Hello everyone! Today’s my stop in the Phoenix Philippine Blog Tour. It’s the very first blog tour I joined which makes this post special to me! 🙂
Author: Elizabeth Richards
Published: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Source: ARC provided by the author
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.
*Image and synopsis from Goodreads
Phoenix takes off a few months after the horrible events in Black City such as the riot and Ash’s execution which he miraculously survived. Purian Rose, the wicked leader of the United Sentry States wants to pass a law that will segregate the Darklings from humans. He wants Ash to vote in favor of it; or else, Natalie will die. Torn between saving his people and the girl he loves, Ash is thrust into a very serious and complex situation that tests his loyalty to the Darklings and to Natalie. The whole premise of Rose’s Law has a hidden agenda that will shock readers at the moment of discovery. Soon, the war begins and citizens of the nation are forced to take sides to save their lives.
In Black City, readers witnessed the beginning of Ash and Natalie’s beautiful and alluring relationship. In Phoenix, on the other hand, that relationship deepens and evolves into a mature one. Despite the complicated circumstances in the story, Ash and Natalie showed how strong they are as a couple. Their relationship became rocky at some point yet both did not give up no matter how betrayed and hurt they felt. Now that is what you call true devotion. Readers will get to know more about Ash and Natalie in their internal monologues. Feelings of love, desire, heartbreak, grief, and bewilderment unfold their strengths and weaknesses in those monologues. Amid the difficult situations, there are of course sweet moments that will set readers’ hearts ablaze.
Reading the book was a grand adventure. Phoenix takes readers to dangerous and magnificent places in the United Sentry States that will leave them completely breathless. Each place Ash and Natalie went to with the sexy and gorgeous Bastet boy Elijah leads to startling revelations. Those scenes splintered my heart into pieces as I read them. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t move. It felt like fiction became my reality. The emotions were so genuine and that’s one of the factors I look for in a book. I believe being real comes from within and I definitely can say that Elizabeth Richards wrote Phoenix with all her heart, making the book timeless and most of all, priceless.
Also, Phoenix wouldn’t be as spectacular as it is without the heart-stopping tension surrounding the story. There were lots of running, hiding, and bloody battle scenes! I kept pounding my bedside table as I felt tension wrapping its arms around me. My mouth unleashed an outburst of “WHAT”, “OMG” and “OH NO,” with each expression ending in infinite exclamation points. Add to that my facial expressions which made my mom curious as to what was happening to me. New characters are also introduced in Phoenix that added spice and spark to the story. Each fresh face has an essential role and contribution that made the plot twists and turns very appealing and intense.
Phoenix is a remarkable novel. I’m completely drawn to Elizabeth Richards’ powerful writing. The vivid descriptions painted clear and striking images in my mind. And the emotions embedded within the brilliantly crafted prose make the novel a magnificent work of art. Like The Sight, this amazing sequel to Black City will certainly enclose readers in an enthralling experience they’ll never forget. I seriously can’t wait for Book 3!
In today’s ‘Scenes That Inspired’ Elizabeth shares the building that was the inspiration behind Thrace’s infamous tiered-roof taverns, which appear in PHOENIX.
“Ash lifts the truck door, letting in a welcome blast of cool air, which smells of spices and herbs. We’re in Thrace’s bustling central market, which puts the one in Chantilly Lane to shame. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of round buildings made from red sandstone bricks. Many of the buildings have murals painted on the walls, so the city is a vision of color. But this isn’t what’s most striking. All the buildings have elaborately tiered roofs, covered in tiles made from a strange, shimmering metal I’ve never seen before. It’s highly polished and reflects the light, so the whole city seems to be glittering, like sunlight on the sea.”
– From PHOENIX, page 238
[Photo: © Amelia Vincent 2013]
“Weirdly, the shape of Thrace’s famous taverns was inspired by this Buddhist Peace Pagoda in Milton Keynes. I loved the tiered roof, circular shape of the building, and the stone carvings on the wall, and wanted to incorporate it into my novel. However, I wanted the taverns to have a rustic-meets-futuristic feel, which is why they’re made from red sandstone bricks with hand-painted murals on them, but have these advanced-technology, solar paneled roofs.”
About the author:
Elizabeth Richards is an award-winning journalist, who spent her early career reviewing video games before making the bold (or crazy) move into travel writing, despite suffering from terrible travel sickness. In her spare time, she ran a successful lifestyle website aimed at teenage girls, where she got to interview many of her favorite bands, go to gigs and basically blag loads of free swag all in the name of ‘research’.
Elizabeth lives in Buckinghamshire, England, with her husband. BLACK CITY is her debut novel. The sequel, PHOENIX, is out on June 4, 2013.
Fun facts about…Elizabeth Richards
- She’s an identical twin…and yes, she is the evil one.
- She’s part sloth.
- She hopes to see 10 volcanoes before she dies. She’s already climbed Vesuvius, had lunch on top of Mount Etna and watched Stromboli erupt at night.
- She’s a little bit obsessed with Daniel Radcliffe.
- Some of her favorite TV shows are Buffy, Being Erica, and Extreme Couponing.
- Her favorite authors are JK Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Beth Revis, Stephen Fry, and Veronica Roth.
One paperback copy of Black City, One hardbound copy of Phoenix, and swag! Open INTERNATIONALLY. 🙂
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