My YA fantasy reviews are rarer than they used to be because some young adult fantasy I find a little too young for my taste or they dwell rather a lot on schools, so I don't read a lot of YA fantasy these days. This book, however, was, as all good YA fiction is, enjoyable by someone old enough to be a grandmother. The Book Knights by J.G McKenney is a YA fantasy with a unique premise, that of a world where words have magical power, reading is banned, books are burned and readers imprisoned and executed. The Book Knights are a secret ancient order whose role it is to protect books. The story revolves around Arti a teenage girl whose parents taught her to read. They have a hidden library and at the beginning of the book it gets found and burned. Her parents are taken into custody but Arti escapes. Subsequently she learns that she is the one who can wield the magic pen with the power to remove the evil witch from the head of the corporation. One aspect of the book that gave it a … [Read more...]
Realistic and Relevant: Pieces of Love by PJ Sharon; Review
‘Pieces of Love’ by PJ Sharon is the story of a grief-stricken, grumpy and slightly wayward teen sent to her grandmothers for the summer to keep her out of trouble. Lexi has been busted twice for weed possession and her mother is in hospital due to a nervous breakdown, so her stepfather sends her off to give the couple time to get things on an even keel without having to worry about her. Grandma decides to take Lexi on a cruise around the Mediterranean, and Lexi isn’t pleased about it, not only because she’s going to be stuck on a ship with a bunch of old people, but also because she suffers from motion sickness. But this is a romance, so, enter the handsome young man and things turn out better than expected. This is a character driven story. Unlike Sharon’s dystopian series, you’ll not find much action, but you’ll find character depth and growth, as Lexi’s relationship with Ethan and her don’t-call-me-grandma-call-me-Maddie grandmother deepens, forcing Lexi to face things … [Read more...]
Excellent YA urban fantasy: ‘Sacrifice’ by Jennifer Quintenz
'Sacrifice’ by Jennifer Quintenz is the third in the young adult Daughters of Lilith Series and it is every bit as good as the previous books. Quintenz knows how to hold a reader and keep them turning the pages to find out what will happen next. It’s a hard book to put down. The story revolves around a girl who though a succubus herself (a daughter of Lilith) she stands on the side of the sons of Adam in an age-old battle that, unknown by most humans, has been raging since the beginning of human history. She loves a boy that she cannot have without risk of draining his life-force, and this adds a bittersweet touch to a powerful story. This series has the vitality that makes the characters and the world they inhabit as real as our own. There’s plenty of action, but there’s also plenty of character development and growth that together deliver a very satisfying whole. The plot is gripping and often surprising, and the characters face moral dilemmas and terrible challenges that … [Read more...]
An Excellent Young Adult Fantasy: A Review of ‘The Stone Lions’ by Gwen Dandridge
The Stone Lions is an excellent young adult novel set in Spain in the early 1400's. Ara is a twelve-year-old Muslim girl and daughter of the Sultan. She lives with her cousin Layla in the Alhambra Palace, a place of great halls and courtyards decorated with beautiful tiles. Protective magic is woven into the symmetry of the mosaics, but the Sultans advisor is using his magic to break key symmetries and weaken the palace so the infidels/ book lovers/. Christians from the north can take over the Kingdom. Ara and Layla discover the treachery and with the help of a Sufi mathmagician take it in hand to fix the broken symmetries and try to find solid evidence of the advisor's treachery to submit to the Sultan. The story is unique in that it is both highly educational and entertaining. In order to fix the magic, the girls must learn about symmetry and that is their first step towards becoming a mathmagician - I love that word and the concept of maths being magical that goes with it. Not only … [Read more...]
THE MIND-BLOWING FINALE TO THE DIAMOND PEAK FANTASY SERIES IS OUT NOW!
THE MIND-BLOWING FINALE TO THIS AWESOME FANTASY SERIES IS OUT NOW! Yes; it is quite literally mind-blowing. Don't miss out on the award-winning Diamond Peak Fantasy Series. Each book in this new adult contemporary fantasy has been awarded an AIA Seal of Excellence in Independent Fiction. (That means it's pretty good.) Book one has also been awarded a BRAG medallion for outstanding independent fiction. Get the full series now and read some real magic. What readers are saying about the series. “A beautifully written, exciting fantasy-adventure with vibrant description.” Krisi Keley, author of Mareritt. “A most exemplary work, a real joy to read. The colour, depth and vitality of both the writing and the narrative is stunningly good: the exploration of motives, outlooks and hopes of the characters quite intoxicating. It ranks as a true work of literary accomplishment.” Clive S Johnson, AIA reviewer. “In a new twist on fantasy, Tahlia puts characters in fantastical situations, but … [Read more...]
Action packed YA superheroes: ‘Super Nobody’ by Brent Meske.
It was clear from the first sentence of this book that the author knows what he's doing. Super Nobody grabs your attention straight away and holds you there in a fast moving action packed story about super villains, superheroes and a not-super reluctant teenage hero. There's a few YA superhero books about, but this one has a particularly real central character who isn't so super and not such a hero, at least to begin with. The story begins with Michael being bullied. It seems a normal enough situation, but things soon start turning very strange. Kids are turning into Actives, the name for super beings, and soon everything goes pear-shape. Michael may be a nobody, but he's just the kind of nobody the town needs to save it from a madman, or is he? If plan A fails, there's no plan B. Mr Meske doesn't just deliver a great action story, he delivers on the characterisation as well. Michael, Charlotte and his mother are very real people, and Michael grows through his experiences as … [Read more...]
A beautifully crafted, unique and powerful YA story: ‘Western Desert’ by P.J Sharon
Western Desert is the second in the Chronicles of Lily Carmichael by P.J Sharon and it’s as excellent as the first (See my review of it here). This dystopian/post-apocalyptic series should be as popular as the Hunger Games; it really is one of the best YA dystopian books around. The only reason it isn’t on everyone’s lips and on everyone’s Kindles is because as an indie author, P.J Sharon does not have the backing of a big publisher, and that’s all the more reason why you should read this book and shout about it far and wide. It’s beautifully crafted, well-polished and a unique and powerful story. Books like this make liars of those who say that indie books are of lesser quality. This is far better than many mainstream books I’ve read. The human race has pretty much stuffed the planet in Lily Carmichael’s world. Radiation is so high that you have to stay inside in the middle of the day and the level is climbing, extreme storms wreck havoc and a virus has wiped out a large number of … [Read more...]
A rare book I can’t fault: Waning Moon by P.J Sharon: YA Dystopian.
Waning Moon is simply excellent, a rare book that I can't fault. It's set in the future in a small town outside of Albany after a virus has killed a large part of the earth's population. The cities are run by a Dystopian government. If you stay in the town, you get fed, clothed and have access to medical care, but you do what the governments wants. Those who live outside the cities choose freedom over security. Lily, her brother and her uncle, Sam, live well camouflaged in the forest. They have to stay away from the authorities because Lily and her little brother have genetic modifications that make them very useful to the authorities. Lily can heal and her brother can kill with a touch - or two, or three. Those living outside the cities have to occasionally travel to markets inside the city to trade for the things they can't provide for themselves and the story begins with Lily preparing to take such a trip. A few days before she is about to leave, she finds another teen fallen in … [Read more...]
A real gem: Dark Night of the Soul by E.M. Havens: metaphysical fiction
Dark Night of the Soul is a real gem. E.M Haven has used magical realism to examine suicide and the issues that surround it, and like all the very best indies, it's a completely unique voice that explores its theme in a brave new way. Seventeen year old Jayden commits suicide and finds herself in a kind of purgatory where teams of people who have committed suicide protect other suicidal souls from the demons that whisper in their ears and incite them to suicide. Life in this purgatory is a series of battles, if they defeat the demons, the person lives, if they lose, the person succeeds in their quest for death and their soul joins the team. When a new member arrives, the Judgement- a kind of sparkly storm cloud- comes for another. If it's you it comes for, you'll meet a statue of yourself and you can either submit to the judgement or fight to keep the demons off your statue/soul. If the judgment takes you, you'll either move on to the next realm, or you'll go back to your life. It's a … [Read more...]
A stunning conclusion and an awesome 5 star review
"In the stunning conclusion to the Diamond Peak series, Ariel continues on to the end of her journey up the Mountain to reach Diamond Peak, defeat the final demon enemies, Cogin and Rasama, and free humanity from the Serpentine infection." So says Awesome Indies reviewer Kate Policani. She also says, "Tahlia has pulled out all the stops for a true triumph of her own!" Read the whole review here. http://katepolicanisreviews.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/eternal-destiny-by-tahlia-newland/ … [Read more...]
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