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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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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Run by Tahlia Newland

Run

by Tahlia Newland

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Short Story, Action/Adventure

Four Stars

Run is a racy prequel to Newland’s Diamond Peak series, filled with all the angst Newland suggested haunted Nick in Lethal Inheritance. Nick, struggling to advance up the mountain and kill demons, loses his resolve and attempts to escape his life there. He tries to start anew in the mundane world, but soon learns that he can only go through the motions.
Run is a quick, meaning-packed read full of action and emotion. Nick’s inner demons reveal themselves in a time before he “got it together” to become the romantic hero of the series. This story also fits well as a flashback anywhere in the series if you haven’t read it first. It does contain a sex scene, unlike the main series’ first two books. I wouldn’t call it erotica though. Run will pull you in to the Diamond Peak series wondering what happens to Nick. Newlands fantastic transformations make emotions into creatures, giving us a fresh perspective on our own hearts.

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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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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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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

The Disenchanted Pet by Kate Policani

The Disenchanted Pet

by Kate Policani

Genre: Science Fiction

(Yes, this is my book, but these are not my reviews!)

The review by Tahlia Newland on The Disenchanted Pet can be found at:

http://tahlianewland.com/2011/12/23/review-the-disenchanted-pet-by-kate-policani/

The review by The Maine Muse can be found at:

http://mainemuse.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/the-disenchanted-pet-by-kate-policani/

The review by Nadia Riell can be found at:

http://nadiariell.com/2012/01/18/a-book-review-for-the-disenchanted-pet-by-kate-policani/

The review by Maria Tatham can be found at:

http://www.speculativefaith.com/authors/kate-policani/

The review by Laura Pfundt, the Quillwielder, is here: http://quillwielder.com/2012/02/12/book-review-the-disenchanted-pet/ It’s also posted here! http://thedarkglobe.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/book-review-the-disenchanted-pet/

Thank you, Tahlia, Sharon, Nadia, Maria and Laura!

Book Synopsis:

Far into the future, the Earth is ruled by the ShaZha, a hyper-intelligent race of alien beings who are plagued by the violence and volatility of the human race. Supposedly intending to repair the broken societies and polluted planet, they have found the Human problem to be much more complex than they ever imagined.
Zarah is a Prodigy, an obedient human, with a caring ShaZha master. Zarah wants to prove all her master’s hopes that humans can be civilized and responsible. When she is lost by her master and exposed to the other side of humanity, she must confront the possibility she might be not a valued citizen, but a pet.

To buy The Disenchanted Pet on Amazon (Kindle and Paperback)

To buy the Nook version: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/The-Disenchanted-Pet?keyword=The+Disenchanted+Pet&store=allproducts

To buy multiple ebook formats, go tohttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/93067

To buy the paperback, click here:https://www.createspace.com/3657962