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

Into The Mist: Silver Hand by Steve Finegan

Into The Mist: Silver Hand

by Steve Finegan

Genre: Children, Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology

Gabe is a young teen under pressure. He has just moved to a new town, facing a new house, a new school, and all the trouble that comes with it. In addition to his regular stresses, he lives with an epilepsy disorder resulting from a head injury when he was little. Strangely, his affliction initiates a connection to something fantastic. After meeting the perky neighbor girl, Ellie, supernatural things begin to happen to Gabe. A strange wood full of old trees, a ruin, a witch’s ghost, and a creepy legend all lead into the Mist.

Steve’s story is packed with action, fantastic scenes, and heroics. Gabe’s calling and unique challenges flavor this story with realism alongside the supernatural. All the awkwardness of life as an early teen, coupled with that knowledge that somehow he is different from everyone, inferior, makes Gabe a compelling character. The amazing things he has to do to overcome his fear and doubt to set things right make me want him to succeed.

I did feel that sometimes the flow of the story was interrupted by excessive description. I sympathize with the author’s love of his scenery and ceremony, but I think he would have achieved better flow if he had left it to the reader to imagine some of the setting.

The ending left me wanting more, which was intentional. Themes of honor, trustworthiness, consideration, and responsibility made it an excellent read for kids. I particularly liked his themes of redemption and how it wasn’t an easy fix. Gabe had to suffer to make things right when he screwed up. I can’t wait to see what happens in the continuation!

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http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13541938-into-the-mist

Tirfo Thuin by Andrew Butterworth

Tirfo Thuin

by Andrew Butterworth

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Niamh is a young Witche, heir to the Witche Throne, sent on a mission to save her people. With the neighboring Sorcerer kingdom constantly threatening war, her mission is to reawaken the dormant Spirit of the Sea and restore balance in their world. Pursuing her is the evil and terrible King Oddvard who means to stop her by any means possible. With her best friend Henry and a new friend Trialla, met along the way, they seek to save Earth.

I love the title of this book! I also love how it plays into the plot, because it is the name of the surprising ending to the quest, which I won’t spoil for you. This book is packed with adventure, strong characters, fantastic scenes of magical wonder, and wonderful themes. Peace vs. War, tolerance vs. hate, hopelessness vs. action, and the truths about strength and weakness are just some of the great concepts the characters wrestle with.

I really connected with the character Niamh, because she was just so flawed, but brave and eager to overcome her obstacles for all the right reasons. I loved the way Andrew included all her niggling doubts and whines about the rough path she had to take. Niamh’s companion Henry was a great addition to the action, adding an element of fear for the protection of another. It worked well to add the romantic threat of Henry’s relationship with Trialla. This part made me want to see the next in the series! I would recommend this to adults and even teens and tweens who can handle the reading level.

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Many-Coloured Realm by Anne Hamilton

Many-Coloured Realm

by Anne Hamilton

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Children’s

Robertina, or Robby, is in a quandary. Her group school project with partners Neil and Stephen is due and neither boy is stepping up to help. Stephen is a bully and Neil is just plain weird. Robby’s fears that Stephen will harm their odd third partner are put aside when Stephen disappears. In her quest to discover what happened to him, Robby stumbles into a confusing and fantastic realm. Neil isn’t a human boy after all, but part of this bizarre place, and Stephen followed him there only to be trapped in an “immurement”. Tossed into the reality-bending land of the Goblins along with Stephen’s step-brother Chris, they become entangled in a centuries- old conflict between elves and Goblins and are forced to grow more involved in order to free the trapped Stephen. Is the Goblin King being helpful or causing trouble? Can they trust anyone? Why can the penguin Artemys fly–and talk? Can they save Stephen, even if he doesn’t deserve it, and go home? Will they want to leave?

Anne has crafted a fantastic and engaging adventure! She mixes a delightful concoction of fantasy, physics, mythology, and philosophy. The detail of the story was just amazing, with humorous and clever layers upon layers. I felt the natural affection the characters formed for one another through trials of confusing politics and deadly peril.

I really wanted to share this story with my kids, but for an 8-year-old and an impatient 11-year-old, it wasn’t simple-spoken enough even when I read aloud. This is really a Young Adult novel. The publisher has classified it as childrens’ fiction for some reason, but it is really more age-appropriate for young adults. The words were complex and too rich for younger readers to easily comprehend. I do know a 10-year-old with a college reading level for whom this might be perfect, though! I’ll put in a comment when I’ve gotten it to her. Her mom is always looking for reading-level-appropriate material that isn’t too adult.

As an adult who enjoys young adult and even children’s fiction, this book was wholly enjoyable. It exercised my brain while I enjoyed it too. It really was so well-packed that I could read it a few more times and still discover new things. Maybe I will if my friend’s little girl will ever let me have it back once she’s gotten her hands on it.

Buy it here: http://www.manycoloured.com/book.html

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