Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Review: Tribal Affairs by Matt Dallmann

 by Matt Dallmann
YA Fantasy
277 pages
July 2017

Tour dates: Oct 9 to 27, 2017
Content Rating: G (No bad language or sex)

Dahlia, a centuries-old genie, lies hopelessly trapped in a damaged golden locket charm attached to an ankle bracelet. Its owner, sixteen-year-old Liana, wears it for the first time during her father Jamison’s opening night illusion spectacular. Not only does its presence cause Jamison to folly his performance, but it also starts a chain of bizarre events that lead to a showdown with Dahlia’s mortal enemy, Stefan, and an unsuspecting romance between Liana and his son.

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In an ever tightening weave of two stories, this is a fantasy with much more than just magic.

Sixteen-year-old Liana decides to wear an anklet bracelet, which, unknown to her, is the prison for a centuries-old genie, Dahlia. As Dahlia projects her feelings and thoughts, Liana is sure she's going insane. But when Liana wears the anklet to her father's show, unexplained and unexpected things happen. Soon Liana finds herself caught up in a feud between two genie families, and falling in love for the enemy's son.

After reading the blurb, I was looking forward to reading this one and was not disappointed. This book isn't only about the fantastical world of genies and granting wishes, but hits a more emotional  level as well. It starts with two stories: that of Liana and that of Dahlia. They both come from very different worlds, have very different backgrounds, and yet discover a way to connect. The tale switches alternately between the two, beginning with two threads and, as the book continues, slowly weaves the two closer together until they meet for one wonderful, exciting ending.

The book holds a steady pace, never drifting into long-winded explanations or descriptions. Every scene sits and carries the action along. It's not always high-tension, but it's still grabbing and makes this a tale hard to put down. It's easy to get lost in Liana and Dahlia, and sympathize with them. The other characters do not share this same depth and come across shallow. But this doesn't disrupt the flow.

There is a lovely romance, which adds a nice amount of warmth and interesting twists, but it never overtakes the main plot or comes across cliche. It's appropriate for even the younger end of the YA audience, but then the entire read will work for more gentle readers too without losing the excitement fantasy friends enjoy.

Summed up, this is a refreshing twist on genies, which YA fantasy friends are sure to enjoy and even see a bit of themselves in the characters.

And here he is. . .

Matt Dallmann has a background in acting and holds a BFA from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. His films and screenplays have been featured at film festivals across the United States including Cinequest, Big Apple Film Festival, Seattle’s True Independent Film Festival, DragonCon and Zero Independent Film Festival. His piano compositions have been published for commercial use and he is a member of ASCAP. Matt is also the Co-Founder and Vice President of the boutique medical billing firm VGA Billing Services, Inc. in New York City. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.

Connect with the author: Website

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Matt Dallmann said...

Thank you for reading and reviewing! Best, Matt Dallmann

Mary Preston said...

I haven't read a genie story in ages.