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Red House Books is going through a bit of a update!

I've always had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted this space to be but I've been detoured from my path by...lots and lost of other people's opinions and ways of doing things...

I'm committed to this little chunk of the interweb but I've also branched out into other places so! Now it's time to think of Red House Books as more of a hub of all things me! And Me is a hell of a lot of book love!

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Book Review: The Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos

Reading Age: Young Adult
Publication Date: March 2010
Pages: 280
Series: 1st in a series
Acquisition: La Femme Readers Book Tour

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. (from Goodreads)

Quick thoughts:
Vampires as blood thirsty villains - the way I've always envisioned them. I wasn't a huge fan of the romance but I did enjoy both Julia and her mystery man Nicholas. Lots of potential for some really cool vampire lore. Looking forward to more from the series.

I liked the overall feel of the book. Strange things are happening in Julia's world and she doesn't quite know what to make of it all. There was a layer of mystery throughout that I really found appealing.

Also, Julia's ability to read people's emotions was pretty spiffy! I would be very easy for her to use this gift to manipulate but Julia is always looking for ways to help her friends.

Julia's family is also present and accounted for  - something that is sometimes lacking in YA books. Her father is caring and loving but also a little overprotective. Pretty realistic given the family's circumstances. Her older  brother treats her, well, like an older brother should! I found myself enjoying their interactions very much.

The romance was a little weird for me. I don't want to give too much away but there is a time / age element that I wasn't too keen on. I really liked both Julia and Nicholas but I wasn't really routing for them as a couple.

Also, I would have liked to have Julia's ability explained. I'm hoping more info will come out in the next book, which I'm very much looking forward to reading.

Reminded me of:
No YA vampire stories come to mind, which I think is a good thing!

Final thoughts:
A very enjoyable read that I think fans of vampires and also anti-fans of vampires would enjoy. A great first book for Brenda and I hope there are lots more to come.

Overall Rating:
4 / 5 Stars

Books in the Series:
The Emerald Talisman
The Sapphire Talisman

Linkage Love:
Obsidian Mountain Publishing
Author's Blog
Series Website


  1. Thanks Emily! I'm happy to say, the next book Julia's powers are explained. Thanks for being part of the tour.

  2. I've heard good things about Brenda's book! :)

    Thank you for the honest review.

  3. Vampire book is not my favorite reads. But u did a really nice review. Thanks..

    My latest review: HERE

  4. I've never heard of this book...thank goodness I took a look at your blog again! I'm putting this one on my list.


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