Author: Elizabeth Richards
Series: Black City
Book #: 2
Goodreads Rating: 4.28
Published: June 4th, 2013.
Ash and Natalie are just starting to build a life together when things in the United Sentry States go from bad to worse. Ash and Natalie find themselves at the center of turmoil when dictator Purian Rose threatens Natalie’s life unless Ash votes in favor of Rose’s Law—a law that will send Darklings and other dissenters to a deadly concentration camp known as the Tenth.
When Ash can’t bring himself to trade Natalie’s life for those of millions of Darklings, her fate is sealed. Enter Elijah Theroux, the handsome Bastet boy Natalie once saved from her mother’s labs, where he’d been experimented on and tortured. It was his venom the Sentry used to create the lethal Golden Haze, the heart of the government conspiracy that led to Black City’s uprising and Ash’s rebirth as the Phoenix, the face of the rebellion. Elijah is back and Ash doesn’t like him; it’s clear he’s taken with Natalie, and Ash fears she may have feelings for him as well.
But Elijah also may have the answer to taking down Purian Rose for good—a powerful weapon called the Ora. Ash, Natalie and Elijah just have to escape Black City undetected to find it. But fleeing the city and finding this weapon (if it even exists) are easier said than done, and the quest could tear Ash and Natalie apart, even pushing them into the arms of others.
Oh gosh! This was GOOD! A great sequel to Black City. The way it just kept moving along, barely stopping to take a breath... and when it did take a breath? Even more exquisite! I thought it was going to be hard to top or even be as equally awesome Black City was but Phoenix definitely managed to beat the second book lull expectation. Thank goodness for that!
I think what made Phoenix such a success is the way that Elizabeth Richards dealt with our expectations. You would think the same old thing was going to happen yet again in a dystopian novel, all the signs would be there, but then something completely DIFFERENT would happen. This happened like three different times in the novel! It was a relief really, because if the things I thought were going to happen had happened then I wouldn't have liked this novel as much :P
Natalie and Ash are in the middle of a civil war. All their moves are being watched, and time is running out for Ash to choose. To save Natalie is to potentially sacrifice thousands of lives, can Ash do that? Decide between her and his people? And then Elijah comes into the picture, the cat person Natalie saved from being experimented on further in Black City, with tall tales of a secret weapon that can help them save the war. Soon enough they embark on this great adventure full of dire situations and complicated feelings.
One thing that still utterly bothered me was the constant use of "fragg". I hate this made up language, specially since the only words it makes up are the "bad" words. I believe using the word fuck, specially if only use when necessary, won't ruffle too many feathers. I was also very confused at the beginning with the many different characters and had a hard time remembering who was who, so you may want to re read Black City before going into this one, or look the characters up on a wiki.
The relationship between Ash and Natalie got a bit complicated in this installment. Mostly due to very serious mis-communication, but it still led to some very tense sexy scenes. The is a definite love triangle thing going on between Natalie, Ash, and Elijah... But I wasn't bothered or annoyed by it. I enjoyed it! Elijah is very charming, but NOTHING compared to Ash's magnetism.
BTW guys, I absolutely HATE Sebastian with all my SOUL. He is the worst bad guy ever, if you thought you hated him in Black City then just WAIT til you read Phoenix, you will want to kill him with your bare hands. He is a disgusting pig and I hope he is castrated before he dies. That is all.
All in all Phoenix was great all around. Maybe a little slow in the beginning, but once they start running it's full speed ahead! The ending left me scratching my head. It was definitely unexpected, like the rest of the twists in the novel. But because of that it was good! Now, so long, until the third Black City title comes out, I cannot wait!