Thursday, June 19, 2014

Review: Phoenix (Black City, #2) by Elizabeth Richards

Title: Phoenix
Series: Black City, #2
Author: Elizabeth Richards
Category: Dystopian/ Romance/ Paranormal
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 4 stars out of 5 
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.

My Review: 

I have always enjoyed the dark atmosphere that Richards adds to this series. The first book took me away into a world quite unlike anything that I have encountered. And the second book made that world even darker, interesting, and one I have thoroughly enjoyed! And the creatures that Richards adds, though very commonly used, felt fresh in their own way.
We all turn our heads up to the sky. At first I don't know what she's referring to, then I realize what's blocking out the moonlight. My blood turns to ice. 
Two months have passed since the last book ended and quite a bit has changed. Ash is working, using his ‘resurrection’ to help aid his people, against those who wish all Darklings gone. Ash definitely used his power to help and that was something I enjoyed about his character. But what stuck out most was how he didn’t use that power for his own gain, which he proves in the book. In all honesty I just couldn’t get enough of Ash, he really is an remarkable character. Another aspect I enjoyed was his love for Nat. He did everything in his power to protect her.

Nat has grown since the first book and over the two month in between books. Though she isn’t always my biggest fan, what I love about her is her support towards Ash. No matter his decision she supported him, even when he chose his people over her. That, in my opinion, shows great love. Now, the reason she wasn’t my biggest fan in this one was because of some of the decisions she makes when she learns something about herself – something I will not say – but some of those decisions made me want to shake her so badly and frustrated me to no end!

The love aspect, unlike the first book, felt real and very tangible. In the first book my compliant was their love did happen instantly; however, now it feels more nature and flows better with the book. They are finally developing and growing together, learning about each other. That made up for the insta-love aspect that took place in the first book.

There are also quite a few side characters that I enjoyed and a few I didn’t. And I must mention that quite a few die in this book. Though I hated seeing some of the side characters go, it did make the dire situation feel that much more realistic. I have to mention a new comer character as well, Elijah, who does bring in some plot tension. I had my suspicions about him, but I really am looking forward to see where he is heading.
How can I possible be okay? I know Darklings drink human blood, but it's the first time he's ever tried to feed on me like I was prey.
I just enjoy the gothic, dark almost steampunk feel of this series. The elements feel grimy, dark and very much real. This book also brings in the tension, though the book had a slow start, the buildup was well done and when the action starts, well, it starts!  The plot is getting more intricate and the situation deadlier for the characters.  I also enjoyed the plot twists that were thrown in. It really is building the story for a great conclusion.

Phoenix is definitely a great second book in the series. I love the dark, almost sinister, diverse world Richard has created. This book was full of intense action, a few twists that were well played, and some characters I really enjoyed. And that ending left me needing the last book!


  1. Oh, so glad you liked this sequel. I haven't read these books yet, but I've heard great things about it!

    Great review!

  2. You and me both Magen! I wanted to strangle Nat so so so badly in this one! She made the wrong decision there and needed to just open her damn mouth! I was so mad at her for a lot of this book. Ash though I just adore, I love his character and I love how selfless he is. I cannot wait for you to read Wings! Awesome review!


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