Sunday, May 26, 2013

Phoenix By Elizabeth Richards Review

I won an advance copy from Goodreads giveaway.

I love the cover. It fits perfectly with the title. The cover reminds me of Catching Fire because of the fire on the feather. Amazing cover.

Phoenix is recommended to readers who like The Hunger Games. Phoenix has some similarities with The Hunger Games Trilogy, especially with Catching Fire.

This review does not have a spoiler section.

"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."
Before Reading: I was debating whether or not to read this book. After all, Phoenix is the second book in this series. I decided to go for it, because there is a bigger chance for me to not read the first book. I did the same thing with Liar's Moon (no review of this book, unfortunately).

While Reading: "Phoenix sounds a lot like Hunger Games." "Interesting." "Whoo! Go Ash! Nice thinking there!" "What!?! Are you seriously that stupid? Ohhh..."

After Reading:

I have issues with this book. Maybe because I haven't read the first book. Or with the actions of the characters. Mostly the first, few latter.

Phoenix is an outstanding book with beautiful characters that explore betrayal, love, danger, threats, risk, and unrequited love. If you like Hunger Games, then this is the book for you. If you like paranormal books, then this is the book for you. Anyone who likes dystopian? Yep, this is the book for you.

A recap of the first book would had been useful. For many parts of the book, I was left utterly clueless. That was when I realized that I really need to read the first book. Unfortunately, my local libraries (public library, school library, classroom library) doesn't carry the first book. Oh well.

There were lots of similarities to Hunger Games (No review), Twilight (No review and I wouldn't dare to), and The Fault In Our Stars (review available). For example, Purian Rose sounds so similar to President Snow of The Hunger Games. "Rose" as in Purian Rose's last name may be related to President Snow's rose perfume. Purian Rose and President Snow have a noticeable amount of similar characteristic traits. (No, I will not list them). (I am happy about this, because I get to read doppelganger [in personality] President Snow die).

Ash, one of the main characters, is similar to Edward Cullen from Twilight. (soft groan) Ash is to Phoenix as Katniss Everdeen is to Catching Fire. Ash is, according to the ladies, hot and handsome. Unfortunately for them, he is engaged. *Evil laughter* And the symbol of the rebellion. (That is a huge bell to Katniss Everdeen, don't you think?) Ash is brave, smart, and hungry (you won't get it till you read the book). Ash is an amazing character. He has conflicts, both internal and external. The choices he makes will affect the world of Phoenix. I enjoyed reading his POV. He may not notice things easily, but he is adept at jumping to conclusions and piecing little information by little information. Ash is the character that readers would admire and love.

Natalie...I admire her courage, but she wasn't as impressive as Ash. I felt that Natalie was just a secondary character despite her importance. Her POV and character traits were not as interesting as Ash. Ash is gold. Natalie should be gold, too, but she is more like silver. Not that bad. Not that good. Just...somewhere in the middle. Natalie has doubts. She's often worried about herself and her love ones. I felt that Natalie was less confident than Ash. (Probably the reason why Ash is the Phoenix, not Natalie).

The disappointing. It didn't even make an appearance. I was intrigued by the talk about the weapon, but was really disappointed when Ora didn't appear at all. Mentioned, several times in fact. But never seen or used by the rebels. See? Disappointing.

Elijah seemed to be a promising character. There were many ups and downs in the relationship between Natalie and Ash. However, I felt that Elijah was just there to make things interesting. I was exceptionally surprise by the actions of Elijah. It was surprising and so unpredictable. I liked it. It was a clever twist by the author. Elijah is a fascinating character who has a lot of depth and very well hidden secrets. He was open yet also hidden. 

The rebels...I felt that there were many similarities between the rebels of The Elite (there's a review) and rebels of The Hunger Games (no review) and the rebels of The Girl Of Fire and Thorns (no review). Every  group of rebels have a powerful purpose and a willing mind. They have a strong determination. The rebels of Phoenix are slightly different. They aren't as strong, but they have the same determination as the rest of them.

Again, Ms. Richards, a recap of the first book would be helpful. Really helpful for readers like me, who didn't read the first book.

The book's rating is a four out of five. 

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