Then there's a bunch of Lord of the Rings-sounding names, but not being a Tolkien expert, I'm not sure if they are actually references: Elf Stone, Evenstar, Gil-Galad, Rhun.

I am currently reading LotR, and I could have sworn recent mention of Gil-Galad.
yea, yea,

"Gil-galad was an Elven-king.
Of him the harpers sadly sing:
the last whose realm was fair and free
between the Mountains and the Sea."
From The Fall of Gil-Galad,
as translated by Bilbo Baggins
in The Fellowship of the Ring I 11 A Knife in the Dark
(found on The Encyclopedia of Arda , or just google Gil-Galad.)

Man, is the book different from the movies.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.