Author: Elizabeth Richards.
Series: Yes, #2.
Source: Me My Shelf and I (Review Copy)
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile.
Published Date: 6/4/13
Barnes and Noble.
"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."
While I wish that the covers of the first book and Phoenix matched a little better, I really do like the cover of Phoenix. The burning Feather, and the destroyed city in the background display the story inside of the cover perfectly!
After enjoying a book and then reading reviews on the next book, I create these sky high expectations; what I want to get out of the book, how I want the characters to develop and how I want the story to surprise me. Phoenix was one of those. I completely fell in love with Black City, I couldn’t wait to read the second installment so I went ahead and read fantastic reviews, and even with my fear of ‘middle book syndrome’, I was expecting Phoenix to be nothing less than AMAZING.
Throughout Black City I enjoyed the dialogue, admired the characters, swooned over Ash and Natalie, and dropped by jaw while reading the ending. I was hoping to get all that, and more out Phoenix, and I did…
Phoenix takes off right where Black City ends; Natalie and her sister, Polly, are living with her best friend Day and her family. Its Natalie’s birthday and Ash has a very special surprise, for the girl who got his heart to start pumping (literally, read the first book, you’ll know what I’m talkin’ about); an engagement ring! What a good way to start the book, if I may say so myself Richards!
But things aren’t going as peachy as planned, when Ash is stopped and asked to step into a horse carriage, and finds himself sitting across from Purian Rose. Being threaten to vote for Purian Rose, instead of the Rebellion, Ash is caught between supporting the thousands of people who supported him, or his love, Natalie.
After the votes have been counted, and the election has been finalized, nothing was going to be the same. The world Ash and Natalie knew, will be changed forever. And the two are ready to do whatever it takes to save the Darklings and create a world that treats everyone equally; even if it means losing loved ones, or losing each other.
In Black City the reader was introduced to many of the main characters. In Phoenix you are introduce to A LOT of smaller characters; new characters that are working for Sebastian, new friends that help Natalie and Ash, kids that Natalie saves on an airplane, and a group of characters that help with their ultimate plan to put an end to Purian Rose.
I still love Natalie, and Ash. I also still hate Sebastian. And I’m still confused on Natalie’s mother. Natalie and Ash are definitely a power couple; nothing and no one can stop them. While my love for Ash grew more and more as the story went on, I was becoming a little annoyed by Natalie. Don’t get me wrong, Natalie is still one of my favorite characters, but in Phoenix she did seem a little bit…clingy. She constantly wanted to hold hands with Ash, or cuddle close with him; even if they were stuck in the dessert with big winter coats on…sometimes I just felt like she was over doing it. But on the other hand, she was really kicking butt when it can to saving and looking out for others!
I found myself reading the last fifty or so pages, with my mouth open (please do not try this; it can cause serious dryness in the tongue area). A lot happens towards the end of the book, which totally made up for all the waiting around they did in the previous eighty pages. The friend Ash and Natalie thought they had, isn’t so friendly after all (or is he?), and the two get separated when Natalie is dragged onto an airplane. When she finally gets the chance to calm down and see what is going on around her, you’ll never believe who she bumps into!!
Overall Phoenix was everything I expected and more. The characters were still interesting. The story was action packed and filled with twists and turns. And the ending was mind boggling!! While the story was a bit slower this time (with all the traveling, planning and waiting the characters did), I still really enjoyed the story and am excited to see what Elizabeth Richards as in store for her readers in the next book!