Sacrifice by Jennifer Quintenz

Sacrifice

Daughters of Lilith: Book 3

By Jennifer Quintenz

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban, Young Adult, New Adult

Five stars

Braedyn battles once again to stop the apocalypse and prevent the terrible demon Lilitu from breaking through the ancient barrier into our world. This book in the series follows the Guard’s preparations for Seth the Incubus’ next attempt to free Lilith from the underworld. Friendships are forged, tested, and destroyed while the teens must wrestle with decisions that may save the world…or not. Can Braedyn save Luke, Cassie, and Royal, her vulnerable human friends, from the demons’ attacks? Will she manage a friendship with Amber, who once tried to have her boyfriend killed? Can they discover the enemy’s plans in time to stop their next move?

This book definitely served as a transitional part of the series, though an important one, going deeper into the existing characters and their struggles. The mission didn’t change and the stakes didn’t improve. Braedyn didn’t save the world, but she hasn’t lost it yet either. The tension keeps building and it’s getting really heavy! I liked learning more about her relationship with Luke and the perils of their love. The sacrifices the two make mean so much more when we share their struggles with them. We hate the villain, Seth, more too.

Reviewing books can sometimes highlight the vast difference between a well-written book and the rest. Jennifer definitely writes a good book! Only now I have to wait for the next in the series…

I approve this title for Awesome Indies. http://awesomeindies.net

I received this book from the author for the purposes of an unbiased review.

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Demon’s Grip by Tahlia Newland

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Demon’s Grip

by Tahlia Newland

Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary, Fantasy, New Adult, Metaphysical

Four Stars

Ariel has reached the city of Sheldra safely after defeating a second demon master. She enters the safety of Sheldra to train for her greatest challenge yet. With many difficulties, she battles the demon Emot, the demon of desire. A new twist on her weakness harasses Ariel in the form of Nick and her imagination regarding him. Can she sort out her feelings before they become an addiction?

Deep in the caves inside the mountain, her mother Nadima struggles against her own weakness. Will her Warrior training be enough to free her and the other prisoners from slavery to demons?

Get ready for another vivid tale of inner adventure made manifest. Tahlia’s spectacular descriptions bring her characters’ thoughts out into their physical world once again. She has added significantly more description of character, location, and action without losing her active writing style.

Tahlia has given us some resolution to Nick and Ariel’s frustrating relationship ambiguity in this volume, though their resolution gives birth to its own new troubles and a shocking new problem. I like the way Tahlia has made the couple into both each other’s strength and weakness.

Sometimes their interpersonal melodrama irritated me, but I’m also cranky and old with no patience for tumultuous romance. I admit their frustrating childishness brought out the big sister/mom in me and I wanted to give them a time out until they stopped with the melodrama. I felt like it drew away somewhat from the force of the story and the continuity. Once I realized where all the yearning and frustration led, I did understand a bit more why Tahlia wrote that way. I felt a bit like I missed the steps in a formula on the  progression of addiction through the story, with actions occurring that should mean something but I didn’t know what.

I appreciated Tahlia’s focus on addiction. She seems to tackle all the tough issues. The agony of that affliction and the beauty of victory over it touch most lives whether people admit it or not. She captured beautifully the shame, illogic, emotion, and power of addiction. Though I would write the story of overcoming differently as a Christian, I applaud any victory an addict can find. Salvation from oblivion and destruction should be appreciated no matter what the philosophy behind it.

Demon’s grip is yet another action-packed part of a series full of imagination and fantastic adventure.

I approve this title for Awesome Indies. http://awesomeindies.net

I received this book from the author for the purposes of unbiased review.

Although this can be read as a stand-alone novel, aspects of the story will be clearer if you have read the previous books in this series; Lethal Inheritance & Stalking Shadows.

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Stalking Shadows by Tahlia Newland

Stalking Shadows

Book 2 of the Diamond Peak Series

by Tahlia Newland

Genre: New Adult, Fantasy

Four Stars

In her second book of the Diamond Peak series, Newland draws us further into the world of Ariel, a regular girl with a fantastic past and a challenging future. Ariel, Nick, and Twitchet depart the haven of the Observatory to continue up the mountain in their mission to defeat Rasama. Deadly perils and romantic tension await Ariel and Nick on the trail. In a push for the next haven at Sheldra, Nick and Ariel must fight  monsters, demons, mages, and their feelings while Twitchet heckles them. Between the three and Sheldra stand many different supernatural terrains and the enemies who inhabit them, which are sometimes the same thing. Can they overcome the obstacles and enemies to arrive at Sheldra? Will Amic show up to oppose them? Will Ariel be able to defeat him if he does?

In Newland’s signature style, she turns internal struggles into fantastic battles of magic. Feelings have a color and a brightness, and evil has many faces and personalities. Even romance holds extra danger when a girl can zap the one she loves with the power of feelings. This can be particularly excruciating with a volatile teen! I admit I found Ariel’s fluctuating resolve almost as aggravating as Nick did, even though we both knew why she felt that way. Newland really nailed the love/hate relationship with Twitchet, who amused, comforted, aggravated, and mocked the couple mercilessly.

Newland wrestles with the problem of evil, transforming it into a supernatural battle against a tenacious beast. I could really feel her anguish at the infection in society, the hopelessness of so many in the face of the disease, and the deep need for a hero to step in and defeat it. Her enemies weren’t just beings, but sometimes sprits or animated objects, which gave an almost Shinto flavor to some of her terrain. They weren’t simple “bad guys” either but individuals with a perspective and tragic past.

Newland’s writing style just gets better and better. Her scenes take me out of my living room and into Diamond Peak. I know when I pick up one of Tahlia’s book I’m in for a great read!

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