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review 2017-09-08 03:43
I loved the narration...
The Black Talisman - Richard Storry

As the last strains of my audiobook fade, I wonder what I just listened to? That was so out of my usual reading sphere that I'm not really sure what I think.

The Black Talisman was a supernatural/religious book, completely different from anything I'd read before and although it's always good to try something new, it doesn't guarantee enjoyment.


As with many of today's novels, it has a current day strand (1984) and a past strand (1673), alternating between the two. More than 300 years ago, a coven of witches met and called up their Dark Lord, Anubin. They were thwarted in their plans by the local priest and his associates; and an icon, the Black Talisman became mislaid. This was required for them to reconvene, but it was split into 3 pieces, each hidden separately by members of the church.

Many years later, two youngsters, Monica and Gilbert, find themselves wound up in some frightening events, caused by the search for this artifact.


I'm not a fan of horror, yet in many ways this wan't particularly scary. Some parts were a bit predictable and the churchy bits were fine, I quite enjoyed the angels' appearances. But at the end, when the author described his image of heaven, he lost me. That struck me as rather unnecessary, I felt that the afterword should have been scrapped.


Special mention for the narrator, Jake Urry, whose descriptions of the food served at a gastronomic supper, made my mouth water.

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review 2016-08-02 10:57
5/5: The Talisman, Stephen King and Peter Straub
The Talisman - Stephen King,Peter Straub

Chased by the ambitious and power-hungry partner of his dead father, Jack Sawyer and his dying mother find themselves in New Hampshire, exiled from California. Jack is sent on a road trip back to the west coast to retrieve something called “The Talisman”. Its description is vague to the point of non-existence by the odd man sending him on the trip. But Jack is just desperate enough to try it…to try anything to save his mother. It’s the McGuffin that powers the plot along.

And, it seems, not just his mother is in trouble. Jack discovers he can travel to a parallel world called “The Territories”, a place which has “magic instead of physics.” (A world King would later expand into his Dark Tower series). Ruler of this place is a woman who bears more than a passing resemblance to Jack’s mother, a dying queen who also needs saving from the Territories equivalent of his father’s partner.

The Talisman is not a short book by any means…but the best part? I didn’t even notice, because the pages flip by so easily. From Jack’s first trips into the Territories to the horrors and good friends he finds in this world and the other, nothing lags or drops. There wasn’t a moment when I wanted to leave the book alone, even though I’ve read it before and knew where it was all going.

At the time of publication (around 1984), this was touted as an adult horror story, I believe. But horror forms such a subset that it seems like a mis-identification. This is odyssey, this is Frodo and Sam growing as characters as they travel the road to Mordor. This is all about the journey. This is about finding strength you didn’t know you had, discovering who your friends are, friends willing to die for you, as you would for them.

This is as much about a twelve year old boy discovering what it takes to turn into a man, and what sort of man he wants to turn in to.

In 1984, this was classed as adult fiction, but there’s nothing here that a teenager couldn’t read. I would class it as young-adult, actually, both in terms of protagonist and the themes that run through it. And like the best of YA, there’s something there for all of us, no matter how old we are.

The Talisman is, in two words, bloody brilliant.

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review 2016-05-18 01:48
The Guicai Talisman (The Undercity Chronicles of Babylonia Jones, P.I.#1) by A.M. Griffin
The Guicai Talisman (The Undercity Chronicles of Babylonia Jones, P.I. Book 1) - A.M. Griffin

She’s unclassed and only half paranormal, which has Babylonia Jones taking jobs from whoever will hire her which is how she finds herself looking for the Guicai Tailsman and no matter the outcome nothing good can come from messing with it or it’s far too gorgeous guardian in this exciting urban fantasy.


 This well written story brings quite a character to life, Babylonia Jones doesn’t have it easy but she sure is determined and has a strong, commanding personality that draws readers to her with her vibrant energy. The plot is fast paced, flows smoothly and is full of intrigue and interesting elements as well as adrenaline pumping excitement when she tempts one dangerous vampire and unknowingly sets off a deadly adversary with additional spice being added to the story by Babylonia’s love life, since she has a demi-god for a former boyfriend and quite a bit of sizzling chemistry with Zaid (the dangerous vampire).


This is an exciting story that held me captive from the beginning, there was never a dull moment and I can’t wait to read Babylonia’s next story.



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review 2016-05-16 07:29
Talisman (Fur Magic #1) by Colleen Charles
Talisman (Fur Magic Book 1) - Colleen Charles


As an enchanted feline companion, Talisman knows that his witchy owner, Penelope DeLàcroix’s spells are failing because a vengeful witch is siphoning off her powers but communicating with Penelope presents a bit of a problem, so what’s a cat to do but find another way to save the day.


This well written story is full of vivid details and captures the reader’s attention from the very beginning, it’s fast paced, smooth flowing and full of suspense and romance. As for as the characters go, the story is from Talisman’s point of view which is definitely different for me and adds quite a bit of charm especially when you add in the other animals involved. The budding romance between Penelope and Dr. Luke is quite sweet with a few obnoxious and possible evil characters adding lots of expectation and suspense.


While I think the story is delightfully charming and definitely has possibilities, I can’t decide really how I feel about being told a story by Talisman. The author did a great job getting the personality of the cat to come across but that a cat’s personality is kind of distracting so I will have to wait to read the rest of the series to make a final decision on animal narration. Note: This is part one so it does end on quite a cliff hanger.




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review 2016-01-14 00:00
The Talisman
The Talisman - Stephen King,Peter Straub Not too bad. Some of the 'stops' like in Oatley were entertaining, but it was vague. What was this Talisman? Why did he need to go get it? The connection with Morgan never really went deeper. Then just a random Wolf. Not too bad a read, but nowhere in league with The Dark Tower series.
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