Friday, August 2, 2013

Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards

Author: Elizabeth Richards
Title: Phoenix
Series: Black City #2
Publication: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Putnam Juvenille
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Goodreads Synopsis
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.

This enthralling sequel to Black City is just as absorbing, delicious and steamy as the first book, leaving readers hungry for the series conclusion.

Natalie is struggling with a secret that she's afraid will tear her and Ash apart. Purian Rose threatens everything she loves and her future with Ash. Ash has a tremendous weight on his shoulders as he is the figure-head for the rebellion and hope for his people but when Rose corners him, he questions what's more important, the good of the people or the girl he loves. Should he save one and sacrifice the lives of the many that support the cause? What he decides will set into motion an emotionally charged and dangerous quest to find a promising solution to end Rose's tyrannous reign. 

This book is a good continuation from the first book. Ash and Natalie are together but the destruction that could be caused by Rose's law causes strain on their relationship. They both have secrets, which threaten to tear them apart and an old "friend", Elijah reappears. It's clear to Ash that Elijah from the way he looks at Natalie that he wants her but what hurts him more the attraction he sees in her eyes. Ash begins doubt their love will survive especially when Natalie seems to become more withdrawn from him. Ash and Natalie have so much to lose in this game of love and war. 

I liked how the events transpired in this book and the writing has a steady balance to keep the pace going with the emotional tempo and action sequences. The characters have developed nicely, I didn't think Purian Rose could get anymore evil but he does his job so well. Ash and Natalie seem more fragile and their bond becomes strained by outside forces in many ways. Overall, this vividly detailed world has loads of distrust and betrayal that I think anyone that's craving action and romantic angst will enjoy. 

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