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I'm just a girl who loves reading more than life itself. A day without a book is a day gone wrong, in my opinion :) Looking forward to meeting new people, talking to them about books and spreading the bookish love!

Talisman of El (T.O.E. Trilogy, Book 1)

Talisman of El (T.O.E. Trilogy, Book 1) - Alecia Stone For this review and more, pop by my blog - Drugs Called BooksWhile I did enjoy Talisman of El, It didn't even come close to blowing my mind. I had a hard time getting into it, despite the intriguing ideas, and the reading took much longer than it should. Even so, I do think this is a book many will enjoy. This story has some very interesting points, most have to do with the "Other World" called "Arcadia" that resides in the middle of the earth (i.e somewhere near the Earth's core). I enjoyed the usage of mythology and the mingling of it with the "real truth" of Arcadia. It was interesting.But before Arcadia, I really couldn't get into the book. Even after Arcadia, reading was more forced than I'd like. I had to tell myself to read it. I can't really pinpoint what went wrong with this book and me, because it's a pretty decent book. So I'll try to break it down to sections.CHARACTERSCharlie is the main character of the book, and it mostly revolves around him. Charlie's... a good kid, I guess is the only way to describe him. I kind of pity him, too; he lost both his parents when he was young (not to mention he actually dreamed of his father's death beforehand, and still he couldn't save him, which makes for issues), has been bouncing around between a sort-of-orphanage and houses that never quite work out, and all he really wants is a family and stability. Both which don't quite works out the way he wanted them too. Also, apparently he's hot or something, which came as quite a surprise to me at the end of the book, where someone calls him 'chick magnet'. Alex is Charlie's best friend, and she's also *gasp* a girl. I quite liked her, even when she was getting jealous over Charlie and messed with the poor guy's head (I mean, how's he supposed to know what you want from him? He's a 14 years old boy. Don't expect that much...) She's funny, smart, a bit tomboyish, and doesn't really give a damn about her classmates and schoolmates. Really, at a point, I realized she was quite happy with Charlie and Richmond.Which brings us to Richmond. I loved the little guy! He's a little boy Alex and Charlie find camping in a rickety shack in the woods. A run-away, and a constantly hungry little guy. I thought he added to the book, both as a comic-relief, and he's sort of the first person Charlie needs to defend. I like the sibling-like feeling that develops between them, and I loved when Charlie called him his brother.Then we have Derkein. I have no idea if I'm saying the name correctly. Anyway, I liked the guy--old, young or otherwise. I had a fantasy about him taking the boys under his wings from about the first day they stumbled upon him, cursed to age years everyday. I really liked him - he took up the rule of the "father" and "adult" in the group quite nicely. Then we had Jacob, Charlie's guardian, which I mention because he was a total surprise. Jacob started of as a concerned adopted father. Sure, there were some stuff about him that were a little... suspicious but it was really hard to reconcile the concerned figure we saw the first few chapters to what he later become. His sudden character change felt really... weird, to me at least.Now, here comes the problem with the characters, which was mostly that I felt the book lacked character development. The characters ended where they started, and sometimes feelings were suddenly added into the mix, and I just couldn't where they came from, mostly because the book jumps in time. We really don't get to see much between major events, which made everything feel much shorter than it was. We also didn't get to see all the relationships being formed, in their "normal", usual routine. I also felt that sometimes, the kids acted really strange. Arcadia time is 1 Arcadian day = 17 surface days. The group goes into Arcadia for 5 days (roughly 3 months) without a second thought, which felt completely weird to me. You think about these stuff before, even if you're 14. Especially if you actually have a family, like Alex does. As for the romance...We did have a hint of it. Or, rather, lots of hints. It's pretty obvious who likes whom, but considering they're all around 14 we don't get to see much more. I've a feeling this will take a bigger rule in the next books, as even here the jealousy game was pretty strong. There was a lot of action in the book. Even when we were in the "normal world" a lot of things happened. Sometimes, I didn't like the action. It was just out of nowhere, and the bad guys almost caught them in surprise--but of course we somehow won. But, there really isn't a dull moment.There were a lot of "twists" in the book. I put on the " " because for me, at least, I saw them all coming from a mile away. I think people who read a lot will not be surprised in the book. I'm trying to think of one thing that was surprising in the book... and come up with zip. As for the ending... there were it's good and bad parts. I really disliked Charlie's decision to do what he did without letting Derkein chose. I really wanted him to give Derkein a chance to decide his own fate.Also, it seemed like there was no consequences to their disappearance. They were gone for months, but aside for overprotective parents, I did see how they were received They were gone for months... what happened when they came back???However, I really liked the actual last lines of the book. I loved where it ended, and it made me smile and think "good ending".Now, one thing that really bothered me throughout the book was the writing. Sadly, I really didn't connect to it. At first there was an excessive usage of the word "For". Then it kind of vanished, but I still didn't feel it. However, this is a completely subjective issue. you might love it. For this review and more, pop by my blog - Drugs Called Books