Weeks after his crucifixion and rebirth as Phoenix, Ash Fisher believes his troubles are far behind him. He and Natalie are engaged and life seems good. But his happiness is short-lived when he receives a threatening visit from Purian Rose, who gives Ash an ultimatum: vote in favor of Rose’s Law permanently relegating Darklings to the wrong side of the wall or Natalie will be killed.
The decision seems obvious to Ash; he must save Natalie. But when Ash learns about The Tenth, a new and deadly concentration camp where the Darklings would be sent, the choice doesn’t seem so simple. Unable to ignore his conscience, Ash votes against Rose’s Law, signing Natalie’s death warrant and putting a troubled nation back into the throes of bloody battle.
Black City impressed me a LOT. The intriguing and unique premise about Darklings and humans mixed in with a dystopian feel to it drew me in from page one. Elizabeth Richards creatively painted a world where nothing is impossible, and the supposed ‘monsters’ are the heroes. Admittedly, Phoenix was a little harder for me to get into, especially when Ash proposed rather abruptly. I felt like he was thinking too rashly and I believe it should have taken more time and bad experiences for this to happen. However, I did take into consideration the idea of ‘Blood Mates’ and though it still didn’t convince me that this was a good decision, the idea felt better once I realized how committed Darklings were to each other (or in this case, a human and a twin-blood) when this happened.
Other than that, though, Phoenix was a very good book. The action amped up more in this sequel, and I enjoyed reading page after page of battles since this proved to be the turning point of the rebellion and showed that the plot was heating up. This time, new alliances have been formed with Elijah, the Bastet boy Natalie saved in Black City. Of course, this unlikely happening brings out a new jealousy, a very confused Natalie, and a indebted Bastet, trying to hide his feelings for a certain blonde girl.
Ash developed a lot as a character in Phoenix, and the heroic action he did by voting against Rose’s Law despite the threat of Natalie getting hurt cut deep into my heart. I valued his decision to put thousands of people and Darklings ahead of his Blood Mate since this proves that Ash does have a good head on his shoulders and is a worthy face for the rebellion. Natalie, on the other hand, grew out of her shell more, as she takes more risks and tries to help in any way she can. Now, her main focus is saving her loved ones and helping the rebellion triumph. Her acts of bravery, both for the rebellion and for Ash, shows that beneath that vulnerable side of her is a girl with fire in her soul.
Furthermore, Elizabeth does not disappoint as the twists in the plot return again in Phoenix. The hints came a little stronger this time, but when it was revealed, I was still very, very surprised. I now deem Elizabeth Richards as the Queen of Twists because every little detail she thinks of is somehow a hint to the revelation to come. Her twists also tie up very nicely with the plot, and I loved the tension in the latter half of the book that led to the characters finding out about the new plot line as well.
Overall, Phoneix is an action-packed novel filled with maniac villains, (I’m looking at you, Purian Rose!) revelations, character development, a mind-blowing plot, and pages and pages of creativity that will leave you wanting for more. Will Natalie and Ash be able to sacrifice everything they value for a fight weighed against them?