Sunday, December 1, 2013

Review: Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards

Phoenix (Black City, #2) by Elizabeth Richards
Publisher: Putnam
Publication date: June 4th, 2013
Number of pages: 368 pgs
Format: Hardcover
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

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.

In July this year I had the pleasure of discovering this fantastic series. I picked up Black City by random while I was in Sydney after my cruise and adored it. I wasn't sure how Phoenix was going to top that, but I couldn't wait to read it and discover what exactly happens after the end of BC.

I absolutely love the way Elizabeth Richards narrates this story with the multiple POV with Ash and Natalie. It works and makes sense in the scope of the story. While they may be together they have different stories going on in between one another, so to understand what the other is going though it's natural to get inside their heads individually.

From the moment I began this book I knew it was going to be amazing, possibly even more so than the prior one, and I was absolutely correct. Phoenix takes everything Black City had and added so much more to it. More action, romance, angst, tension, issues and problems for everyone to deal with.
The story was riveting from start to finish, I had to know more and more. What was going to happen next? What was in store for Ash and Natalie?  Both characters have changed so much since Black City as they should given the things they were dealt and went through thus far.
Their relationship has gone from strength to strength, but not without some problems. Things aren't always rosey for these two love birds. They have relationship problems, communication problems and make stupid mistakes, that if they would communicate more they wouldn't have gone through the things they did.
But I guess it's all about the journey they have to go through that will make them stronger in the end, and I believe that was the purpose.
I wouldn't really say it was a triangle forming, because there is no doubt that Ash and Natalie love one another and nobody else, but sometimes, things get confused and make someone thinks something else. Or things happen that push them to other people, but I was glad that it was not as horrible as the blurb makes it out to be.

There was more action and rebellion type things in Phoenix. You also got to see more of the world, Elizabeth has built and understand why and how things are the way they are. There are different  species out there that gets talked about.  This is a book where the stakes get raised to a high extent and pushes the boundaries to a point where there is no going back.
This book gives us everything that makes a rebellion against Puritan Rose worthwhile, and understandable. It makes you hate him and his followers even more so.

I loved the romance between Ash and Natalie in this book. Black City was more about setting them up, with added complications, but Phoenix was more about what they would do for one another. Their love moved me. It was beautiful, hot, sweet and sincere. While they are bonded, that doesn't make their relationship get boring. No, they have obstacles in their past (namely a boy named Elijah), but not for one minute did they stop loving each other.  There was scenes that were angsty and I just wanted to force them together, there was scene when I wanted to tear up. These two are meant to be, and not because they have to be, but rather because they want to be together ---  that every fibre in their being just yearns for one another, plain and simple.

I look forward to the conclusion to this series. HURRY UP. I want it now. I can't wait to see how everything is concluded. Not only for Ash and Natalie, but also for the rebellion and Puritan Rose. This was an exciting read. Surpasses it's predecessor.

5 Stars

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