May 26, 2013

ARC Review--Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards

Engaged to be married, 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 the 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.

Ash can't bring himself to trade Natalie's life for those of millions of Darkling. The only way to save everyone is to escape Black City and find the Ora, a powerful weapon that could take down Purian Rose for good. But fleeing the city and finding this weapon, if it even exists, is easier said than done, and becomes a harrowing journey that could tear Ash and Natalie apart, even pushing them into the arms of others.

Fast-paced and absorbing, Phoenix is a delicious, steamy, can't-put-down read.

I borrowed this ARC from Angela at Reading Angels, who was kind enough to lend it to me. I was in no way compensated for this review.

I was most happy when Angela at Reading Angels loaned me her ARC of Phoenix! Elizabeth Richards captivated me with her world and characters in Black City. Although my memory of that one is shaky, again, it's hard to read soooo many books and try to keep up with the storyline 100%, so naturally I couldn't remember precisely everything, but enough details were rehashed so it helped.

Not much time has passed since Black City, time is moving forward though and Ash has become a huge public figure for Darkling rights and has become known as Phoenix since he was reborn from ashes after his execution. He intends to take Purian Rose down, with Natalie at his side, and their followers--the end to the segregation and mistreatment of Darklings will finally be at an end.

But before the vote even takes place, things get dicey. Like when Rose threatens Natalie's life if Ash doesn't vote in favor of Rose's Law. And the voting isn't a secret thing either. The citizens of the cities, all publicly vote by placing their ballot in a yes or no box. So Rose will know if Ash obeys or not. I first thought the voting was a private thing and was like, how is Rose going to know what Ash votes for? Problem answered.

It's after the voting is done in all the cities when the real danger starts. Chaos reigns over the United Sentry States. People--supporters of Ash and Darkling rights--are being killed by Rose's soldiers. Natalie, Ash and their friends are all Public Enemy #1, and since there's a lot of them, there's a lot of #1's! Rose is calling for their heads and offering rewards for turning them in. Dead or alive, but preferable alive so Rose can take pleasure in tormenting them.

Soon, Natalie and Ash agree to help Elijah find the Ora, along with finding his mother, so that they can try to put a stop to Rose's reign. The supposed love triangle that is Elijah-Natalie-Ash, is one I couldn't really see. True, there is some sort of chemistry between Elijah and Natalie, perhaps because she freed him from his prison cell last go around, but I just didn't really feel like there was anything between them. There were those almost maybe moments, but nothing that made me be Team Elijah.

Unfortunately, there is a secret Natalie begins to harbor, and in keeping that secret things begin to spiral out of her control and a wedge is thrust between her and Ash. It becomes one of those misunderstandings that really gets out of hand and everyone is upset with one another for the wrong reasons. It gets chaotic!! Kind of drove me insane because I kept wanting Natalie to straighten things out and tell Ash her secret, that way the drama wouldn't be necessary. But alas, that's not how things work out. Plus it would remove a hell of a lot of conflict from the story.

The romance in this one, before Natalie and Ash get into their little love spat, was pretty good. There's definitely passion between Natalie and Ash that was enjoyable to read. And it was tasteful too. Nothing overly drawn out or just thrown in there for the purpose of having something intimate. It was nice.

There were quite a few surprises in this one! I did see one coming and there's that kind of joy you get when you know you're right! But at the same time it is still shocking! It's like OMG...I knew it!! There were quite a few casualties too that totally blew me away. Elizabeth is not afraid to add a bit of gore to her story, which I found kind of shocking since it's YA. But again, YA has definitely changed since my teen days, but I love having the abundance of it all now despite my age!

I have to say that the pacing was just fabulous! It was all intense. And the action scenes were plentiful! There was rarely a dull moment. So much was happening, and the trio was constantly on the run and trying to stay out of Sebastian and his group's reach as they raced across the country.

There are some cliffhangers in this one. We still get chapters from Ash and Natalie and each ended on a cliffhanger. So it's going to be an agonizing wait until the third book comes out and I think it's the last one. Trilogies are popular in YA and I am pretty sure this is going to be one as well.

The next and possible last book is definitely going to be good! I am really hoping to see a lot more action, get some questions answered, resolutions and all that good jazz with the happy ending, but I also want to see a few of these enemies get theirs! Yeah, reading too much has definitely drawn out a dark side in me! There are just those characters that you love to hate and want to see die or at the very least suffer incredibly!

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars

Phoenix releases June 4, 2013


  1. I skimmed through your review cause I might see spoilers! haha! But judging from your rating of Phoenix I can tell that these books are really good! I'm currently reading Black City and so far I'm loving it. Can't wait to read Phoenix! :)

  2. Ohh! By the way, love your new blog design, especially the header :)

  3. This sounds really good! I haven't read the first book of the series yet but it's definitely being added to my wishlist straight away. Thanks for sharing!
    Tasha @ A Trillian Books xoxo

  4. Wow it was that good? I wasn't going to read it but now I will definetly be checking it out! Great Review(:

  5. Wow great review!! I read the first one and loved it, but that's because I haven't read a book in 5 months and that was the first one. It wasn't that exciting since it was jus tmostly them going to school, but this one has a lot more potential! Can't wait till this one is released!

  6. Does sound good! And a new one to me. :) Thank you.


Comments are an award all on their own! So my blog is an award free one! Thanks for any consideration though!