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Phoenix (Black City) Hardcover – June 4, 2013

39 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Black City Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-In this follow-up to Black City (Putnam, 2012), half-Darkling Ash and human Natalie continue to pursue their forbidden romance while fighting totalitarian ruler Purian Rose. In a dystopia newly revealed as an alternate North America, Ash has become a walking symbol for unity, and each side has acquired new allies: the wolflike Lupines sniff out Rose's enemies while the feline Bastets join the resistance. After a rigged vote gives Rose a mandate for racial segregation, Ash and Natalie set off to find a hidden biological weapon. Jealousy soon erupts when Ash suspects Natalie of cheating on him with their new companion, Bastet Elijah. The writing is sloppy, details are inconsistent or unexplained, and decontextualized references to World War II (children relocated by train, undesirables referred to as "vermin") rankle. Promising plot points are introduced and then seemingly abandoned, but the conclusion ties up loose ends and provides a ready opening for the third book. As was the case in Black City, pithy phrases abound ("Hope isn't a luxury I have anymore")-and although constant misunderstandings between Ash and Natalie provide narrative tension, readers might wonder why this supposedly strong relationship is so devoid of honesty and trust. The amplified emotions, perpetual narrow escapes, and paranormal love triangle will attract teens craving a pastiche of familiar elements from Twilight and The Hunger Games, but those looking for nuance or originality will want to seek out more sophisticated alternatives.-Jill Ratzan, I. L. Peretz Community Jewish School, Somerset, NJα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

The second title in the Black City series is stronger and tighter than the debut, and it finds human heroine Natalie and her Darkling love interest, Ash, in a breathless race to find peace for the people of Black City. After the relentless events of Black City (2012), Natalie and Ash are still battling with the evil Purian Rose (think President Snow of The Hunger Games) and his power-mad quest to rule his self-designed kingdom. Rose’s Law—meant to enact the brutal segregation of Darklings in order to exert further physical as well as mind control over all citizens—is Purian Rose’s tool to use Ash in his newly minted role of the Phoenix, as he is dubbed after surviving crucifixion. As a symbol of hope to the downtrodden masses, Ash is pivotal to Rose’s desire to see the law pass. If Ash doesn’t publicly vote for it, Natalie will pay the consequences. But Ash and Natalie are strong, clever, and determined to prevail. The ongoing struggle between good and bad is delineated with heart-thumping action and strong plotting. A cliff-hanger ending will have fans eager for the next installment. Grades 9-12. --Julie Trevelyan

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Product Details

  • Series: Black City (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (June 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399159444
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399159442
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #693,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Elizabeth Richards is an award-winning journalist who spent her early career reviewing video games for a living before making the bold (or crazy) move to become a travel writer and editor, specializing in cruise holidays, despite suffering from terrible sea sickness.

In her spare time Elizabeth ran a successful lifestyle website aimed at teenage girls, where she got to interview many of her favorite bands, go to gigs and basically bag loads of free swag all in the name of "research".

More recently she worked as a website editor before deciding to pursue her dream of becoming an author. She now dedicates her time to writing fantasy books aimed at young adults. BLACK CITY is her debut novel.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By LAS Reviewer on June 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Hold on for this wild ride!

There are few books that stop me in my tracks. This is one of those books. I like a story where I'm snagged from the beginning and don't want to put it down. Yes, this was one of those books.

Elizabeth Richards writes with an intensity and a flowing quality that immersed me right into the story. I didn't want it to end. I felt like I was right there in Black City.

This story is geared towards teens and here's where my conundrum lies. Natalie and Ash are very much in love and they deal with love and life in many ways that teens do. But there is a lot of sexual contact that might not be for a younger teen. There is a lot of emotional distress in this book that a younger reader might not understand, either. But don't let that deter you! This book definitely packs a punch.

The push and pull between Natalie and Ash is interesting. I could identify with both characters. She wants to protect him and he refuses to sacrifice her. Intense reading. I got a little irritated with them after a while because I wanted them to just work things out, but come on! This is fiction and well, everything can't go smoothly.

If you want a book that's rife with emotion and struggle as well as some hot love, then this might be the book for you.

Originally posted at Long and Short Reviews
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Format: Hardcover
*sigh and dreamy look* This series keeps getting better and better, book by book. If you have not read book one if the series, Black City then I would suggest you do and also be aware there may be some slight spoilers in this review.

Phoenix picks up almost right after Black City ends. Once again the story is being told from both Ash and Natalie's POV. Ash "The boy who rose from the ashes" is now given the name PHOENIX because of the recently attempted execution by the Government and President Rose. Both Ash and Natalie remain within the walls of Black City. They desperately try to give hope to their people and somehow find a way to end this fuming war once and for all. Although the quest for freedom does not come easy for either Ash or Natalie. Things go from bad to worse when President Rose threatens Ash to make a decision between the girl he loves, and his followers, the people of Black City. Ash must now make the right choice. But how can he choose between two things he loves so dearly. With only days left to choose someone new comes into the picture....someone who offers Ash a way out and way to end this war once and for all. But the price of this freedom may be more than anyone saw coming...

From here the story truly begins - Death, Bloodshed, Battles, Lost, an Escape and a LOVE like no other.
PHOENIX has it all!

The EPIC battle to save their world.....begins with a savior; "The boy who rose from the ashes".

Wow, I was blown away by this book. I kept telling myself that this book could not get any better than Black City but boy was I wrong. PHOENIX was immensely fast paced and held my attention throughout the entire book. I read it from cover to cover in only one day. Yeah, it was THAT good! I loved the dual narration between Ash and Natalie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sheri @ Tangled Up In Books on July 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Originally posted on my blog: Tangled Up In Books

I'm so excited about winning this off of Goodreads. (Big, big thanks to Penguin for doing it! I heart you guys mucho ♥!) I've entered giveaways on there so many times before but this was my very first win. Could it have been any better than this? Nope! The Book Gods were truly smiling down on me that day. (I'm such a dork haha)

I will start off by admitting that, yes. This book frustrated me beyond all reason. I was angry and upset and characters were just pissing me off. Had I been able to reach inside the book there probably would be no need for a book 3 because most of them would be dead right now! And yet I sit here completely hooked. I mean I devoured these books. I started Black City on the evening of May 28th and here I am in the wee early hours of the 31st done with Phoenix, going a bit crazy over the fact that I have to wait until sometime in 2014 for book 3!!! Ugh. Sigh.

Most of my frustration fell within the love story. It started out nearly perfect. I was swooning over the engagement and things were so good. (Not a spoiler it's in the blurb!) Of course it was only about 50 pages in so you know something was going to shatter it all to pieces. And it did. A lot. My heart broke so many times through this book. It seemed every time I turned a page some force was pulling or attempting to pull Natalie and Ash apart. It wasn't just people either. A huge twist has me so torn up and worried, still. Sometimes it was just so hard to read.

Phoenix has quite a bit more action because we're thrust into the rebellion for the majority of this book. Which was intense and exiting. Then there's the other side of it, the loss and sadness, and quite a bit of betrayal.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kaitlyn (The Bookworm) on June 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
3.5 stars.

While I enjoyed the first book in this series, Black City, I still had some issues with it - specifically, the insta-love. I still didn't care for the romance in Phoenix, but this sequel makes up for it with plenty of action, some amazing twists, and lots more world-building.

I'm impressed with the way Elizabeth Richards has written the villain, Purian Rose. He's so twisted and will stop at nothing to get rid of Ash and Natalie. He's a deliciously creepy villain. And I love the way Richards holds nothing back - Natalie and Ash both suffer a lot in this sequel. They lose people who are dear to them, and are betrayed by people they thought they could trust.

The plot is full of twists and turns. I was excited to find that there's lots of action in Phoenix, probably even more so than in Black City. Natalie and Ash spend lots of time fighting for their lives and on the run. When there's not action, there's plenty of political intrigue. I enjoyed this aspect of the story; it really added to the world-building. There's also an excellent twist at the end that I didn't see coming at all.

What ruined the story for me was the romance. It's not exactly a love triangle, per se...but there is another guy who complicates the relationship between Natalie and Ash. I got frustrated with Natalie and Ash because they kept acting so jealous and immature. If they're really as desperately in love with each other as they claim to be, why don't they actually be honest with each other?

But despite not liking the romance, I really did enjoy Phoenix. It's a strong sequel plot-wise, and I think fans of the first book will love the tense action and surprising twists. I'm looking forward to seeing how the story ends in the final book.
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