by Elizabeth Black
Series: Black City #2
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Weeks after his crucifixion and rebirth as Phoenix, Ash Fisher believes his troubles are far behind him. He and Natalie are engaged and life seems good. But his happiness is short-lived when he receives a threatening visit from Purian Rose, who gives Ash an ultimatum: vote in favor of Rose’s Law permanently relegating Darklings to the wrong side of the wall or Natalie will be killed. The decision seems obvious to Ash; he must save Natalie. But when Ash learns about The Tenth, a new and deadly concentration camp where the Darklings would be sent, the choice doesn’t seem so simple. Unable to ignore his conscience, Ash votes against Rose’s Law, signing Natalie’s death warrant and putting a troubled nation back into the throes of bloody battle.
I enjoyed Black City and Elizabeth’s Romeo and Juliet romance set against the backdrop of a dark and gritty dystopian world, so I was anxious to slip back into the series. Richards amped up the suspense, drama and delivered action-packed scenes in Phoenix the second novel. I consumed this in a single afternoon and my three world review would be: intense, dramatic, heart-stopping.
We pick up a few months after Black City ended and Purian Rose is getting ready to hold the vote for Rose’s Law. He is determined to win. He threatens Natalie’s life if Ash doesn’t vote in favor of the law. Ash has become a symbol for the movement against Rose’s Law and is referred to as the “Phoenix”. When Ash chooses to do the right thing all hell breaks loose and the tale that unfolds is fast pace, action packed and filled with romantic angst.
I struggled with Natalie and Ash a little in this book, not that they didn’t feel genuine but rather their behavior. While I understood Natalie’s behavior it still made me want to scream. She thinks she is doing the right thing but I felt she was wrong, selfish and totally wanted to rip my hair out. Ash is brave, confused, hurt, and I wanted him to just confront the issues head on. Elijah Theroux, the Bastet boy Natalie saved in her mom’s lab comes to her asking for help and offers a weapon to defeat Rose and his regime. He is an interesting character who aided them, added drama and at one point shook me to my core. Friends of Ash and Natalie are back and they make new friends as well. Each added to the overall tale. Sebastian makes appearances and ooh I loathe him. If Purian Rose doesn’t make your blood run cold I don’t think anything ever will.
The suspenseful war between the people, darklings and government was thrilling and had me turning the pages as our heroes fought against unspeakable odds. There are dark moments, sacrifices and betrayals that had my heart racing. Total five star and exceeds the story of book one, however and this is a big however the character’s romance made me totally crazy. They love each other; it’s clear to everyone and they have declared it to each other. Something happens, and it’s a tearjerker, an earth-shattering thing but secrets, whispers, jealousy and lies blow it up and there are misunderstandings, pain, sorrow and …ugh! It was frustrating and heartbreaking and eek gads people! Thankfully we get closure by the end of the book and I guess one could say the author had me full vested, rooting for them even as I wanted to slap them silly. The ending had my hear racing and loathing the idea of waiting a year for the final book.
Phoenix was emotional charged, intense tale that kept me immersed in its world. Despite my issues with the characters, Richards held me captive and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book which due out in 2014.
I wasn’t a fan of Black City and told myself I wasn’t going to read Phoenix. BUT. You review is starting to convince me 🙂 and 2014? That’s.. a long time. ha
Great review 🙂
I hope you read it.
That good? It has been a while since I read a truly awesome dystopian novel
Awesome review. Good to see you still enjoyed the story even though it was hard to connect to the characters!!
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
I just couldn’t get through the first book for some reason. It’s odd since most people seem to have liked it, but it just didn’t pull me in. Perhaps I should give it another try, especially now that I know this book offers closure. I SO despise cliffhangers. I’m sorry the relationship was a bit disappointing and frustrating, but everything else sounds great.
Too bad about the issues with the characters, but I am happy you still liked the book. I have been meaning to start this series. Heard great things.
I consumed it too, and def understand what you mean about heir behavior!
I’ve been meaning to read the first book since some time now, but I feel like I’m over dystopians for now because all those Harper Teen ones were terrible for me. (Although I still have to read 5th Wave since everyone just adored that one!)
I’m sorry to hear about the characters, but I’m glad that overall you enjoyed the book!
Great review, Kim!
Kim, great review once again I love how you compared it to Romeo and Juliet and again a great cover
This series sounds interesting. I’ve found I tend to love books full of political machinations. I will have to search around for book one. And this sounds like a fantasy as well as a dystopia, which strikes me as an interesting blending of genres; generally dystopias are science fiction.
I’m getting a bit leery of dystop’s. I have this as an e book (Black City) & I keep passing it over afraid that’s it too political or too Scy Fy-ish. I cant quite put it into words. The feel wasnt striking me. I tried to read Chap 1 of BC and I was like “Hmmm..” It wasn’t bad, it just wasnt sitting well with me. I think I am getting Dystopian Burnout. lolz. I have 5th Wave ready to go and Quarantine 2 and decided to read a contemp romance type book instead.
Which is odd considering I freaking ADORE dystops. Ahh well..Hope your day is going well hun. Talk to ya soon!
Wow what a choice to have to make! The fate of one or the fate of thousands. Not so certain I’d be a quick decider in that field either. Have not read the first one, but may check it out. Thanks for the share!
Melissa (Books and Things)
Okay, I could totally deal with the wanting to slap as long as I get closure! 😀 This sounds so good and I still have that first one on my wishlist! Now you have added this one to that list. Must read!
The world sounds completely fascinating. I haven’t been able to get my hand on the first book yet. Ugh! I am happy that you did enjoy this. Awesome review. I really want to read them both now.
I think they are well done, despite the relationship drama this time!
Exactly, if I didn’t get closure despite how much I enjoyed this..it would have lost a cup!
hope you get a chance to read them.
No, no heavy sci-fi here, you should pick it back up and 5th Wave rocked!
this has a whole Hitler kind of mentality with the government .
It was different usually romances are not the focally point of dystopians
It took me a year to finally read book one, this is interesting in that the romance is a large part of it. It’s action packed and dark, totally hope you try it and heck yes 5th Wave is a must read!
Ha, yeah I am enjoying despite them!
Well it was realistic at least, how many relationships do you know that got rocky because they didn’t open up.
I was kind of shocked when I began reading book one, until I realized that its a romance, set in a dystopian world and then it all came together for me. It really is a dark world and the whole Hitler mentality of the government is creepy.
yeah, at least it was resolved but ooh “off with their heads!”
I am enjoy them!
I haven’t seen one of those in a while. I’ll have to read it.
Sharon - Obsession with Books
I really enjoyed Black City so I’m quite eager to get hold of the sequel. I’m glad you enjoyed this despite the characters behavior,
A great review Kimba! 🙂
I didn’t love the first book, but I have to say that I’m still curious to see what happens in this one. I’m just not so sure I can handle the drama regarding the romance, it sounds like one that would drive me pure INSANE. I don’t have much patience with angst and drama these days though sometimes I’m surprised and end up liking the extra drama. So I don’t know… Sort of on the fence about this one.
Oh oh… I am very curious about what this bad thing is that happened with the romance. I hope it isn’t too irritating. I am very interested in this series! Happy weekend to you!
As much as it drove me crazy it was in retrospect good
It is fast paced and I really ended up enjoying it!
Instead of confiding in him she pushes him away “to protect him”….
Gah! I still have the first book to read! I am glad you are really liking this series even if the romance took a bad turn.