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review 2014-11-20 00:00
Lethal Inheritance
Lethal Inheritance - Tahlia Newland What I liked: I loved recognizing the allegories between what Ariel goes through and different religious elements that were presented, things I only recognized in the story because I had somewhat studied about the different religions in varying degrees of seriousness over the last few years, though I have to say that they weren't really in your face, it took me a while to actually catch on with them. This was executed well, with the allegories hidden behind what was happening in this fantasy realm that was hidden from others. Following Ariel as she learned about herself and the secrets her mother had kept hidden from her all these years I saw her grow and change, from stubborn and resistant because she didn't believe in herself into knowing more about what she can do and learning different lessons along the way. She doesn't give up, though sometimes it takes some prodding for her to realize she really doesn't even when she says she does. Walnut and Nick were wonderful side characters, though Nick gets his own narration parts that outweigh the other characters.

What I didn't like: Personally I didn't feel like some of the narration change was necessary, and it would have been better if narration only changed with the chapter because one moment you're reading something in someone's (likely Ariel's) POV and then suddenly you're thrust into another point of view from another character in the same chapter in the same scene. It just didn't seem necessary to do such a thing. Also, some portions were rushed when they would have worked better being drawn out a bit more than they were when presented.

Overall Review: This is a really interesting book to start a new series with some interesting concepts and ideas behind it. With Ariel learning about herself, Walnut guiding her to become the Warrior she needs to be to do what she must at Diamond Peak, and Nick who provided some humor and helped teach in some places about herself while trying to battle his own demons, this book is really engaging in most places to where you don't want to put it down!

Recommend?: I really enjoyed it, and while I do recommend it, if you decide to read it I hope you enjoy it too!
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review 2013-10-25 06:00
Lethal Inheritance by Tahlia Newland
Lethal Inheritance (Diamond Peak #1) - Tahlia Newland

Lethal Inheritance is many things…


It's the first novel in The Diamond Peak series. 


It’s exciting and uplifting, thrilling and thoroughly positive, and it shows huge challenges and how to overcome them. It made me giggly and silly and generally happy.



But it’s also soul-crushingly dark and creepy in parts. Those parts left me feeling a little gutted, a little hollow inside and filled with a desire to expel the darkness. Perhaps it was my Serpentine rising up to overcome my inner Radiance or perhaps I had a Gimp climbing up my legs? 


We start with Ariel, she's a regular 17-year-old girl. She's concerned about school and exams and her friends, boyfriends and fitting in. She's pretty much what everyone would expect of a normal teenage girl. 


Her mother, Nadima, is a little different. She raises orphan baby wombats!

Spud instantly made me squee!! I think people around me thought I'd choked on some food, but really, I was just instantly drawn into the lives of these two women. I loved that they cared for this beautiful animal. It drew a strong connection with me and considering it was a tiny piece of information in a large and complex story, it still stuck with me throughout the whole story.


Tahlia doesn't beat around in the bush, the action happens quickly. This is a good thing. It brought me instantly into the middle of turmoil, horror and whirl-wind emotion. It also raised a lot of questions. 


Foremost in my mind was what the hell is happening?! 


Thankfully, things are explained in a rational and timely manner, Ariel is exposed to the same information as the reader. This is a great way to get the reader to bond with the protagonist. I mirrored the confusion and disbelief that Ariel went through. 


We follow Ariel on a journey into a world she had never known existed. She's making this trip to save her mother from the Demons that kidnapped her. Why they took her, we don't really know, but the horrific ideas that Ariel creates in her mind of what could be happening to her mother are a very forceful motivator.  I wanted to jump into the pages and save her mother from them myself.


When Ariel meets her cast of supporting characters, Nick and Walnut things become a little more interesting. 


I adored Walnut. He pushes Ariel, comforts her and offers his many years of wisdom. I didn't really get a strong visual of what he looks like. I was thinking something like this:

 but I'm not sure why I don't have a strong idea of how he looks, perhaps to me, it didn't really matter. It was more his wisdom and advice that mattered to the story. 


The magical side of things was a little bit out of my depth. When inner radiance was mentioned, this is how I imagined it:

As the story progressed, I knew that was wrong. Tahlia explained the magical aspects of the story in great detail. I liked this, because it gave me an opportunity to understand exactly what she was trying to show me. 


I liked too, how things just didn't fall into Ariel's lap. She had work for things, she had to experience failures before she succeeded and it made everything seem more realistic because of it. I especially liked the sword fighting. 


There were a few things that were a little obvious and a little cliche. The Nick/Ariel relationship had kind of been done before, and I picked up on a lot of the twists and turns of their relationship well in advance. This was only a minor issue I had, it really didn't detract from the story, but I would have liked to see something else a little more original when it came to the two of them. 


Ultimately, I plan to continue this series (of which there are four novels and one prequel), it held my attention, it is extremely well written and an enjoyable story of adventure, self exploration, magic and general mayhem.


**Note: I was provided with an electronic version of this story in return for an honest review**

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