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Phoenix Awakens (The Phoenix Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Age Level: 12 - 18||Grade Level: 7 - 12|
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Top Customer Reviews
The characters were likable and well developed. There were several plot twists that kept the story moving. I thoroughly enjoyed the first installment of The Phoenix. Book 2 please.
Attempting to take her usual seat she found it taken by a preppy junior in senior calculus, highlighting immediately that a new nerdy math geek had arrived at West High's student body. As Clara continued her to converse with Nate, a friend she'd known since kindergarten, it wasn't long before her lunchtime table for two became a larger affair: Nate having silently pleaded with she's-hot-can-we-sit-with-you-eyes. Once at lunch a new last minute inclusion was brought to Julia's attention. The offer now also needed to be extended to the hot hunk Graham, aka. Clara's brother, presently chatting away with West High seniors pole position bitch, Libby.
Never one to have been likely to meet hot guys, her alternative visage and choice of friends fitting the contrasting social circle instead, Julia isn't sure if it was the past two weeks of sleepless nights or the tingle making it's way up her arm when she shook his hand, that nearly brought her to her knees. The lunchtime table that had shrunk recently to just her and Sam, after friends transferred to a school specialising in alternate lifestyles, looked to be getting a rather large but not necessarily desired face lift. Not if Graham's attendance at her mealtime retreat brought with it the class A bitch still surgically attached to his arm.
Julia hadn't needed Sam to tell her just that morning that she looked like crap. The shrink remark wasn't totally unexpected either, after all, Sam isn't the sort to hold back. Its largely the main reason she could hold Libby off from getting stuck into her whenever chance presented an opportunity. Who spends two weeks dreaming the exact same dream that results in them awakening more exhausted than when they went to bed. The same threads of chasing after an unknown person to stop an unknown event starred in her nightly escapades. Sam's snarky remarks weren't needed in highlighting the toll it was having. She only needed to awaken to feel her mounting exhaustion and her bathroom mirror to know how its showing up on her looks. Julia's mother had abandoned her and her father when she was only one year old. You'd think if she was meant to be suffering constant anxious dreams, that it might've had something to do with this and her father's constant refusal to answer any questions she has about her mother. Constant wonder over what went wrong has never been resolved, but if the dreams were related with her mother in any way, then it isn't something she could yet see.
Meeting a new girl with more optimistic enthusiasm than her previous whole lunchtime group combined, and her hunk of yum brother seemed to be just enough stimulation to tip her over the precarious edge she was barely holding onto; that's if the tingling and dejavu were anything to go by. Going off of brother dearest's eyes and his reaction to shaking her hand, Julia knew she wasn't the only one picking up on some strange tactile reaction. Her sleep deprived body and addled brain could barely piece together what she was doing in her day, let alone produce a socially acceptable response. Her pursing and opening and closing lips that seem to be incapable of producing sound is surely making her look like a fish out of water. Just the thought of that image ruined any further chance of even responding, if she actually had any experience with boys even she'd still be able to see how wrong it is. Unfortunately Libby, with her model good looks and clothing plus her team captain popularity, didn't miss her social inabilities either. She'd certainly wasted no time at all in publicly marking her territory to let the rest of the female student body know the score.
Had Julia not been so overwhelmed, or lacking the wit and courage to speak her mind, she'd have told Libby to just pee on him already, and get it damn thing over with already. Now seated at her lunch table, an event that has never before happened in her whole schooling career to date, Bitchy whispered only loud enough to force Graham into having to lean in to hear her story; did he not know he was being manipulated? In her present physical and mental state, she couldn't tell if he was interested, just being polite, or just too stupid to see the ploy for what it truly is. As expected, though, Libby's presence had forced her bestie into a impromptu departure from the canteen the moment she caught sight of the interlopers at her table, that and the fact that their table seemed to have grown legs and walked to a place in the canteen that neither of them would dream of sitting. If it weren't for Nate's bumbling and Clara's please like me approach to the world, Julia also would've left. Had she even bothered to sit down at all. As it was, she'd be fielding animosity from Sam for days over this stunt.
In horror movies the girl who would only get in the way of people trying to help runs from the danger, only to trip, stumble, and fall right at the feet of the killer, who then promptly dismemberes her to stop her staccato screeching. In action movies the girl who least appears able to save the day runs toward the danger to reveal through some incomprehensible final minute display, that they're the real heroine whose been living a life of obscurity and saving people estate every other day. Julia doesn't consider that she's either, but that if push came to shove, the former girl who's killed off in the first few acts of the film, is more comparable to her high school career without Sam being around to protect her. Why this incessant dream staring who must obviously be her doppelganger, stars a girl who looks like her and who's running toward danger is still as shocking now as it was two weeks ago when it began. Why her Random-Eye-Movement befuddled brain insisted upon trespassing dreams where she's trying to be the heroine made no sense at all, and least of all to herself.
That night after her luncheon changes, getting to sleep isn't the difficulty. Hell, she doubts her head had even reached a pillow before she quite literally had passed out. Perhaps the only question she'll have any chance of finding an answer to in the near future, is if it is actually possible for her sleeping body to be competing a decathlon that reflects anything comparable to what her ephemeral dream-self was feeling to be dragging her through. If she couldn't find a way to put a stop to it, and soon, then the increasing mental and physical tolls felt only steps away from not even having the spare energy to wake up, let alone to just get through her school day and nothing else. How do you explain to your single dad who can't afford to be taking time off, that he needed to have you committed because you can no longer without getting more tired than you were when you went to bed. She'd crossed the bridge of thinking that if she could just discover who and why she's chasing, then it might permit some minimal amount of resolution that could shift the dream onto some sort of next step.
But try as she might and especially given she hasn't the first clue about being a lucid dreamer, it didn't matter how hard she tried or how much she wanted it, she just couldn't catch up; until now, that is. For the first time in two weeks the dream changed enough to reveal not who she was chasing, and maybe not even why. But what she was chasing became evident that night when dream-self now stares at a topless jean clad guy getting cut up by some cloaked men and a nasty looking blade. Following on from the aggressors' carving, laying there in a clearing by the marshes is a guy covered in dust and his own blood. As she crept closer she promptly realised she could recognise the guy given he sat at her lunch table just that day. There laying in the dirt at her feet is Clara's brother Graham. Weeks of ephemeral torture and absolute exhaustion and befuddlement, and only two changes have occurred and both are in the same day? Coincidence or not, somehow and some way the newcomers must be linked to her dreams.
As best Julia can tell, she's stumbled onto two sides of the same coin without understanding anything about why the coin exists at all. She knows through and through that it relates to her missing mother, herself, and two new friends at school: one she must get to know because she's the sort of friend material she thought she'd had, but it is later discovered as masquerading as the sort of thing every kid hopes to have - true friendship; and the other is the new friend's year older brother who sends tingles through her body and makes her knees weak with the way he treats her and the things he says to her. Forgetting what has passed or what might come, she's formed a psychic link with two new students who'd arrived two weeks after the link that ties them together was formed.
Now Julia must learn as best she can, everything that has come to pass. For some the knowledge must finally be dragged kicking and screaming from her father's true memories. For some she'll have to hear and heed the warnings of a class A bitch who's now showing signs of posession. Fore some she'll need to commune with an ancestor who can't possibly exist in her uneducated understanding of the forces that are trying to be raised. Deep down she knows it in some way revolves around a heritage lost when her mother went missing sixteen years ago. More current and possibly more importantly, its because she now knows that lives depend on her knowing what supernatural forces are in play, and how to access them. Julia's formerly been someone who'd laugh at the notion that something supernatural could happen. Now, not only does she have to believe in it, she also has to learn how to harness it. If her choices prevent this from happening in then people are going to die. This includes some she loves and others she'd be more inclined to hate, but either way the deaths of the latter could mean the same for the former.
Phoenix Awakens begins as a somewhat psychic mystery of prophetic or oracle-based dreaming by an alternative girl coming to the cusp of young adulthood. She's still trying to find her rhythm and her place in the world and has only ever had a few friends, one of which she believed it to be as close as it could be. Bereft of that friendship which had situated itself as meeting her needs, it instead is revealed as a masquerade of the tightness she thought existed. Happenstance classroom seating arrangements had fortunately began a tentative link to a new friend a year ahead on "geeky math nerd" calculus lesson before the old gave way to the new. This leads to her first burgeoning of love to a hot guy who's the new friend's older brother, who is therefore about the same age as her.
The two new students bring with them a history they'd been trying to leave at the place they last lived with their father, a man divorced from their mother. In coming to West High they'd shifted homes to now live with their mother. The events involved began occurring sympathetically in Julia's dreams before she ever had the chance to meet them, and had those events not been extreme and strange with regard to the accepted version of the laws of nature, then neither would likely have believed such a connection possible. Stagnated and taking a toll on her everyday health, her recent dreams never started to form meaning, or to change until the very night that followed her first actual meeting with the brother and sister. Only now do they move forward in content that relates specifically to Julia instead of unknowingly just relating to her two new friends. All of which leads somehow back to her mother, secret societies, and the phoenix.
The purely fantasy elements of the story arrive later in the novel, but as indicated above, the psychic thread starts early and continues throughout. With the early elements there's a strong coming-of-age mystery/drama which is entertaining in its own right. By the finish a different sort of coming-into takes form which is likely to make up a large component of the earlier segments of the next book. Julia is an intriguing character and the blend of different personalities is an enjoyable cocktail of different sorts. This is not to suggest that there is any constructive complaints in that analysis, its a purely objective intention in my mention of it. The central characters are a tight-knit bunch with some external connections to other characters that are necessary for the story to play out, but not as integral to the inner dynamics, but important to plot development nonetheless. You could almost see this book fitting comfortably into the role of a prequel for the overarching storyline.
There's a comfortable pace without any flashy sequences earlier in the plot that can sometimes be used to dazzle you into tieing over to the next one. Instead it uses mostly close to home real life sequence and importance that keep you reading because of how close they could be to your own, or someone you know's experience. Sure and steady would be the description that comes to mind, until the core aspects relating to the book's title begin taking off. Once there the events are pretty snappy in pace, making the last half of the novel (maybe closer to the last third) feel like it takes less time to get through than the earlier counterparts. This isn't unusual in any significant way and should definitely not be considered a criticism. The story building is important and well done, a necessary component to empathise more with characters to truly feel at one with the plight of protagonists. Although no point-of-view changes take place Julia is the sort of person who considers things from others' perspectives, so the single narration doesn't open any holes in the experience.
Overall Phoenix Awakens has done a really good job at making me feel like its worthwhile committing to at least the next book in the series; where a shift in the exact nature of the content should take place. It'd be a fine line between an introduction plus a review, and telling spoilers to actually describe why I get this impression; so I'll leave it at a prediction of much more magic and not as large of a focus on the psychic in future books to come. Eliza Nolan is a new author in my library, and following this novel I'll certainly have two of hers there. The second novel, From the Ashes, is under way and shouldn't be too long before publication, you can contact her via: email@example.com!
This book gives you one heck of a thrill with mystery, magic and so much more. So if you are looking for a book with quite a few twists and turns that take you on an exciting journey than you need to give this book a shot.
Julia is such an amazing character. You can easily fall in love with her, because of her big heart. Not only does she have a big heart, but she also has a way of growing on you. The world was so well built in this story along with the characters making it incredibly easy to fall into this world for hours. Instead of reading it is like you are there.
This book had it all. It had me saying What?... OMG... Wow.. then okay I need to go to bed, just one more page. Then nope that isn't gonna happen I have to read it all right now. Then the end comes and; No, but I need more right now. That is the moment when you discover how great the book was, and that it had a big enough impact on you that you actually need the next book in front of you right then.
I loved that I was able to just let everything go and escape to somewhere else. I read so that I can get away from life stresses, or boredom, yet at the same time I get to live so many other lives making me think about how beautiful life really is. I think if I didn't have books I would be totally bored out of my mind everyday. I just want to read the second book now. I can not wait until the next book comes out!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed Phoenix Awakens - so much so that I didn't even stop to take notes.Read more
With humor and tension and suspense, it is as if John Hughes, Stephen King and Dean Koontz all had a...Read more
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