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Book Review: Phoenix Rising by Bryony Pearce

Published 1st June 2015 by Stripes Publishing.

Phoenix Rising Cover - FinalGoodreads Synopsis: In a future world where fossil fuels have run out and democracy has collapsed, an outlawed pirate crew fight for survival on their ship, the Phoenix, kept afloat by whatever they can salvage or scavenge on the debris-filled seas. Toby has never known anything other than life onboard the Phoenix and he’s desperate for adventure. But when trouble comes hunting the Phoenix down, Toby realizes that what you wish for isn’t always what you want. He meets beautiful Ayla from the Banshee, a rival pirate ship and sworn enemy of the Phoenix, and his world is thrown into disorder. How can he know who to trust and what to believe? The future rests on him making an impossible choice…A gripping novel, perfect for fans of Anthony Horowitz, Eoin Colfer and Suzanne Collins.

My Review: My inner geography nerd squealed when I heard about this upcoming title. Studying climate change and fossil fuels have always been a favourite part of geography for me. So when I read the synopsis for Phoenix Rising, a book set in a quite plausible future where fossil fuels are run dry and the world’s environment is suffering, I was really excited. Add two rivalling teams of PIRATES to the mix, and you have a seriously awesome sounding book. I couldn’t wait!

Bryony Pearce doesn’t wait around with slow introduction: the book jumps straight into the action of a sunken ship salvage. The plot is full of explosive action and is brilliantly fast paced, which I loved – though the mixture of rapid pace and occasional technical ship jargon meant I struggled to keep up at points.

I really enjoyed reading about the characters and am interested to see what direction they’ll go in, when book two is released. Toby is a selfless, courageous protagonist, and is the son of the captain of the Phoenix crew. Nearby, Ayla is the stubborn & independent daughter of the Banshee’s captain. They meet under unlikely circumstances and their relationship is very complicated, as they’re from rivalling ships both eager to kill one another. Both characters had great chemistry and I detected a Romeo and Juliet-esqe element to the story  – with the two young almost-allies being of warring sides.

One thing I would have liked more of in Phoenix Rising was details about the world’s situation. It’s clear that there’s no oil, and desperate searches for solar panels now the ash has cleared from the Yellowstone eruption – also the pirate ships are sailing seas full of discarded junk. It’s an imaginative vision of the future and one that’s all too possible. I hope the effects on the Earth are explored even further in the next books!

Overall, Phoenix Rising was a riveting read, and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series and hopefully checking out Bryony Pearce’s other titles. I adored the concept for the story – which is so frighteningly realistic that I didn’t want to stop reading. The pace was incredibly fast and it did take me a while to get into it because of that – but I definitely recommend it to fans of action and thriller books.

My Rating:

four

I received a copy of Phoenix Rising from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

BBC pointed shaded

 

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