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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Waning Moon by PJ Sharon

Waning Moon

by PJ Sharon

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian

Four Stars

Lily Charmichael lives outside the prosperous, advanced cities solar barriers that provide shielding from the deadly rays of the sun and radiation poisoning of future Earth. Instead she spends her life hiding in a cobbled-together survivalist compound her uncle Sam created to hide his orphan niece Lily and nephew Zeph from discovery. If the agents of the government find the siblings, the little freedom they have will disappear. Lily and Zeph’s altered DNA give them each amazing powers, Lily to heal and Zeph’s to kill.

A stranger named Will wanders into one of Uncle Sam’s bear traps one evening and Lily, against her better judgment, takes him in and helps him. Is he really a starving teen looking for his father, or does he have more sinister motives?

When uncle Sam’s cancer requires medication, Lily must brave discovery to travel with a caravan from the local village to the trading town of Albany. Will travels with her, planning to continue his search for his father once they arrive. Can Lily evade capture in the dangerous, government-controlled town? Can she trust Will? While she is gone, will Zeph give in to his deadly impulses and lose control?

PJ Sharon has written a truly entertaining tale. I could really feel for Lily with her amazing power coupled with the stigma of unnatural life. Her struggle to restrain and protect the brother she loved made me hurt for her. She is a brave character with a strong sense of stealth despite her typical teenage insecurities and special worries about herself. Her differences give her drive and purpose rather than crippling her.

The character of Will gives so much to Lily’s mission, taking it from a quick dash to a complicated and exciting adventure. Her forgiveness and understanding shine through in her treatment of him. I love that she as a character can accept his struggle and sympathize with him even when he breaks her trust.

I loved the mix of future and present in the makeshift tech, and the thought that obviously went into what a failing Earth ecosystem would look like and how people would cope.. The dying Earth issues the characters faced added a danger, complexity, and urgency to everything.

Other than some mild passive writing and a few too many uses of “as” and “ly” adverbs, this book rocked the indie platform. Though it is the beginning of a series, I didn’t feel cheated of a good ending or a loss of interest in the next tale of Lily’s struggle. 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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Ariel’s Dream by Tahlia Newland

Ariel’s Dream

by Tahlia Newland

Genre: Short Story, Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult

Five stars

Fifteen-year-old Ariel has a nightmare that somehow keeps intruding on her waking life; a shadow being that won’t seem to disappear even after she wakes. A simple trip to the beach with friends becomes a mind-stretching experience, and the monster seems to strengthen with her fear. How can she defeat it?

Tahlia Newland’s short story delivers her fantastic supernatural realism, but with an added chill factor of a tighter blend with reality. Ariel’s scary dream pushed into real life is just the sort of thing that everyone fears a little. The story’s added message of facing up to life’s fears reinforces the themes of her Diamond Peak series and connects it to Don’t Shatter Me. Ariel’s Dream is a quick, fun read with a little added story to fill in the series. Is that Nick we saw there with the six pack abs and the golden glow?

Ariel’s Dream is free for Kindle!

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Incubus by Jennifer Quintenz

 

Incubus

by

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult

Braedyn, A succubus posing as a regular teen and working with the organization that fights the succubae for humankind, enters into a deeper threat in Incubus .   The arrival of Seth and his mother, a guard archivist, reveals that the gateway to the realm containing all the trapped Lilitu. An opportunity for the Lilitu to open the gate fast approaches.

Regular life has plenty of problems too. Braedyn loves Lucas and he loves her, but she might accidentally suck his life force out of him if they kiss. If she hurts anyone else, she may lose forever her chance to become human and have a regular life with Lucas. One of her best friends doesn’t know Braedyn’s scary secret and she’d like to keep it that way. Her high school nemesis, Amber, has amped up the evil and petty attacks on Braedyn, threatening to hurt her friends if she doesn’t leave the school.Who is the mysterious incubus planning to open the gate and can they stop him?  Can Braedyn overcome all this?

Jennifer has triumphed again in her second book of the series. Incubus was packed with action, intrigue, awesome characters, and a great surprise ending. I thoroughly enjoyed every page and felt a lot of frustration when my tablet battery ran out at midnight and I couldn’t finish the book until later the next day.

Braedyn is a character I can really connect with. She makes a lot of mistakes, acts impulsively, and feels like her impressions are the truth whether she has all the information or not. She really yearns for a human life and the reader will really want her to get it.

The supporting cast is no less intriguing. Lucas and his hunger to be treated like a man, but fears of being left alone, really make me want to pinch his cheeks. Seth was creepy, endearing, and a great motivator for the action with his drive to see his mother’s work through.

The ending gripped me and I had to exercise a lot of self-control to stop reading when my real life intruded. Jennifer wrote the stakes for Braedyn and the world in a very engaging manner with a lot of great twists and turns to keep me on my toes. I loved this book, as I did the first in the series, Thrall, and I would recommend both. Really, don’t skip the first, because they are both so good and two awesome reads are better than one!

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

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

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Lethal Inheritance by Tahlia Newland

Lethal Inheritance

(Book one of the Diamond Peak Series)

Author: Tahlia Newland

Publisher: Catapult Press

Genre: Young adult contemporary fantasy

Four Stars

One dark and terrible night, Ariel’s mother is dragged away from their home and abducted by horrible demons. Helpless and clueless as to what has just happened to her, Ariel hopes it’s all a bad dream. In the light of morning the truth is clear. Her mother, Nadima, is gone. An old woman named Maya appears and seems to know exactly what’s happening. Trusting in her council, Ariel leaves her home and embarks on a journey into a hidden land alongside our own.

Overwhelmed with unbelievable supernatural phenomena, Ariel must act on faith and find a mysterious guide who will lead her to the evil that has abducted her mother.  Joining her guide, Walnut, and his intriguing young assistant, Nick, she will endeavor to train to reach the Serpentine’s lair and defeat her mother’s captors. Will she rescue her mother? Can she overcome these terrible obstacles and survive?

 

Tahlia weaves another fantastic tale of supernatural  amazement and peril. This story was filled with symbolism and allegory. Dealing with the very real problem of evil,  this is no lighthearted, meaningless read. Throughout the story I felt the keen awareness and grief over evil. Ariel is trapped by the Serpentine weed that pervades and cripples society, only to re-grow after defeat. It both feeds itself with evil, suffering, and negativity, and re-creates more of its nourishment with feeding.

Unique to any other fantasy book I’ve read, Ariel’s weapons to defeat these horrors are focus, clarity, and spiritual power. Tahlia has created a unique and notable new approach to magical powers. It was very interesting comparing and contrasting my own world view with the one Tahlia presented. I noticed and appreciated the references to Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy! Love!

As with some of Tahlia’s other books, I found that I wished for more description or introduction in certain scenes or with certain characters. For example, I was unable to recall any physical description of the character Tynan. (I was surprised to see this unique name used here, as I also used it in Don’t Judge a Book By Its Magic. I didn’t copy, I promise!) However, the lack of description didn’t detract from the story in any way, and many of them were deferred to later on in the narrative.

Lethal Inheritance was a fantastic and fun read with lots of action and truly spectacular imagery. The emotional lives of the main characters were honest and tumultuous, drawing the reader into their points of view. Kudos, Tahlia, on another entertaining book release!

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Merlin’s Wood by Anne Hamilton

Merlin’s Wood

By Anne Hamilton

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult

An argument about the washing up and a questionably scientific experiment in an old hollow tree miraculously tosses twins Holly and Reece out of the reality they know and into another world.  Holly and Reece  tumble through fantastic alien scenery right  into a battle to repel an invading force from taking over the alien planet where they’ve landed. Can they convince the bizarre natives they are friends and not foes? Can they trust the ones on their side? Will they ever get home?

This story is a delightful explosion of fantasy. Technology mixes with magic. Amazing beings and their cultures play their part in a chilling society and an even more chilling battle for the planet. Holly and Reece grow from bickering children into selfless adults, learning to value their talents and each others’ as they strive to protect their new friends and return home. Written to include both of their perspectives, Anne explores the differences between the creative personality and the practical personality. Their circumstances force the two characters to grow to understand one another and appreciate the close relationship that plagues them at the start of the book.

The imagery of this book is amazing, giving it a dreamlike quality, full of disorienting but delightful twists and turns. Anne includes just the right amount of description to suggest your imagination see all the wonders without struggling over long descriptions.

I have a young friend with a high reading level for her young years, and this would be perfect for her.

This story contains a refreshing lack of objectionable material. There were no swear words, no inappropriate situations, or other issues that I would worry about discussing with younger kids.

Thanks for another fantastic story, Anne! I can’t wait to read the sequel.

Buy Merlin’s Wood here:

http://www.buyaustralianbooks.com.au/book/annehamilton/merlinswood/

You Can’t Shatter Me by Tahlia Newland

You Can’t Shatter Me

by Tahlia Newland

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Five stars

What would you do about a bully? When a high-school girl named Carly is faced with a harassing boy named Justin, will she be the superhero she wants to be, or will she wilt before his tyranny? She has in her favor a new hairdo, a wild imagination, a supporter named Dylan with surprises behind his nerdy exterior, and people around her who care about her and encourage her to take the high road. Sometimes the high road seems pretty darn high.

Tahlia has woven a tale of high imagination with You Can’t Shatter Me. Though the plot is all too real and the characters live in a regular world, their flights of fantasy carry us with them into amazing places. Emotions become man-eating plants and fire-breathing dragons.  Wishes for courage turn into superhero suits. Is it all just imagination, or does it have an effect on the real world?

I love Tahlia’s snappy writing and fantastic imagination. You can’t ever predict what is going to happen in her books, because reality doesn’t necessarily apply. A regular tale about bullying becomes a whole new world in her hands. A story that might bore me because it doesn’t apply to my life, suddenly becomes fascinating because of the amazing way she spins it. Due to mild swearing and some threatening language, I wouldn’t recommend this book for younger readers. You Can’t Shatter Me is an excellent story for teens facing bullying situations, or for anyone who enjoys fantasy.

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Available through all major bookstores world wide from mid August. If you would like to be notified of it’s release, please fill in the form here.

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Book trailer 1 link  – http://youtu.be/ysXMYoJUsO0