Friday, July 19, 2013

Review: Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards

Black City #2

Author: Elizabeth Richards

Publication Date: June 4, 2013

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Genre: Dystopian



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.

My Thoughts:  I can't believe I waited so long to read this series.  I love the cover of Black City and just kept going back to it, but it was always side-tracked by something else.  I am so glad that I finally decided to pick this series up and give it a go.

First off, I want to really just thank the author for making such a fantastic world.  I haven't been more involved with a dystopian universe since I read The Hunger Games.  I was appalled at the state and conditions of Black City and the blatant discrimination, disregard for life and attempted genocide that these books really portray.  It sucked me in and left my emotions in turmoil for both Black City and Phoenix.

I also want to applaud Elizabeth Richards for not making either book predictable.  With all of the dystopian novels released (especially in the YA genre) nowadays it is hard to keep them fresh and full of surprises. Both Black City and Phoenix caught me off guard on multiple occasions and I could never figure out where we were going to end up - but boy, was it a fun ride.

At first, I wasn't sure what to make of both Ash and Natalie as characters.  It took me a chapter or two to warm up to them.  Now, I couldn't picture my fan-girl couplings without a dose of Natalie and Ash.  They are both fearless and fiercely protective of their friends, family and especially each other. I can't sing either of their praises more - they are perfectly imperfect and developed.

I absolutely love this series.  I can't wait for the third book to come out. I would follow this series through twenty books if I could convince Elizabeth Richards to write that many.  I love the characters and loathe the villains.  It is perfect.  Read it if you haven't picked it up yet - you will not be disappointed!

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