnessed, but can't remember. Julia's situation becomes more complicated after a near death experience from a blood thirsty stalker. As high school students go missing it is clear there is a connection to her own experience--past and present. Someone has to stop the madness and a chance encounter with a creepy psychic foretells that only Julia is the key to stopping the madness, but it may require the life of the one she loves.

My Review: The Emerald Talisman was an enchanting, stimulating, and eloquently written book. Brenda introduced a promising vampire series that would interest fans of Twilight and The Vampire Diaries. Julia, the female protagonist was quirky yet endearing. Her ability to feel emotions from others curiously drew my attention. The story opened up with Julia's car breaking down. Now, instead of taking the safe walk to her home, she decides to naively take a short cut through the woods. The suspense and fear through the woods was perfectly executed. I felt every emotion Julia experienced. There, she was pursued by a dark entity whose hunger was overwhelming. Fortunately, for her sake, Nicholas, the infamous vampire slayer, showed up. I really liked his personality and the aspect of him being half vampire and half human was refreshing. The only part that annoyed me about Julia was how her feelings for Nicholas escalated quickly. I didn't feel it was realistic and Nicholas was not yet swoon worthy for me to understand.

Throughout the book, she was easily persuaded by prey and I wish she'd use her intelligence to fluctuate her decisions. But, Julia does show signs of strength, especially towards the end. I have a feeling she will grow into a very important figure as the saga progresses. Nicholas and his determination to keep her safe was admirable. His voice of reason balanced her lack of better judgment. Another part of the book I enjoyed was the mystery behind Julia's mother's disappearance. As it slowly unraveled, I became more involved and yearned to learn more about the situation. I look forward to the sequel, which I am sure will reveal the key to all my questions. I am excited to see where Brenda will take Nicholas and Julia's relationship and also all the creatures of the night that will get thrown in their way!

*Read Chapter 1 & 2

My Rating: (4.5)
Book Trailer:

Author's Info:

Brenda Pandos is a web-designer who lives in California with her husband and two energetic children. Shortly after the birth of her second son, Brenda's oldest was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder that turned her world upside-down. Her life became round the clock feedings with a newborn and a daily stream of tutors working to help her son. She craved a meaningful escape. The main concepts of THE EMERALD TALISMAN came to her in the wee hours of the morning as she reminisced the good old days when she lived with her best friend in the Santa Cruz Mountains. As a young girl, Brenda was a hopeless romantic, constantly lost in a fantasy world in her backyard of knights on white horses, mermaids and evil villains. As a teen, shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Interview with a Vampire intrigued her. With the encouragement of a friend after writing one chapter, she continued on to complete her first manuscript. THE EMERALD TALISMAN is a compilation of what the author would like to happen if she ever happened to encounter a real vampire.

For more info on Brenda, visit her site(s):

The Emerald Talisman is available for purchase here


Sueann said...

The books sounds very intriguing. I will put it on my maybe list!
Thanks for the great review

ExtremeReader said...

Great Review! I am working on my review now. I loved this story and can't wait for the sequel!

-k said...

The book trailer and your review combined really make me want to read this book. It's the first that I have heard of it but I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for it!

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

Nice review! I'm sort of dissapointed that the Nicholas wasn't really swoon worthy, though so many YA romance relationships seem to progress lightening fast these days... *sigh* I'll have to look out for this one, thanks! :D

mary kate said...

I never hear of this book but now I really want to read it. Awesome review!

Bere said...

I've never heard of this book before. It sounds interesting. And the trailer is really, really cool. I really like it. Fantastic review, Eleni. I will definitely keep an eye out for this one! =)

Ky said...

I have NEVER heard of this! And the description doesn't even sound like a vampire novel! And god I promised myself that I am forever staying away from YA vampire books but god this just sounds SO GOOD! Can't help myself! Awesome book trailer too!

Lisa said...

This was one of the best reviews I have ever read, very very good! Wow. You are quite the writer yourself, Eleni!

Sarah (Book Reviews from Inside an Igloo) said...

wow this one sounds good!! Great review I am definitely going to have to look into this one :)

Anonymous said...

It sounds really good! Great review!

designbybrenda said...

Thanks for the review Eleni! I'm so thrilled you enjoyed the story!

~ Brenda

Kris said...

That's the first time I've heard of this one but it does sound pretty good. I'll have to look into it.

Lale said...

That trailer is epic- it definitely piqued my interest :)

Mary not so Contrary said...

Oh man between your review and the trailer I think I need to go out and get this book like right now. Sounds so good!! The trailer is wicked awesome! Thanks for introducing me to this new find!

Jessie Clark said...

Great review. I couldn't help but follow your link to the first two chapters. They were amazing! My next step was to order it online immediately! Thanks, Eleni.

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