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Phoenix (Black City) Hardcover – June 4, 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 42 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
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #436,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was so so frustrating but I also loved it. I spent the entire book wanting to strangle something and resisting the urge to toss my book across the room, but at the same time I could not put the book down. It was glued to my hands and anyone who tried to disturb my reading was treated to one of my patented death glares. I really enjoyed Black City, but Phoenix really ramped up the action.

The world Elizabeth Richards has created is absolutely amazing. It is dark and twisted and dangerous and nobody is ever safe. She doesn’t shy away from that danger and there is absolutely no guarantee that any characters will make it out alive. There are so many twists and turns along the way, it is impossible to see where the story is going. It is such a perfect combination of dystopian and paranormal. The world embodies everything you expect from a dystopian, but the addition of darklings and other creatures really makes it stand out.

My favorite character of them all is Ash. He is such a great character and my heart hurt for him in this one. He is put through so much and he cannot seem to catch a break. Nothing ever goes smoothly for him. I did get frustrated when he jumped to conclusions, but I do get it. What else was he expected to think? He loves Natalie so much and the thought of losing her absolutely crushes him. I love how much he loves Natalie. It’s adorable and so romantic.

Natalie is the one I truly struggled with in this book. I really wanted to knock some sense into her. My gosh. I cannot remember the last time I was this frustrated with a character. At first I understood where she was coming from, but then I just couldn’t take it anymore. She was being incredibly selfish.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was most happy when Angela at Reading Angels loaned me her ARC of Phoenix! Elizabeth Richards captivated me with her world and characters in Black City. Although my memory of that one is shaky, again, it's hard to read soooo many books and try to keep up with the storyline 100%, so naturally I couldn't remember precisely everything, but enough details were rehashed so it helped.

Not much time has passed since Black City, time is moving forward though and Ash has become a huge public figure for Darkling rights and has become known as Phoenix since he was reborn from ashes after his execution. He intends to take Purian Rose down, with Natalie at his side, and their followers--the end to the segregation and mistreatment of Darklings will finally be at an end.

But before the vote even takes place, things get dicey. Like when Rose threatens Natalie's life if Ash doesn't vote in favor of Rose's Law. And the voting isn't a secret thing either. The citizens of the cities, all publicly vote by placing their ballot in a yes or no box. So Rose will know if Ash obeys or not. I first thought the voting was a private thing and was like, how is Rose going to know what Ash votes for? Problem answered.

It's after the voting is done in all the cities when the real danger starts. Chaos reigns over the United Sentry States. People--supporters of Ash and Darkling rights--are being killed by Rose's soldiers. Natalie, Ash and their friends are all Public Enemy #1, and since there's a lot of them, there's a lot of #1's! Rose is calling for their heads and offering rewards for turning them in. Dead or alive, but preferable alive so Rose can take pleasure in tormenting them.
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