Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Phoenix (Black City, #2)

Elizabeth Richards
350 pages
Releases: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Source: Goodreads win!

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

In Phoenix, Ash has risen from the dead to be with his love, Natalie.  But things aren't so happy-go-lucky for long, as Ash receives a visit from Purian Rose, who threatens to harm Natalie if Ash doesn't vote in favor to Rose's Law, which will ban Darklings permanently to a newly built concentration camp.  Will Ash be able to find the inner strength to battle Purian Rose and his racist political agenda?

You might recall from my review of Black City that I found similarities to Twilight, The Hunger Games, and Romeo & Juliet.  Well, that was not entirely the case with Phoenix.  If I had to pick one to compare it would be The Hunger Games because Purian Rose reminds me a lot of President Snow.  However, Phoenix is an inventive novel unto itself.  I found the plot on the whole to be unique and just as fast paced and exiting as Black City.  

Based off the prologue of the novel, my first impression of Phoenix was "Whoa, we're in for a good one!"  And we were!  Purian Rose was so angry that everything he worked for was being threatened by Ash that things soon became personal.  The energy of the plot is electric as we follow both what Purian Rose is doing to try and keep his political agenda in line, and what Ash is doing - that is, anything he can to stop Purian Rose from banishing his species to concentration camps.  Thus, even more so than Black City, Phoenix is filled with metaphors for real world problems like genocide and war.  The scenes where Ash, Natalie, and Elijah visit an old concentration camp were definitely spooky to read.

With Ash and Natalie's love story essentially taken care of in Black City, we're left with a truly political and revolution-based plot.  But that's not to say there isn't any kind of romance or sexual tension in Phoenix at all.  In fact, as Ash and Natalie are on their journey throughout the United Sentry States, they're accompanied by Elijah, whose life Natalie saved in Black City.  The tension and attraction between Natalie and Elijah in Phoenix was almost as palpable as that between Natalie and Ash in the first novel.  Something of a love triangle forms, leaving one to wonder - is the attraction Natalie feels for Ash nearly as strong as the attraction he feels for her?  The love triangle was a hugely interesting part of the plot to me, and I kept waiting for Natalie and Elijah to be alone together so I could see how they would interact.  

Four stars!  I read Black City last week because I knew I had won and needed to review Phoenix and it was great being able to read them back to back.  But now here's my problem: I have to wait until 2014 to read the next book!  I can't wait to see how Ash and Natalie's story continues.  If you haven't given this series a look yet, please do.  I don't think you'll regret it!  Phoenix is due out June 4th, so there's still time to read Black City!

PS:  There's a huge plot twist at the end of the novel that completely blindsided me.  Oh my goodness gracious, I must get my hands on the next book as soon as possible.  

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