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Phoenix Angel: The Shardwell Series Book 1…
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Phoenix Angel: The Shardwell Series Book 1

by A. Gerry

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Showing 5 of 5
Book Info: Genre: Fantasy
Reading Level: Young Adult
Recommended for: Fans of YA Fantasy
Trigger Warnings: sexual assault, assault, violence

My Thoughts: I'm a bit torn on this book. On the one hand, it is a really interesting idea, even though the reader doesn't really know what the idea is until the penultimate page. On the other hand, it is just so stereotypically YA with all the angst and drama and drama and angst that made me want to beat my head against the wall. I know that teenagers are prone to drama and angst, but for crying out loud, do we really need to be along for the whole ride? Then there are the characters...

Maggie is pretty unlikeable from the start. She is prickly and often cruel with a tendency to push everyone except Lily away. Yes, I understand, this one guy was mean to her three years ago; for crying out loud, move on! Lily, on the other hand, is too nice to be believed, and despite being in a school with hundreds of students she knows everyone, and has been Homecoming Queen since she was a Freshman? Seriously? In my school, only Seniors were eligible to be Homecoming or Prom Queen. Their characters are like caricatures of real people. Then there is Kyle. Why does he talk like a Southerner when he's from California? If he's so devoted to Maggie, why does he pull that bonehead move with Katie?

Then there is the cover. Why is there a weeping elf on the cover? There is not a single mention in the entire book of an elf. The actual Phoenix Angel is again not mentioned at all until the next to last page, in the epilogue, and then just a couple sentences that don't really explain much. Of course, this is the first book in a trilogy, but this book felt like mostly a build-up. I think quite a lot of the angst and drama could have been cut out and the story would have improved vastly.

Fans of YA fantasy will probably like this, and those who like YA romance also. I am ambivalent and probably will not read the rest of this series.

Disclosure: I received a copy from a representative of the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: What is happening to us? I’ve asked this question a thousand times, but there is no answer.

I was a normal teenager, trudging my way through senior year with my best friend. Then a boy named Kyle Spencer came to Idaho Falls, and since then everything has fallen apart. Something mysterious has passed among the three of us. We’ve developed terrifying abilities—strange powers that separate us from normal people.

Even worse, someone—or something—has taken a deadly interest in us. We never know when they are going to strike, or how to protect ourselves. We don’t even know who they are.

All we know is that they want one of us alive, and we don’t know who. The others they want dead.

Which will I be? ( )
  Katyas | Nov 2, 2013 |
For this review and more, pop by my blog - Drugs Called Books

I received a PAPERBACK copy from the authors! Thank you so much!

This was a great start to what’s sure to become a unique fantasy/YA series. I wasn’t expecting Phoenix Angel to be what it was, but in a good way. It really surprised me. There is definitely something fresh and new about this book.

Fate is a curious concept. I cannot recall when I first recognized mine: the knowledge that no matter how far I run, how much I learn, or how much power I attain, inevitably my destiny is realized. The magic will always consume me in the end. Flight seems my only option, the only way to slow my future's progress. I have escaped fate's snare through battle, agony and--oddly--time. But only temporarily. I can almost feel it stalking me.
--First paragraph of Phoenix Angel.
The story starts with a Prologue from an unknown point of view. It’s very mysterious and intriguing, making you wonder what’s going on from the very first page. Same goes with the story itself; it keeps you guessing, wondering what’s going on, what’s going to happen. Personally, I find that to be a very good thing.

And it’s not a “perfect” story. Shit happens in this book, and sometimes the heroes are powerless to do anything about it. It’s real.

The story’s divides to two parts; in the first part we’ve got Maggie and Kyle’s story, while on the second part we’ve got Lily and Carter. I can’t really tell you who the main character is. Mostly because I myself don’t know. It's confusing, but in a good way.

The characters are all very flawed.

Maggie is sarcastic, relationship phobic due to a bad relationship (and by that I mean she swore boys off for the rest of her life), kind of cranky, hates the entire school (aside for her best friend), and scares everyone off. She’s closed off and trusts no one.
While sometimes she did stuff that annoyed me royally – the way she handled Kyle was so frustrating. I just wanted to shake her out of it –she was so human in her voice I couldn’t resent her for it (for too long, anyway).

Kyle is a pretty awesome boy, he’s stubborn, strong, he can keep up with Maggie and loves her enough not to take her reservations to heart. He has a manipulative side, and at a point I was screaming at him to stop being stupid, but he eventually realized his stupidity... Much thanks to Lily.

Speaking of Lily… she’s the voice of reason throughout most of the story. She’s optimistic, social, friendly, she sees the best of people and trusts them almost instantly. (about the opposite of Maggie.

Carter – He’s never mentioned in the summery, which made him a total surprise for me. Can't say he was a very good surprise, as I didn’t like him much, mostly because Kyle didn’t like him, and I trusted Kyle by then. He’s pretty sweet near Lily, but kind of different around the others… I don’t trust him.

The romance in the story is pretty decent, and divides to two parts. Both are love-at-first-sight kind of thing.

I loved Kyle and Maggie’s relationship. First of all, Kyle had to work for her affection, even though it was very love-at-first-sight. They also fit, in a way. Maggie needs a person like Kyle, who's as strong headed as herself. Also, there was drama and chase in this relationship, which made it interesting. It wasn't instant, and we also got to see a part where they're already an established couple and have fallen into a routine, which was nice.

Carter and Lily's relationship, on the other hand, annoyed me. It was too fast; they met, she has already grown distant with her boyfriend by then, they start dating. The drama in their relationship was all from outside; her friends not trusting him. But the two themselves barely know each-other and are already dating.

There is a sort of past life/different life thing going on. All of the character feel something when they meet; be it romantic love, brotherly love, hatred. Those emotion seem to come from a time/place where they have different names. We don't get much explanation about what's going on in this book, which makes it so much more mysterious and intriguing!

This book ends with a cliffhanger. A pretty serious cliffhanger, at that, made even more so by the knowledge you don't get to see the resolution of that cliffhanger in the next book, as the next book jumps in time (or in worlds?) and gives us an entirely new world to explore.

Which means I have to wait for the third, or maybe fourth, book to know what the heck is going to happen! *freaking out* I hope everyone will be okay :(

As for the bad parts of the book... well, as I said, I wasn't the biggest fan of LilyxCarter, and also, the book seemed to lack a little in the "action" department. It started with a few creepy things happening, then again in the middle on thing, and at the end. But in between there was nothing except relationship angst. Now, not that I mind, but since there seem to be a point to the attacks on them, and their enemies knew where they are, I felt like there needed to be more in between.

But, regardless, I really enjoyed the book and recommend it! :)

For this review and more, pop by my blog - Drugs Called Books ( )
  Nitzan_Schwarz | Sep 25, 2013 |
The first half was sorta slow going, but the second half was amazing. Had a wonderful love story. The writing style was excellent and had good detail. ( )
  Koiria | Mar 10, 2013 |
Note: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I liked the writing styles of the author’s as a whole.

Throughout the first half of the book the main focus is centered on Maggie. She turned me off from the beginning; her attitude was repulsive and extremely off-putting. I found myself not wanting to root for her at all and actually wondering why I was reading so much about her and her attitude. I didn’t realize why anyone would but up with her especially Lily, the most seemingly loving person EVER and aka best friend. Also the hottest guy around, Kyle, who tried everything in his power to win her over.

The second half of the book I liked more and it focuses on Lily. She was a much easier person to sympathize with and get to know. The only thing I didn’t like about Lily’s part was the overwhelming lovey dovey-ness of it; it got old pretty quickly and started to annoy me.

Lastly, I think this book focuses too much on the character’s looks. Every main character seems to have some striking beauty or handsomeness about them that is just unsurpassed and envied by the rest of the secondary characters. They need flaws besides their attitudes, flaws in their looks that make them imperfect.

I am interested to read the second installment of this story and see how everything progresses.

Also on http://lrjohnson13.blogspot.com/2012/12/phoenix-angel-by-amanda-gerry-and.html ( )
  wolfangel87 | Dec 10, 2012 |
Book Title: "Phoenix Angel”
Author: A. Gerry & C. Hall
Published By: Scribes of Shardwell, LLC
Age Recommended: 14+
Reviewed By: Kitty Bullard
Raven Rating: 5

Review: The writing team of A.Gerry and C. Hall are by far two of the most brilliant YA Fantasy writers of this age. The combination of modern times and fantasy gel perfectly in this first installment of the Shardwell Series. Phoenix Angel is about the meeting of four teenagers, all with some extremely special abilities. Kyle, Maggie, Lily, and Carter are chased by creatures from another time and place while trying to figure out why they are drawn to one another, what their powers mean, who they really are, and what they are meant to do.
The Shardwell Series promises great things to come. Whatever you do, do not miss out on this amazing creation by Gerry & Hall! ( )
  RavenswoodPublishing | Sep 26, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0615589499, Paperback)

What is happening to us? I’ve asked this question a thousand times, but there is no answer. I was a normal teenager, trudging my way through senior year with my best friend. Then a boy named Kyle Spencer came to Idaho Falls, and since then everything has fallen apart. Something mysterious has passed among the three of us. We’ve developed terrifying abilities—strange powers that separate us from normal people. Even worse, someone—or something—has taken a deadly interest in us. We never know when they are going to strike, or how to protect ourselves. We don’t even know who they are. All we know is that they want one of us alive, and we don’t know who. The others they want dead. Which will I be?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:04 -0400)

What is happening to us? I've asked this question a thousand times, but there is no answer. I was a normal teenager, trudging my way through senior year with my best friend. Then a boy named Kyle Spencer came to Idaho Falls, and since then everything has fallen apart. Something mysterious has passed among the three of us. We've developed terrifying abilities-strange powers that separate us from normal people. Even worse, someone-or something-has taken a deadly interest in us. We never know when they are going to strike, or how to protect ourselves. We don't even know who they are. All we know is that they want one of us alive, and we don't know who. The others they want dead. Which will I be?… (more)

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