The Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos

Summary/Cover Image from Amazon's Website:
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.

The Emerald Talisman is a book I've been looking forward to reading for quite a while now. Simply because everything I've heard about it has been nothing but praise, so when it finally did end up in my hands I was nothing short of ecstatic, but then the beginning came, and I was torn and so close to giving up because of the first couple of chapters. Luckily, two amazing things happened and they fortunately were the middle and the end- two parts that made the lackluster beginning so worth it and the last of the two left me with only one comment: I want to read the sequel as soon as possible!

The Emerald Talisman is the story of Julia Parker, a girl who craves to be normal after a freak accident took away her mother and left her with a huge awareness of what people are feeling at any time. Luckily, she's established a life as normal as she can have with the help of her best friends and her remaining family, but that all changes the night her car breaks down in the middle of nowhere at nighttime. Left with only two choices, she picks the second, one that leaves her in harms way and changes her life forever. But when she learns more than she could have ever imagined from this night, will she use it to good use? Only more time and more pages will tell in this captivating tale of love, mystery, and vampires.

Julia was a character I found likable for the most part. She was smart, a good friend, and never backed down without a good fight, though I found some of her choices throughout The Emerald Talisman to be a little irrational and silly, but it made for good plot so who am I to complain? Also, I really liked seeing how she used her psychic powers. Nicholas, her love interest, was another character I found interesting and surprising to read about. I especially adored reading about his relationship with Julia, even though it was one of those relationships that are a little too rushed for my liking. But without a doubt I'm really looking forward to reading more about each in the sequel coming this December.

Even though I wasn't too found of the beginning, once this book gained momentum and established a steady, intriguing plot, I was quite simply hooked. I loved the new spin Brenda put to this vampire world, and the way she always provided a new spin to the story that caught me of guard. I simply can't wait to read more by her!

The only other thing I disliked about this book besides the beginning was the lack of depth in some of the secondary characters. In all honesty, it was hard for me to tell the difference between Julia's friends at times because,with the exception of Katie, they all blended together at one point or another.
In all, The Emerald Talisman proves to be a worthwhile and addicting read once you get past the mediocre beginning!

Grade: B

The Emerald Talisman is now out! To find out more about Brenda and her books be sure to check out my past interview with her.

Source: Eleni at La Femme Readers' blog tour. Thanks, Eleni & Brenda!


  1. Great review Lauren. You made some interesting points! It was awesome having you on the tour, thanks again for participating!

  2. I want to read this now. Thanks for an honest review!


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