Publisher: Catapult Press
Publication Date: October 10, 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.
Lethal Inheritance, a unique new approach to magical powers – an interviewTahlia Newland, is the author of the YA contemporary fantasy, Lethal Inheritance and the acclaimed, You Can’t Shatter Me, a YA novel about inspiring and empowering ways to deal with bullying. She lives in an Australian rainforest, is married with a teenage daughter and loves cats, but she doesn’t have one because they eat native birds.
If you were to describe yourself in one sentence what would you say?I’m a creative maniac.
Why do you say that?Because I have always been creative. I painted during my college years, then became a dancer, and after that I scripted and performed in Visual Theatre shows for 20 years. During that time I also made masks—still do sometimes—then I became an author. Whatever art form I do, people always say that it’s highly creative.
What made you decide to become an author?I didn’t decide, I just got inspired for the Diamond Peak Series and started writing. Three years later, I had finished Lethal Inheritance and the first draft of the three sequels, and I’d found an agent to represent me.
So what’s Lethal Inheritance about?It’s about a seventeen year old girl whose mother is kidnapped by shadow demons. Since no one else can see them, Ariel has to mount the rescue mission herself. She follows the demons into another layer of reality where she discovers that they’re hunting her and they feed on fear. She must defeat the demons before they kill her and enslave her mother. Along the way, she battles treacherous terrain, murderous earth spirits, self-doubt and a dangerous attraction to a young Warrior.
What kind of demons are they?They aren’t the Christian kind or the kind sorcerers use for their magic, they’re based on the Buddhist idea of demons as physical manifestations of negative emotions. There are three kinds in the novel; the really nasty ones are the black, slimy Rasas. They have long talons that they rest on your neck to suck out your negative energy. Then there’s the Domos who are clumsy ugly beasts who just like to stir up trouble, and the Gimps who are funny little ones that appear when you’re mildly irritated.
What’s different about this book?In the book’s first review, the reviewer said that I’d created ‘a unique and notable new approach to magical powers’. That’s because it’s about mental powers that we all have—they’re just undeveloped—rather than the traditional idea of magical power as something only witches, wizards and sorcerers have. The weapons Ariel uses to defeat the demons are focus, clarity, and spiritual power. It’s the mental qualities that are developed through meditation, and the mind training instructions Ariel is given in the novel are actually genuine meditation instructions.
The other different thing is that the demons not only feed on your fear and negative emotions, they’re also physical manifestations of those emotions. So when Ariel fights the demons, it’s an analogy for over coming her own negative emotions. The techniques she uses on the demons can actually be used on your own emotions.
What aspects of yourself, your past or your philosophy did you bring to this novel?I’ve studied philosophy since my early twenties, and studied and practiced meditation fairly intensively since 1998. I think my fascination with how our minds create our perception shows through.
Who will enjoy this book?Anyone who likes young adult contemporary fantasy, especially if they like fiction that makes them question the nature of reality and perception, or if they are interested in meditation or philosophy.
Anything else you’d like to say?Thanks for having me on your blog and I hope your readers will buy Lethal Inheritance. One reader said that while they read it, they looked at everything in a different way and became very aware of the power of their mind. It’s not just a read, it’s an experience.
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