Friday, June 7, 2013

Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards

Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards
Release Date – June 4, 2013
Publisher Website -  Penguin
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  368 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**won from giveaway**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.
Black City surprised me when I read it, so I was especially eager to get my hands on Phoenix. The second installment satisfied and continued with the storylines that drew me in.

These novels move at a rapid pace. They are filled with page turning developments. Betrayals, reveals, and sweet romance. The pacing is a little uneven at first, but once it gets going you’ll be hard pressed to put this down until you’ve finished.

The novel is split between the perspectives of both Ash and Natalie. It’s Ash’s voice that stands out between the two. His voice comes to life, and left me with a clear picture of what the character would look like. He, as a character, is brought to life by Elizabeth’s writing.

The political aspects of this series continue to be my favourite. They are captivating and are the cause of most of the tension in the novel. Things spiral from bad to worse for the Darklings and quickly escalate to a point where a stand off is inevitable. I predict the culmination of this will be an explosive third novel.  The atmosphere sets the stage for upheaval, and betrayals. There is more than one double cross, and one is particularly cutting to our main characters.

I like the increasing support of the rebellion and that everything is so close to erupting. It challenges the characters, and keeps the novel’s plot moving forward.

Purian Rose is exactly what I want a villain to be. He makes good on his horrific threats, and sends shivers down my spine. Elizabeth Richards uses him to the fullest potential and doesn’t shy away from having him follow through. It creates an interesting dynamic where, as a reader, I am kept on my toes. It allows for fear for the characters to seep in, and no happy outcome is guaranteed.  His focus is not just on the Darklings, but the newly introduced Lupines, and anyone who sympathizes with them.

Sebastian continues to leave me seething with rage. He does something so despicable, so unforgivable, so maddening, that I hope Natalie gets to enact some sort of revenge. Along with Purian Rose, Sebastian is the main focus of the rebellion going forward after what happens.

If, like me, you were nervous about the “the quest could tear Ash and Natalie apart, even pushing them into the arms of others’ part of that above synopsis let me assure you that the author manages to pull this off.  It’s more of a ’what if’ scenario as we are shown potentials. This, for me, just proved how deeply Ash and Natalie care about each other, and how right the characters are for each other.  Communication is important in any relationship and often is the cause of problems for Natalie and Ash. There were times where I wanted to shake both of them and FORCE them to talk to each other openly.

The romance leads me to one of the biggest twists in the novel.  Something is revealed that has the potent ional to rip Ash and Natalie apart. It puts a ticking clock on their relationship and opens up other questions for the series. It’s something I am expecting to see fully developed in the next installment, but the impact could be huge, not just for our main characters, but the world they inhabit. The ending creates an even more perilous situation, and is a fantastic starting point to a tension filled finale that is sure to please.

A smart, tense, and romantic second installment to a series that has depth and a surprisingly complex political aspect to it. It’s a YA series that begs to be made into a movie…preferably one staring Ezra Miller as Ash.


  1. I really loved Black City, and I'm interested to see how the story continues in this book. It's nice to hear about Ash and Natalie actually talking about things and that they really care for each other. I loved how their relationship grew in the first book.

  2. Argh! You have me wanting to start this book NOW, and I still need to read Black City!

    Sooooo many books. So little time!


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