Title: Phoenix (A Black City Novel)
Author: Elizabeth Richards
Published: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 368 pages
Book Description from Goodreads:
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.
If you were able to read my review of Black City which is the first book, you know by now how much I loved it, but as I've read Phoenix, i can say I loved it a tiny bit more. Read on why:
The book started as Ash together with Humans for Unity group are struggling to expose the real face of Purian Rose, and what will be the result of voting for Rose's Law. However, amidst of the chaos and problems, what I didn't expect is Ash's proposal! Eversince the start of the first book, one of the things I admire about Elizabeth's writing, is how she beautifully describes a scene/emotion as to which you as a reader can feel it too. Going back, another thing that I loved about the book is, not only is it action-packed but there were a lot of revelations and shocking surprises as well!
Set in a postapocalyptic world, it was a more dystopic-feel with Phoenix compared to Black City, due to of course, after the incident of Ash 'rising' from the ashes,more people became braver, stood up to what they believe in and joined the protests. One of the results, is Day's family's house being scorched by fire, done by none other that Purian Rose!
Aside from Black City, readers would know about different places such as Thrace, the Mirror City which Ash, Natalie and Elijah went to. They left Black City in search for a weapon to defeat the Sentry, in turn meeting new people that not only helped them, but also created a 'spark' in their relationships with each other.
And of course, Elijah's home, Viridis, the Vertical City, which is a beautiful City built into a cliff where they met Elijah's family.
So not only is the story fast paced, it is also full of places and characters that makes a difference in the story.
Ash became more mature as he takes on the responsibility of being the symbol of people's and darkling's strengths with regard to their freedom. I felt bad for him during some scenes when he misjudged some of Natalie's and Elijah's actions that Natalie could not explain. but if there's one thing I loved about Ash, it's the unconditional love he is giving Natalie no matter how much pain he feels.
Natalie is kind-hearted,period. Sometimes it irritates me that she wants to rescue every kid she sees that were imprisoned during their missions, which fortunately did not result to them being seen. I also felt sad for her, as to what happened to Polly (who was killed), and her being sick. I think she should have had said to Ash the first time she knew she was sick and saved Ash from being hurt.
Remember the cat-boy Natalie saved from the laboratory during Black City? Yes, the Bastet-son of the consul-guy is back. So he says. Elijah plays one of the interesting roles in Phoenix since he did not only made the relationship of Natalie and Ash complicated, but he's on one of the twists of the story. I like his obnoxious-but mr.nice guy character.
Geselle and Madame Clara.
New characters reader will meet. Dacians with kind hearts whom remind me of Gypsies.
A Lupine, who is also a new character readers will meet. He will be the intel for Humans for Unity knowing about a certain prison/laboratory. Read for yourself if he is a good/bad guy.
I dare readers not to take a peek of the the last 5 pages where the biggest surprise of them all is, that made me teary-eyed. All in all, I loved the book so much, I put it on my "Favorites' shelf! I can't wait for the 3rd book. Also see below for one of my favorite character's interview, Beetle plus join the raffle and win: Black City (Paperback), Phoenix (Hardbound) + Swag!
RATING: 5 of 5 Stars.
60 SECOND INTERVIEW WITH…BEETLE
Today’s 60 Second Interview is with Ash’s best friend and Humans for Unity advocate, Matthias ‘Beetle’ Jones.
1. Please describe yourself in three words.
Activist, messy, totally awesome. Oh, that was four words. Never mind.
2. What’s your favorite pastime?
Until recently, it was taking Haze while chilling to some music, but I’ve been trying to get clean for several months now. One day at a time…
3. Cats or dogs?
Dogs. I always wanted a dog growing up, but my aunt’s barge isn’t the best environment for one. We had a cat for a while, but it disappeared. I think a rogue Wrath ate it.
4. What’s your favorite food?
5. Tell us a secret about yourself.
I can burp my name. Yup, that’s a real skill, bro.
6. What are you afraid of?
Nothing really. When I was a kid I used to have these nightmares about my parents dying, like, all the time. Then it happened in real life—they were blown to pieces during the air raids last year. So I guess when you’ve lived through your worst nightmare, you don’t really fear anything, anymore.
7. Who do you love the most in this world?
8. Who do you hate the most?
Purian Rose, although Sebastian Eden is a close second. That guy’s a piece of work.
9. Would you rather vacation in Golden Sands or the Dominion State?
Golden Sands. I want to see Day in a bikini. Wow-wee…yeah. That would be something.
10. If you had one wish, what would it be?
An all expenses-paid trip to Golden Sands with Day!
Join the GIVEAWAY!
Elizabeth Richards is an award-winning journalist, who spent her early career reviewing videogames before making the bold (or crazy) move into travel writing, despite suffering from terrible travel sickness.
In her spare time, she ran a successful lifestyle website aimed at teenage girls, where she got to interview many of her favourite bands, go to gigs and basically blag loads of free swag all in the name of ‘research’.
Elizabeth lives in Buckinghamshire, England, with her husband. Black City is her debut novel.
- She's an identical twin. (No, they don’t have psychic powers, and yes she is the evil one.)
- She's a little bit in love with Daniel Radcliffe.
- Her favourite book of all time is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
- Her second favourite book is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
- Her third favourite is Harry…oh, you get the idea.
- Her ambition is to see 10 volcanoes before she dies. She's already seen Stromboli, Vesuvius and Mt Etna. Just 7 more to go!