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Demon's Grip (Diamond Peak) Paperback – February 16, 2014
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The Amazon Book Review
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"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. "'Demon's Grip' is more than a standard YA fantasy story; the characters' internalisations and dialogue, and the progression of the plot itself, lead the reader to be more contemplative, even meditative, about the emotional issues involved. Overall, a nicely-paced novel, well-written, with memorable characters and the chance, perhaps, to reflect more deeply on life while enjoying the story." Kevin Berry, author, editor.
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Top customer reviews
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I have reviewed all three books as they were published. My early enthusiasm has not been diminished by subsequent reading, which isn't something I can say of several better known series. I hope that Tahlia Newland has a strong vision of where she is going. There is a lot of promise that needs a very dynamic conclusion in the next book. Finishing what she has started is the trick that still has to be proven.
I started reading book three happy that Ariel's Mum was already safe. Oh my, that lady has had a tough life. Like mother, like daughter?
It took me 12 days to finish this book. Some of that delay was craziness in my life, but most of the reason it took so long was because this book is a slow burn, peppered with small constant struggles, but no real 'climax'.
Other reviewers have said this book is one of huge personal growth for the protagonist, Ariel, and that is 100% true. The down side to this book being so much about her maturity is that it's not as exciting and adventurous as the previous two books.
The struggles Ariel faces mirror similar issues any young teen would face. The question of lust and losing oneself in daydreams and cravings are just the tip of the iceberg.
In this way, I feel this book delivers something that the first two books don't, and that is a realistic, albeit fantastically tinged, look at what goes on in a teens mind.
Once again, I felt the balance between the story and all the 'inner light' stuff was a little too focused on the inner light, which further removed me from an already slower read.
This issue aside, the story offers interesting insights into demons and the complexity of the world Tahlia has built here.
I particularly enjoyed Emot Sai in this one. His character evoked a strong emotional response from me. I hated him in one chapter and felt empathy for him in another. This takes considerable writing skill. Well done!
His particularly menacing physical appearance, coupled with manipulation and greed all wrapped up in one wicked package. A great antagonist if ever I read one.
Overall, I liked the story and I will finish the series, but it might take me a while.
I am happy to report that little Spud makes a cameo appearance and I was very excited to see him resurface, even if it was only for a short while :)
One thing I noticed:
10% Kelee's waistcoat changes from purple to blue.
And somehow, Ariel has found herself in possession of a magical sword, and to add to the fun, she's tasked with defeating the major incarnations of the demons that plague Diamond Peak… after defeating each one, it can no longer plague her with the dark emotions that are its bailiwick.
Diamond Peak isn't immune to its own power struggles either: Warriors largely dedicate themselves to destroying demons whenever and however they can, both by mastering their own emotions and recognizing when those dark emotions become food for demons. They train in expanding their Radiance, the yin to the yang of the Serpentine, and in combat as well. Sorcerers, on the other hand, seem to have struck some sort of deal with demons, and feed them in order to gain more magical power the quick and dirty.
As a newcomer to Diamond Peak, it was interesting to learn all about the intricate world alongside our own, a Hidden Realm with its own politics, mode of dress, technology, indigenous cultures, traditions, the list goes on…
Demon's Grip opens with strong action, as Walnut is forced to deal with murder, both grieving and exacting justice on the murderers. This was a great way to suck the reader right in, providing amazing insights into the magic, culture and traditions of the world all at once.
From there, however, the cast of characters quickly swelled beyond the scope where it was easy to deal with. Had I started from book 1 or 2, this would have undoubtedly been lessoned, but for a few chapters I was grappling with a talking cat, two more main characters, and several side characters who seemed to blend together.
However, once familiarity set in, I was treated to consistent and character-defining dialogue, well-drawn characters, very interesting sights and plot devices, and a very well put together world.
Ariel must come to terms with fighting Emot, whose chief emotional food is craving: not simply wanting, but hoping for what cannot be, looking forward to an impossible future or remembering an impossible past. In this way, Demon's Grip serves up a very positive message as well: enjoying what you have while you have it is one thing, and looking forward to the return of a loved one, but indulging in fantasies is quite another. This is handled with care and control as well, though it does run a bit long in places. For a while, Emot seems fairly easy to deal with… later in the book, his true power comes to the fore with terrifying and very satisfying results.
The pace of the book comes a little slower once the Battle of the Plain is finished up. Descriptions of setting seem a bit lengthy, and narrative regarding Ariel's feelings as well. Still, it was a highly enjoyable read, and I look forward to checking out other books in the series.
In the end it was a real struggle to choose whether to give 4 or 5 stars, and curses on Amazon for making me choose. 4.5 would have been perfect.
Most recent customer reviews
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