Review: Lethal Inheritance by Tahlia Newland

@ Goodreads

Title: Lethal Inheritance {The Diamond Peak Series #1}

Author: Tahlia Newland

Published: Catapult Press October 2012

Synopsis: If last night was real, Ariel should be dead. She’s not, but her mother has disappeared, there are bruises on her neck and the hideous beast in the photo looks frighteningly familiar. You can’t send police into a tunnel that doesn’t exist after a villain they can’t see, so when shadow 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. But how do you kill terrifying demons when your fear makes them stronger? 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 and anger.

Status: Read from December 14 to 15, 2012 — I own a copy {Courtesy the author}

My Thoughts:

Lethal Inheritance is contemporary young adult fantasy adventure by Australian author Tahlia Newland. Seventeen year old Ariel is stunned to learn of a hidden world that exists alongside her own when her mother is abducted by demonic creatures, a world she must now enter if she is to rescue Nadima from their clutches. With only a dagger once wielded by her father and an elderly guide to lead her, Ariel must conquer her fear to defeat the Serpentine and save not only her mother, but the world for their evil.

Every chapter Of Lethal Inheritance introduces a new facet of Newland’s elaborate world building as Ariel journeys through the Hidden Realm. Serially confronted by Gimps, Wraiths, witches, hallucinogenic mists, shifting stones and whispering reeds, Ariel, Walnut and Nick are challenged in their quest for Diamond Peak at every step.

Ariel is plagued with fear, self doubt and anger, the very emotions that give the demons of the Hidden Realm their strength. Forced to learn the skills needed to defend herself during her journey she struggles during any confrontation and is easily distracted by her negative emotions. While sympathetic to her limitations, I would have preferred her not to ‘freeze’ quite so often but to be fair Ariel does keep going despite often being overwhelmed by the threats she faces.

Walnut is both Ariel’s physical and spiritual guide, a Swami like figure, who says little but teaches Ariel what she needs to know. Nick is an apprentice of sorts to Walnut, similar in age to Ariel, he still struggles with the self control he needs to master. Inevitably, the two teens develop a mutual attraction during their journey.

The spiritual lessons imparted within Newland’s story are not subtle. Drawing heavily on accumulated metaphsyical philosophy relating to identity, self awareness, positivism and ethics, I found it a little heavy handed at times, however the emphasis is probably about right for Newland’s intended YA audience.

I also thought I recognised influences from literary fantasy and sci-fi classics such as Alice in Wonderland, The Lord of the Rings and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. In some ways the structure of the story reminds me of Enid Blyton’s Wishing Chair tales, albeit for a much more grown up audience, as the group travels between different lands within the Hidden Realm.

An engaging tale, Lethal Inheritance blends action, magic, humour and a touch of romance into a young adult fantasy adventure with an inspirational message. The good news for fans is that Newland plans to follow it up with a series of four novels to feature Ariel and her quest.

Available to Purchase

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In Print: Catapult Press

For a limited time you can download the prequel ‘Run’ for free.

run-cover

CLICK HERE

Learn more about Tahlia Newland and her work

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Denise Maclaren
    Dec 16, 2012 @ 13:18:58

    Souds like an interesting book.

    Reply

  2. Trackback: Blog tour, days 14 and 16 – the benefit of 3 star reviews. | Tahlia Newland, author
  3. Trackback: Blog Tour – last two days and wrap up | Tahlia Newland, author

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