17 December 2015

Book Review: Phoenix Awakens


Phoenix Awakens Review

Rating: ★★★ (3.5)

Title: Phoenix Awakens
Author: Eliza Nolan
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal
Publication: Oct 12, 2015
Format: Arc E-galley, 187 pages
Source: I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

Julia has been having crazy dreams about weird cults, violent rituals and the charming new boy, Graham. Julia seems to think that these dreams are trying to tell her something and that somehow, she and Graham are connected. So when Graham admits that he's a Phoenix - a member of a secret society - and that he fled his old home to get away from them, they decide to try and find the truth behind the strange dreams and why Julia has begin to develop strange abilities. 
But the Phoenix Society want him back and they'll will do anything to get him. Now it's up to Julia to stop them and save Graham.
To what lengths will she go?

There must have been something about Phoenix Awakens that interested me - the secret societies or the fantasy/magic or the weird dreams - I don't know, but it was a decent book and I didn't completely hate it. After all, I did finish it. Due to my incapability to put my thoughts in proper sentences and construct an acceptable review for Phoenix Awakens, I'm just going to write a list of what I liked and disliked and let my opinions stem from there.

- The second half of the plot was very well paced and there was a perfect amount of action for the story to progress
- The mysterious and intriguing first page
- Mythology and secret societies (I just wish there was more of it)
- Violent and 'bloody' dreams
- Julia's determination to save Graham and help her friends
- The fact that she couldn't control her powers and didn't know when they would work or not
- The connections created between Julia's dreams, why her mother left when she was younger, her newfound abilities, the necklace her mother left for her, Julia's dad over-protectiveness, etc., etc.
- The cliffhanger at the very end. I can definitely see Phoenix Awakens as part of a trilogy

- Cliche, cliche, cliche. 
- The whole 'new hot guy + angsty teen girl = life is forever changed/romance' plot line
- I didn't really get any of the whole secret society concept and was kind of confused about it's origin and role in the story. Only a basic outline was given and if it was explained more, Phoenix Awakens would definitely have been a lot better
- NOTHNG WAS EXPLAINED. Everything just needed more development. Everything.
- The predictable plot; which is becoming more and more of a commonplace in YA.
- The dragging first half that just took too long to get to the whole point.
- Flat and plot driven characters. Graham was just the love interest and another member of the Phoenix Society. Why was he a member? What is his favourite food? Why does he even like Julia? Samantha was nothing but a passenger in the Plot Bus. She was there for a few chapters in the beginning and end but didn't really do much for the story. The second characters were okay and nothing exciting. Julia was pretty decent and likeable but 'immature' and didn't sound like a seventeen year old.
- Aydan. She was the 'guide' in Julia's dream. All I have is who, what, when, where, how and why. I need more explanation.

Overall, Phoenix Awakens was okay but there could have been a lot more plot and character development that would have made it a much better novel. Eliza Nolan had a likeable writing style and good premise and depending on your interest in paranormal fantasy, you may like this a whole lot better than me.

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