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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
"I will always regret how I affected her mother. She wasn’t strong enough and I should have felt that. Maybe I did. The want for freedom is difficult to shake. But her daughter, Liana, she was different—stronger, smarter, impulsive, and trusting to a fault—just like me. I helped her see my thoughts, my mistakes, my secrets, my strengths, and, finally, my purpose: to grant her wishes." In Tribal Affairs by Matt Dallmann, an incident with a friend resulted in 16-year-old Liana's diagnosis as a schizophrenic. She accepts the fact that she needs help and medication until she realizes that all the strange reflections, disembodied hands, and mysterious fog are not hallucinations but hints of her legacy.
Intriguing right from the start, Matt Dallmann's Tribal Affairs puts an interesting spin on the classic genie theme. Switching efficiently between the past and the present, the writing is clear-cut and the plot is well-paced. The characterization is solid; it's easy to empathize with Liana's plight as she tries to stick with reality until her family's secret and dangerous lineage force her to adapt and accept her hidden ability. For Liana to trust her mind and gut again takes an admirable effort. The world-building for the 'otherworldly' is fascinating and justifies the title of the story. On the other hand, it's a cruel place for humans. With enough mystique, magical actions and suspense balanced with familial bonds as well as romance, this is no doubt an enjoyable read for YA fantasy fans.