Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Phoenix Awakens by Eliza Nolan Review

"A paranormal debut about a high school senior who finds herself in a fight with a secret society for control of ancient magic. 

Julia never believed in magic.

Julia Long is starting her senior year with an extra dose of crazy. The dreams of cultish, bloody rituals are weird enough, but the victim in her lifelike dreams is her new classmate, Southern charmer Graham.

Graham admits he was a Phoenix — part of a centuries old secret society — but swears he left it all behind. As Julia works with Graham to figure out why she is dreaming about his past, she's discovering she has other abilities. She heals Graham’s migraines with a touch, and there’s her superhuman strength that comes and goes. Julia doesn’t know where her new talents come from, but there’s no denying that when Graham is near, her powers kick into overdrive.

But the Phoenix Society wants Graham back. They need his blood to awaken the magic they seek, and they'll do whatever it takes to get it.

Can Julia uncover the truth behind her connection to Graham? How far will Julia go in order to save Graham and stop the Phoenixes from harnessing this powerful magic?"

NetGalley. Thanks for the copy.

Okay, Phoenix Awakens, I'll immediately admit, is not my favorite book. In fact, I don't even know where to start in this review. My feelings? Well, I can dive deep into the confusion, the "What the?" expressions I got throughout the book, and the "Huh?" type of grunt.

Let's start with Julia's friend Samantha. Though she is crucial to the plot, I've never gotten a lot of character traits from here other than jealously, rebellion, and some witchy behavior. (Okay, switch w with a b, then.) I really don't know much about her, but I do know her history with Julia (which is mostly a history of Samantha protecting Julia from being picked up by a popular girl). Once Graham and his sister come into the picture, all I see is Samantha being pushed to the sidelines. Not much there.

And let's move onto Graham. I don't know what's going on with this guy. He is running from his former friends and enemies. He still manages to turn from up to down, left to right in personality. This boy... I know nearly nothing about him other than the fact that he's part of a secret society. Also, he has a sister named Clara. That's all. He's supposed to be the love interest, and I expected to know much more about him. 

And the world building. Over and over again, Julia has no idea what is going on with her mysterious powers and the Phoenixes. Once is normal. Twice is just a coincidence. But three times is frustrating. It's an overused gag. And it's even more annoying because the reader has no idea why the Phoenix is so important other than the old "they are bad, and they will destroy the entire world" line.

The plot follows Julia's daily life and her newfound interest in Graham. (No, I don't like musings about boys, thank you very much.) It sometimes split off and talk about Julia's dreams, but it doesn't really forward Julia's character. She's more desperate to save Graham, but... Ugh. 

The ending. A bunch of information is suddenly thrown at the reader, and I have no idea why Julia's connections to Blue Bloods are so important. There are other book could had done without making Julia more "special." Kid from decent family turns out to be part of a rich family? Alright. I'm done here. 

Overall, I sadly find Phoenix Awakens lacking. I didn't enjoy reading the book, and I spent about three quarters of the book very confused. 

Rating: One out of Five

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