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Friday, June 7, 2013

[Blog Tour + Giveaway] NICOLE'S REVIEW: Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards

Title: Phoenix
Author: Elizabeth Richards
Format Acquired: ARC
Publication Date: June 4 2013
Publishing House: Putnam Juvenile
ISBN: 9780399159442
Source of Copy: Blog Tour


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 themselevs 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 t a deadly concentration camp known as 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 let 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 down, and he 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.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


For those of you who haven't picked up Black City - the first book in this series - it is advisable that you not read this review to avoid spoilers. You can always check out my take on the first book in this series right HERE.

Phoenix is actually a better read than Black City. More action, less drama and considerably more intense. Just when Ash and Natalie start to get comfy things take a turn for the worse. People they care about are taken from them, killed and slaughtered, and they don't know who to trust. There are moles in their rebellion, sabotaging their plans and sending the rebel faction into a frenzy. There's a whole lot of things going on, what with the threat Purian Rose holds over Natalie's life, the reappearance of a certain bastet boy named Elijah and a weapon that could mean the end to Purian Rose's reign. All they have to do is find the weapon which also means trusting the bastet boy. If only things were as easy as it sounds. 

Phoenix has considerably more action scenes than the first book. This is a good thing because it means less drama between Ash and Natalie. There was some character growth in Phoenix but this did not negate the fact that there was relationship drama - the shallow kind that could have easily been avoided. Unsurprisingly, what I found managed to irk me. Ash is a jealous boy, he sees Elijah spending time with his precious Natalie and starts thinking jealous thoughts, then instead of confronting her about it he instead chooses to distance himself from her. This obviously creates tension between the two. Natalie has a secret and she's afraid to tell Ash; this does nothing more but aggravate their situation then add to that Elijah's blatant flirtation with her and Ash's assumptions... smells like trouble to me. How irritating! 

They're on the run for their lives, chasing after a weapon that could help stop Purian Rose all the while trying to outrun Sebastian and his sentries and what do they do? They create drama. I could not understand why Ash couldn't talk to Natalie about it, they're supposedly linked to each other, couldn't he at least pick up on her emotions? Just a little bit? Then they go as far as to try to make each other jealous and well, this just had me shaking my head in resignation. 

Despite my reactions to their relationship, I liked how Richards kept backing her characters into a corner and throwing them into one bad situation after another. There were a few interesting turn of events - I had my suspicions - and well let's just say that there's a cliffhanger over at the end. It definitely seemed like the weapon they were after, the Ora, was too good to be true but we won't know till the third book. We also see just how power hungry Purian Rose is and the terrible lengths he's willing to go to keep that power solely in his hands. He does some pretty nasty things here and it's not hard to dislike a sadist like him.

Definitely a step up from the first book, Phoenix is more intense in its action with twists and turns that I both did and did not expect. Some which had me face palming and others that had my interest piqued. I want a peek at the third book mainly because I'm pretty sure Natalie and Ash will have to suffer a bit more before they get their happily ever after, if there even is such a thing for them, and also because I'm hoping that all the questions that popped up thanks to the cliffhanger will be answered and I'm also hoping for more Elijah. I still don't get what all those girls see in Ash.

Also, scroll down to check out the giveaway plus an interview with Natalie.


Today’s 60 Second Interview is with rebel leader and daughter of the former Sentry Emissary, Natalie Buchanan

1. Please describe yourself in three words.
Oh gosh…erm, petite, inquisitive, rebellious!   

2. What’s your favorite pastime? 
Kissing Ash! I never get tired of those lips. 

3. Cats or dogs.
Cats, definitely. I used to have a kitten called Truffles, but he was brutally murdered. It still upsets me to think about it.  

4. What’s your favorite food?
It changes, depending on my mood! But if I had to pick one thing, I’d choose candy-apples, because the taste brings back so many good memories from my childhood, and vacationing with my family in Golden Sands.

5. Tell us a secret about yourself.
I can’t roll my tongue. 

6. What are you afraid of?
Losing the people I love. 

7. Who do you love the most in this world?
I think it’s pretty obvious, but I love Ash more than anyone in this world. But my sister, Polly, has a very special place in my heart too. 

8. Who do you hate the most?
Purian Rose. Grrrrr. He makes my blood boil!

9.  Ash or Elijah?
Ash, always. 

10.  If you had one wish, what would it be?
I wish that humans and Darklings could legally be together.

Prizes are 1 paperback copy of Black City, one hardbound copy of Phoenix and swag. Open internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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