I have lost count of the number of times I have bought The Talisman in recent years.  I have loaned it out to friends various times and never once got it back!

This tale is extremely engaging.  Who wouldn't be totally horrified by the thought of a 12-year-old boy making his way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean on a cross-country journey, unaided by friends or family?  The prepubescent Jack Sawyer is desperate to find a cure for his cancer-riddled mother and slowly makes his way across the States, running into trouble more often than not, but finding his way out of it too with the help of friends old and new.

To add to his problems, Jack is pursued very doggedly by his "uncle" who is actually a work partner of his father, Phillip Sawyer.  Jack's father unfortunately died when Jack was barely in kindergarten and Lily Cavanaugh Sawyer, does not trust Phillip's business partner, Morgan Sloat, at all.  All of her instincts scream at her to tell this man where to go, and I believe these instincts form part of the reason why she lets her son go off alone into the world on what could well turn out to be a wild goose chase.

Fortunately, Jack has already experienced one of the things he is capable of, switching between this world and one known as "The Territories".  Life is a little simpler in the Territories with many people willing to help him out.  Jack discovers that most people who live in our world have twinners who live in the Territories.  He is one of the people who don't!  His mother in the Territories is Queen Laura DeLoessian and she too is laid in bed, expected to die of an unknown illness.  If Jack is able to make his way across the country, there is a slim possibility that he might actually find something that will save not only his mother, but also the Territories too.

Morgan Sloat and his twinner Morgan of Orris, pretender to the throne in the Territories, are among the most manipulative and self-centred people in either world, not stopping at even murder to ensure their own interests.  The chase is on, and it is all Jack can do to stay one step ahead of them.

This book needs to be read, and then read again!  You will miss stuff on the first read, and on your second read you will recognise the underlying tensions and extremely dangerous episodes in which Jack finds himself. 

Not only does this need reading... The film or television series needs to be made!  Come on producers...  We have the technology, we have the vision and we have television programs that seriously kick ass - this tale has the potential to be the very best!