Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Putnam

Pages: 368pgs

The Story

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.

The Review

After really enjoying Elizabeth Richards's debut novel, Black City, I couldn't wait until I got my hands on a copy of her next sequel in the series and thankfully I wasn't disappointed (at least not in the way most sequels end up disappointing you). Not only was PHOENIX very action-packed, romantic and just as intense as the first book was, but it also contained great deal of memorable scenes with our two main characters not to mention a I-can't-wait-anymore-for-the-third-book-type-ofending, so to say the least, I'm really, really looking forward to the third book now, especially with what the ending delivered to us all.

PHOENIX, while it was still an enjoyable read, but I found it didn't top the first book for me, which isn't necessarily a bad thing because it's always the first book you'll always fall in love with in a series. Still, what I've always come to love about Elizabeth Richards's writing is how she builds upon her own world and how we always learn new and interesting things about her world as well. It's just very cool to read about and her world kind of reminds me of Marie Lu's dystopian-like world of Legend, which is a really good thing because Marie Lu also sets up some great world-building herself.

Now what I've come to also appreciate in this particular series is the connection between our two main characters, Natalie and Ash. While the couple definitely had their many ups and downs in this sequel, more so on Ash's part (even though Natalie was a major contributor to most of their 'couple' problems), but in the end - no matter what happened throughout the book and no matter how much the characters can frustrate you so with the decisions they make - I still loved the way Natalie and Ash came together and worked through their problems as best as they could, despite their dire situations.

In terms of faults between the two main characters, I think the only problem I had with this book was Natalie's character (even though Ash could sometimes make me throw the book against the wall because of the way he acted at times and I'm talking about jealously here) and how she wasn't as emotionally strong in this book compared to the first. Mind you, Natalie is going through a lot problematic things in this particular sequel or rather she holds back a very important piece of information that she didn't want anymore to know of (mostly for Ash's sake) which frustrated me so much considering he found out anyway (it was kind of obvious), but in saying that, I still very much enjoyed this book and I'm looking forward to reading the next book next year.

Overall, PHOENIX may not have entirely won my heart as Black City did, but considering the ending and what could possibly happen to our favourite couple, Ash and Natalie, I'll still be gearing up for the third book now and I can't wait to see what happens in the end of this trilogy (which I hope ends in the best way possible because I just want Ash and Natalie to be together with nothing interfering their relationship so I'm hoping for the best here!).

The Rating
4/5 stars

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