@TahliaNewland Series Reviews: Lethal Inheritance & Stalking Shadows – 2-in-1! #Review #Ebook G!veaway!

Tour Banner, SS copy

I was approached to review these books by Tahlia Newland back in January, but extraordinary circumstances put her tour and my reading on hold for a bit.  Luckily, she returned to me to review these books, and I resumed reading.  These books are wonderful, wholesome, and engaging.  Tahlia has an incredible writing style that keeps you firmly in the grasp of the story while reminding those of us who are past that age what it’s like to be a teenager who’s branching out for the first time.  I feel exceptionally lucky that Tahlia remembered to tap me for these reviews, and I’m happy to provide them.

Lethal InheritanceLethal Inheritance by Tahlia Newland
Published in October 2012 by Catapult Press

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo.

From the publisher:

Lethal Inheritance, the first book in the exciting Diamond Peak Series, has been awarded the Awesome Indies Seal of Approval for excellence in fiction. 

How do you kill a demon that feeds on fear? 

You can’t send police into a tunnel that doesn’t exist after a villain they can’t see, so when demons kidnap her mother, Ariel has to mount the rescue mission herself. Hot on the trail, she enters a hidden layer of reality only to find that the demons are hunting her, and they feed on fear. Ariel must defeat them before they kill her and enslave her mother.

A quirky old guide teaches her how to locate and unleash her inner power, and while battling hallucinogenic mist, treacherous terrain, murderous earth spirits and self-doubt, she falls in love with Nick, a Warrior whose power is more than either of them can handle.

Ariel’s journey challenges her perception, tests her awareness and takes her deep into her heart and mind to confront, and ultimately transcend, her fear.

My Review

Lethal Inheritance is a young adult fantasy whose story starts out quickly with our protagonist Ariel waking up to her mom being abducted by demons right in front of her eyes.  After a brief but intense struggle, Ariel was knocked out by one of the demons and woke up where everything was exactly where it belonged!  Except, of course, for her mother … who was still gone.  An ancient family friend visits, dumps the severity of the situation upon Ariel (mom was abducted by demons and it’s up to Ariel to run up the mountain and save her by slaying the Demon Boss), and then leaves her with sparse instructions on moving forward to save her mother.  Along the way, Ariel is met by a cast of colorful characters, whom she does not know whether to trust, ignore, or use her powerful dagger on.  A boy her age whose mystery outweighs her

Lethal Inheritance is a wonderfully intense, magical, frightening, love-driven YA book whose audience definitely is not limited to Young Adult.  Demonstrating the teen angst rather appropriately (to the point I yelled at Ariel to JUST. STOP. QUESTIONING. I yelled out loud, even), Ms Newland got me involved from the beginning and I felt that the characters – Ariel, Maya, Nick, Walnut – were very realistic and I was able to connect with them, and I felt that way all the way up the mountain.

Leads me to…

Stalking ShadowsStalking Shadows by Tahlia Newland
Published March 2013 by Catapult Press

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo.

From the publisher: 

‘A well written, engaging and gripping story’. Clive S Johnson, reviewer for awesomeindies.net
This book is featured on the Awesome Indies list of quality independent fiction. Ripped from the safety of our world and thrust into a strange hidden realm on a quest to save her mother,  Ariel aims to confront the Master Demon, but first she must defeat his bodyguard and reach the safe haven of Sheldra. She negotiates dangerous terrain and battles demons, spirits, rogue Magicians, giant water snakes and her own conflicting emotions.  Ariel wants to retain a clear focus on the task at hand so, despite Nick’s protests, she insists of a friends-only relationship with him. But the very thing she hoped would simplify her quest only complicates it with emotional, energetic and hormonal turmoil.

Despite Walnut’s continued guidance, Ariel finds herself constantly forced to rely on her own resources. Will she find the inner strength and wisdom she needs to defeat Amic and continue her journey?

My Review:

The second book in the Diamond Peak series starts off with a shock that ripples through the reader and gets you back into fighting mode.  The magical world remains, with an exceptionally well-written ribbon of “real world” weaved throughout.  Ariel and Nick, though obviously interested in each other, put the rollercoaster of  emotions and feelings into park and continue on in pursuit of good versus evil.

The demon fights in Stalking Shadows are nicely depicted and well fleshed out.  Ms. Newland’s ability to show the reader a spiritual journey effective in combat in sensational.  She writes Ariel so powerful and self-sufficient that a teenage girl, normally easily succumbing to the allure of a beautiful young man, is able to resist and persist towards her ultimate goal.  Ms Newland has created an excellent role model for those of us with girl children!  With fun little additions such as wooden sprites who need light and happiness … lest they kill you.

This book is as fun and intense as the first.  The demon fights, the strained and disallowed yet blossoming love connection, and the ultimate goal.  I look forward to the next in the series!

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