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Finding the Phoenix (The Celestial Talisman Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 374 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
Emotionally destroyed and physically abused, Heaven awakes from the dead with vague memories of a bad man, and no memory of the guardian who insists he's saving her.
Heaven’s training with the Circle and learning the sometimes-complex aspects of a secret society takes up the better part of the book, though the action flows faster near the end. Some of the characters touch upon intriguing powers I wanted to read more about. Perhaps it’s the author’s intent to beckon us toward the next book.
Overall, the novel reads well, fans of celestial battles will look forward to following a building conflict on track toward carrying the series to a grand conclusion.
Heaven, Vinny for short, is a complicated and interesting character. We don’t know what her real name was before she died, but learn quickly she comes from an abusive background. She is very guarded about her past and it will take time to fully know her. I do like what I have seen so far though. While she is insecure, she is learning to be more assertive and to trust as she becomes more confident.
The premise of the plot is good versus evil with a load of twists thrown in to complicate the story line. Shades of gray are explored in fundamental and personal ideals. The Handmaidens and shadow creatures are frightening and devastatingly evil. One of the things I enjoyed most in this story is the development of relationships’ between the Guardians and their Wielders. Ms. O’Conner has an excellent handle on all of her players. Heaven has a lot to learn about herself, and I believe the Circle isn’t even aware of the reaches of her abilities. I am enjoying the roller-coaster ride so far and can’t wait to see how things develop in this series.
I would recommend Finding the Phoenix to all readers who enjoy Urban Fantasy with interesting, complicated characters.
FYI: Finding the Phoenix is the first book in The Celestial Talisman Series. It contains strong language and British and/or South African English spelling conventions. **Originally written for "BigAl’s Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy.** March 29, 2016
Format/Typo Issues: I encountered no significant proofing errors.
That's exactly what happens to Chantelle, the enigmatic protagonist of Finding the Phoenix, the opening act of the Celestial Talisman series, a thrilling fantasy tale set in modern-day South Africa.
Chantelle, who also goes by the names Heaven and Vin in the book, barely has time to breathe, let alone remember how or why she ended up in the morgue.
The poor girl is about to become involved in an epic battle between the forces of light and darkness, represented by the Circle, the order on the side of the light and the Skaath Diurga, the mysterious and sinister forces of darkness.
The struggle has been going on for ages right under our noses, and our protagonist doesn't even know if she's dead or alive. Much less does Chantelle know that she just might hold the key to the conflict's final outcome.
Time is running short and Chantelle not only has to figure out what's happening to her or put her very jaded past behind; she also has to learn how to harness the amazing abilities that Mother Nature bestowed upon her if she wishes to stay alive and come out on top in the end.
Joining our protagonist in her quest are the members of the secret society of The Circle: the powerful and courageous women known as the Wielders and their valiant male protectors, the Guardians; the perfect answer to the Skaath Diurga's evil Handmaidens and their Thralls.
When a murder mystery involving one of the Circle's most highly respected Wielders arises, the stakes become higher and Chantelle is thrown right into the fire . . . quite literally.
How will our protagonist react when the time is come to test her unproven skills and to fulfill the faith that her newfound brothers and sisters have placed upon her shoulders as the prophecied Child of Heaven? Will she be able to shed a past filled with painful memories to stake her claim, or will she be buried under the weight of her own innermost fears and insecurities, when there's little time to breathe, let alone to think?
Such is the way of things with Finding the Phoenix, a fast-paced novel that will leave you breathless and wanting to read more about the intriguing world and interesting characters that author Caitlin O'Connor has created here.
Characters are deep and well fleshed out; they're all flawed in their own way, just like all of us. In addition to the protagonist, readers will love Alistair, an intriguing, devil-may-care type at a glance, who may not be what he seems to be on the inside.
I loved the mystery surrounding the history of the Circle and the Skaath Diurga. I'm certainly looking forward to learning more about the lore of these two secret societies that have been waging a silent war in our world for what seems to be eons now.
I found the protagonist's transformation brilliant. Alas, I couldn't say much more about this without giving away spoilers. Suffice it to say that Chantelle/Heaven/Vin's battered and bruised mind begins to heal from a very painful past in a way that made sense to me . . . until something gets in the way and sends her—and the reader—reeling.
Author Caitlin O'Connor can sure deliver a fast-paced, tight story. She does a wonderful job to keep the reader engaged from chapter to chapter. Unfortunately, the book felt a bit rushed at times, perhaps lacking a change of pace here or there to let readers catch their breath from time to time.
All in all, I believe Caitlin O'Connor has a winner in her hands here. Finding the Phoenix is an excellent opening to the Celestial Talisman, a series that promises great potential, which I am certainly looking forward to reading to its conclusion.
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