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Red Handed by Gena Showalter
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Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Fun story with engaging characters, awesome writing, and tons of action. I would highly recommend this to any YA sci-fi fans that love aliens!

Opening Sentence: I’d always loved the night, where anything could happen and everything usually did.

The Review:

Phoenix Germaine has a serious drug problem with Onadyn. It is a drug that was designed to help aliens deal with our oxygen levels, for humans it will give you the most amazing high. It is very addictive and once you start using it is almost impossible to stop. Phoenix has been to rehab twice and this time she is determined to stay clean. But one night she decides to go out with her friends to a party, and things go terribly wrong when a bunch of hostile aliens show up. Phoenix ends up being taken home and it looks like she is high as a kite. Her mother decides to send her to reform school because she just doesn’t know what else to do.

But it turns out the Phoenix has actually been recruited to join A.I.R., a secret agency that hunts down dangerous aliens and protects humans from them. Aliens have been a part of the world for a long time now and most people think that they are completely harmless, but A.I.R. knows better. Most aliens do live on earth peacefully and the government wants the general public to ignore any of the dangerous ones so they don’t cause problems with the peaceful aliens. At the school Phoenix will be taught how to fight, track, and eliminate any threat from aliens. She has finally found where she belongs, but this school has very strict rules and if you break any of them you will be kicked out. This isn’t a problem until Phoenix realizes that one of her instructors is the gorgeous Ryan Stone, one of the guys that helped rescue her friends in the woods, and student/instructor relationships is very much against the rules.

Phoenix was a great heroine that I liked instantly! She was feisty, smart and determined. I loved that she has a rough past and has made some really bad decisions, it made her feel more human. She has owned up to her mistakes and is doing everything in her power to change herself. I respect her for being so strong when it came to her addiction and making something of herself. She has a fun spunky attitude and is one of those people that always has a comeback. She was so easy to like and I am glad I got to read her story.

Ryan was a sexy love interest, but I felt that I didn’t really get to know him very well. He’s not in the book a whole lot and the few moments where he is you don’t really get to learn about him. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t like him because I did, he was interesting and drop dead gorgeous so what’s not to like. His relationship with Phoenix was full of great sexual tension and they had awesome chemistry. I wish I would have been able to know more about his background just so I could have connected with him better, but he was still a very fun character.

Red Handed was a very quick read full of action, romance, and fun characters. It is one of those books that you pick up and just fly right through it. I wouldn’t say that there was a ton of substance to the story but it was still very entertaining. While I did enjoy the romance it did have a slightly instalove feel to it, and I wish it would have been a little more developed. I am actually fairly new to Showalter’s works but everything I have read by her so far has been fantastic. I love her writing, it is quirky, creative, sexy, and just fun. This is a YA spinoff of Showalter’s adult Alien Huntress series, but this can be read completely separate. I personally haven’t read the adult series but I know that some of the same characters appear in the story, so if you were a fan of Alien Huntress series I would recommend you give this one a try. Also, if you are just a YA sci-fi fan and are looking for a great read you should check this one out.

Notable Scene:

I was once again alone with Ryan—who I wasn’t sure I liked. He was too bossy, too arrogant, too everything. But I knew I liked to look at him. He was a (sexy) mystery, a (beautiful) confusing puzzle.

“What’s your name?” he asked me. His blue eyes were swirling, churning. Like an ocean tempest.

“Phoenix.”

“Cute,” he said.

“You wouldn’t think so if it was your name,” I grumbled.

His lips twitched into a smile. (I was talking about you, not the name. But I like that, too.”

FTC Advisory: MTV Books/Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of Red Handed. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Sep 18, 2014 |
After reading "Playing with Fire", I wasn't really interested in reading more of Gena Showalter's books. Plus, a story about an "alien huntress" seemed a little weird to me.

But I am glad I gave it a shot. The plot was compelling and interesting and the characters were likable, if obviously cliché. This book is a mixture of sci-fi and urban fantasy and makes for a light, entertaining read. I am now interested in the whole cast of characters and want to read the rest of the "Alien Huntress" series.

Good read!
( )
  slayra | Sep 21, 2013 |
This book was about a young troubled teen named Pheonix Germaine getting a second chance to make something of herself in a world where aliens invaded. Most aliens are friendly however there are some predatory aliens out there but the public doesn't know about them thanks to a secret agency entitled A.I.R (a.k.a Alien Investigation and Removal) who protects the public against the predatory aliens. The main character Pheomix encounters both the A.I.R and predatory aliens at a party one night and fights the aliens off and recieves an offer of a lifetime.

I love this book and i'm usually not big on books about aliens. The author made you feel like you knew pheonix and of course had a hot guy named Ryan stone to drool over. I am excited to read more about the young Pheonix and then start the actual alien huntress novels, featuring the all groen up pheonix germaine. ( )
  Mersadies | Feb 12, 2012 |
Phoenix has a problem. A drug problem. After getting out of rehab, Phoenix thinks she's kicked it to the curb and is concerned with trying to gain back her mothers trust. That plan is thrown away when a party turns into a fight with aliens and Phoenix is brought home by a strange man, looking like she's been into drugs again. Now Phoenix is off to a special bootcamp for wayward teens. Or so she thinks. What it turns out to be is a facility that fights the bad aliens of the world and Phoenix has been recruited to train for them. She's in for the surprise of her life when she finds out Ryan, the sexy hottie she talked and fought aliens with at the party is her instuctor! Ryan and Phoenix want to be together but its forbidden for an instructor to date a student. That doesn't stop them from wanting each other, though...

I picked this book up when it first came out in 2007 and immediately fell in love with the story! I have re-read this book so many times and I never get tired of it. There is so much action, romance, and fantasy that its 250+ pages seem like so much more. Ryan, the hero in the story, is such a hottie and his chemistry with Phoenix sizzles off the pages! I wish they had a second story of their own because I love their banter, along their the love they share for each other. This book, along with the second book, are going to be released together sometime in the near future and I recommend getting the book when they do! ( )
  angelgirl122193 | Sep 7, 2010 |
After reading this, i am pretty sure that it falls into the young adults section. However, i really enjoyed it. I have read and sort of enjoyed the first 2 books in the regular alien huntress series and i thought this one was much better. ( )
  pat1eiu | Jun 26, 2010 |
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"Phoenix Germaine has been trying to earn back her monther's trust after going into rehab and kicking Onadyn, the drug of choice for New Chicago teens. But when a party in the woods turns into an all-out battle with the most ferocious aliens Phoenix has never seen, she's brought home in what appears to be an Onadyn-induced state. Hello, reform school. Except, what her mother doesn't know is that Phoenix has just been recruited to join the elite Alien Investigation and Removal agency where she'll learn to fight dirty, track hard and destroy the enemy. Her professional training will be rigorous and dangerous, and the fact that one of her instructors is Ryan Stone -- the drop-dead gorgeous, nineteen-year-old agent she met in the woods that night -- doesn't make things any easier especially when dating him is totally against the rules."--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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