Saturday, June 8, 2013

Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards (Review)

Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Paranormal
Publication.Date  June 4th 2013 (Hardcover edition)
Published By:  Putnam Juvenile
WebsiteElizabeth Richards 

Phoenix on Goodreads
My review copy:Review copy gifted by a friend.
Where to get:

Ash and Natalie are just starting to build a life together when things in the United Sentry States go from bad to worse. Ash and Natalie find themselves at the center of turmoil when dictator Purian Rose threatens Natalie’s life unless Ash votes in favor of Rose’s Law—a law that will send Darklings and other dissenters to a deadly concentration camp known as the Tenth.

When Ash can’t bring himself to trade Natalie’s life for those of millions of Darklings, her fate is sealed. Enter Elijah Theroux, the handsome Bastet boy Natalie once saved from her mother’s labs, where he’d been experimented on and tortured. It was his venom the Sentry used to create the lethal Golden Haze, the heart of the government conspiracy that led to Black City’s uprising and Ash’s rebirth as the Phoenix, the face of the rebellion. Elijah is back and Ash doesn’t like him; it’s clear he’s taken with Natalie, and Ash fears she may have feelings for him as well.

But Elijah also may have the answer to taking down Purian Rose for good—a powerful weapon called the Ora. Ash, Natalie and Elijah just have to escape Black City undetected to find it. But fleeing the city and finding this weapon (if it even exists) are easier said than done, and the quest could tear Ash and Natalie apart, even pushing them into the arms of others.

This enthralling sequel to Black City is just as absorbing, delicious and steamy as the first book, leaving readers hungry for the series conclusion.

"I'm not exactly the guy you fell in love with," I say.
"That's true," she says, placing a hand over my racing heart. "You're better. You sacrificed yourself to save me, Ash. Trust me, that earned you a few extra boyfriend points."
We burst out of the market just as the first bomb detonates.
The blast knocks us off our feet, and we crash to the ground ten feet from where we started. My ears are ringing, and every bone and muscle in my body aches.
We hold on to each other in silence. Occasionally, Ash rubs his thumb over my palm, subconsciously drawing two hearts on it. One for him, one for me. How much longer do we have? How many more moments in each others arms?

     This is so hard to write for me because I both loved this one and was indescribably frustrated by it. There is no question that I enjoyed it but there was this little voice i my head that kept screaming as I read. Violence, struggles and a hint of what could have been an amazing romance littered the pages of this chapter of the Black City series, making it hard to put down to do basic things (like clean the house). Denying I enjoyed this one would be a lie but once again the voice screams.

     World building is such a momentous part of a novel and can really make or break it even if the characters rock. This is however not a problem with both Black City and Phoenix because there is amazing world building. In fact there was a lot of growth I found in Phoenix with the world. I chalk it up to the fact that not everything took place in Black City and was more of a tour of other areas in the country. This opened up the world and knowledge of what was going on in more than just one area, leaving me one happy girl.

     Natalie... She was the light of my read in the last book and though for the most part she is still enjoyable, that scream that I heard in my head throughout the read... she caused it. Plain and simple she is still every bit the strong, determined girl she was but she lacked the emotional strength this time around. Yes there are pressing circumstances that cause this and no character can be perfect but I personally expected more. Not to mention the bit of information she held back that caused a large issue to arise that irritated me to no end.

     Though I didn't think it was possible to start my love for Ash only grew in this book. He grew leaps in this book and I loved every minute of it. The fact that he is loyal to a fault was not missed and I found myself wondering if it was going to wear off but it didn't. There were times I wished it would or he would yell or break something... but he didn't. The amount of love he has for Natalie will honestly make your heart swell. This Ash was like the pillar of the novel and without him it all would have come crashing down. 

     Filled with action, adventure and deception Phoenix definitely did not suffer from sequel syndrome but I can't say that I loved it quite as much as I did Black City. The cliff hanger at the end really didn't help matter either because without ruining it, it quite simply was a crappy situation with a silver lining... I think. If you loved Black City you will enjoy this I'm sure and if you were undecided give this one a try, it is a game changer!!

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