Talisman of El by Alecia Stone

The Talisman of El by Alecia Stone

Publisher: Centrinian Publishing

Release date: May 18, 2012

Note: Review copy provided by the publisher

Amazon blurb:


One Planet.

Two Worlds.

Population: Human … 7 billion.
Others … unknown.

When 14-year-old Char­lie Blake wakes up sweat­ing and gasp­ing for air in the mid­dle of the night, he knows it is hap­pen­ing again. This time he wit­nesses a bru­tal mur­der. He’s afraid to tell any­one. No one would believe him … because it was a dream. Just like the one he had four years ago – the day before his dad died.

Char­lie doesn’t know why this is hap­pen­ing. He would give any­thing to have an ordi­nary life. The prob­lem: he doesn’t belong in the world he knows as home.

He belongs with the others.

Okay. So. This book. It was different. Not in a bad way, mind you; it was just different.

Charlie Blake, fourteen year old orphan, is sent to yet another potential adoptive family. He’s hopeful, but so many possible adoptions have fallen apart that he’s always thinking he’s going to be sent back. This time he’s sent to live with a single guy named Jacob, whose late wife died in an accident that raised eyebrows throughout the village (she broke her neck). At first Jacob’s the nice quiet type. And then Charlie discovers something hidden in the house and we find out that Jacob is a total psycho nutjob.

I know, right? Just when things were starting to look up. I mean, he makes friends at his new school and discovers a guy who looks like he’s 102 but is really only 27.

Okay, wait. I’m getting ahead of myself.

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Book review: Dark Magic by James Swain

Dark Magic cover

Book review: Dark Magic by James Swain, published May 2012 by Tor Books

Note: The review copy was provided by the publisher.


Peter Warlock is a magician with a dark secret. Every night, he amazes audiences at his private theater in New York, where he performs feats that boggle the imagination. But his day job is just a cover for his otherworldly pursuits: Peter is a member of an underground group of psychics who gaze into the future to help prevent crimes. No one, not even his live-in girlfriend, knows the truth about Peter—until the séance when he foresees an unspeakable act of violence that will devastate the city. As Peter and his friends rush to prevent tragedy, Peter discovers that a shadowy cult of evil psychics, the Order of Astrum, know all about his abilities. They are hunting him and his fellow psychics down, one by one, determined to silence them forever. Dark Magic is a genre-bending supernatural thriller from national bestselling novelist and real-life magician James Swain.

First off, I’m going to admit that while I love science fiction and fantasy, I no longer read a lot of urban fantasy. Why? Because, quite frankly, I’m tired of reading about vampires, werethings, and ninja heroines with attitude problems.

Second, I’m going to admit that this review has taken such a long time to write because I read the book twice. (Yeah, I really it.)

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