Giveaway & Review: A Matter of Perception by Thalia Newland

Title: A Matter of Perception

Author: Tahlia Newland

Published: Catapult Press Nov 2011

Synopsis: What is real and what is not? Take modern gods, alien monsters, ghosts in the service of sirens, a battle of magical light, a mysterious hole in the pavement, a dream of a future past and a pair of rose-coloured glasses, mix them with a little romance and a smidgen of philosophy and you might be left wondering if it isn’t all just a matter of perception.

Status: Read on November 30, 2011 — I own a copy {Courtesy the author}

My Thoughts:

This collection of six short stories by Tahlia Newland explores the nebulous distinction between truth and perception though the stories vary in setting and theme. I think the first three stories have the potential to be developed into longer works while the last three are complete in themselves.

The first, The Drorgon Slayer’s Choice, is billed as a romantic urban fantasy though I think it fits the paranormal romance genre better. A blow to the head results in a young woman able to see a deadly otherworldly battle raging on Earth to which humans are oblivious. When her ability to perceive the Gods and their enemies is discovered she is offered an extraordinary choice. Newland does a credible job of creating a unique mythology, and I like the idea of modern day Gods whose role have changed over the millenniums. However I don’t think the story particularly needed the romantic element, I think its hard to sell a romance in such a compressed format, even one that relies on instant attraction.

The Bone Yard was enjoyable with a creepy atmosphere and unusual premise and a chilling twist. I liked it for what its was but I think it could be fleshed out further to be more complete.

In  Mistrals Mistake we step into the middle of a battle between two magic users who were once lovers. Damien has fallen prey to the lure of power his abilities can afford him while Ealanor is tasked to stop him. What follows is a struggle between light and dark, both literally and figuratively, until one emerges the victor. I liked the battle of lights and the connection between its colour and it’s purpose. it’s an interesting idea that could work for an urban fantasy novel. However, I thought the ability of the magic wielders to shift form rather random. Still a neat story with a moralistic ending.

The Hole in the Pavement was probably my favourite story of the collection. Every morning Norris follows Georgia to the bus stop, a silent admirer without the courage to approach her in even the most benign of ways until Georgia falls and Norris overcomes his own doubts to reach out to her. A clever mix of the metaphorical made literal I enjoyed the message of the story.

The concept was interesting but I struggled with the execution of Not Me, It Can’t Be. It was not until the end that its intent resolved for me.

The final story Rose Coloured Glasses  is not a unique idea but fits perfectly with the overall exploration of perception that underpins this collection. Sally gains a new viewpoint on her colleagues when she tries on some unique glasses left on her office desk. I thought this was a well written and sweet story.

While I do think some stories are stronger than others, overall A Matter of Perception is a collection of imaginative and thoughtful stories that are easy and quick to read.


About the Author

Tahlia is an avid reader, an extremely casual high school teacher & an occasional mask-maker. She reads and writes urban fantasy for adults & young adults and likes to challenge readers to look more closely at the nature of their world, their mind and their perception. After creating and performing in Visual Theatre shows for 20 years, she is now a bone-fide expatriate of the performing arts. She lives in an Australian rainforest, is married with a teenage daughter and love cats, but she doesn’t have one because they eat native birds.

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Available to Purchase

Amazon I Smashwords I Catapult Press


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A Matter of Perception by Thalia Newland

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. michelle@book briefs
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 10:27:51

    Thank you so much for the giveaway!





  2. Michelle Grayce
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 23:37:58

    It sounds great.
    michelle UK



  3. Diana
    Dec 07, 2011 @ 22:46:15

    Thank you for the giveaway!
    I shared it on FB:

    Diana, Greece
    artgiote at gmail dot com



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