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The Phoenix Files: Arrival by Chris Morphew
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The Phoenix Files: Arrival

by Chris Morphew

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8315145,226 (3.86)2
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Title:The Phoenix Files: Arrival
Authors:Chris Morphew
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Tags:Australia, shortlist, 2010-2011, readers cup older, red_dot, reddot older

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Arrival by Chris Morphew

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Luke and his mum have just moved to Phoenix, a town in the outback of Australia created just for workers of the Shackleton empire. The only imperfect thing about Phoenix is a homeless man called 'Crazy Bill'. Unfortunately the phones and internet have been down for over a month so he can't contact his father. 'Crazy Bill' leaves Luke and his new friends Jordan and Peter clues that lead them to 'Tabitha', due for release in 100 days. 'Tabitha' will eliminate everything outside of Phoenix. Luke and his friends are in a race against time to stop this happening. A good read. ( )
  DebbieMcCauley | Jun 30, 2016 |
Really easy read, awesome book, exciting ( )
  MaiaMcCauley | May 31, 2016 |
Arrival:Phoenix Files is about a boy named Luke. His parents has recently got divorced and his mum is taking him to this town in the middle of nowhere. Luke thinks that Phoenix is weird enough: There are no cars or phones. He meets two people: One is a boy named Peter and the second is a girl called Jordan. They become good friends and then they find out that someone is trying to wipe out the entire human race......The clock is ticking to the end of the world......
  Taasia | Mar 25, 2014 |
Great mainly thriller book with great plot twists. One of the best young adult books i've read. ( )
  IsaacPeterson.SBHS | Mar 12, 2014 |
It's bad enough when Luke's parents get divorced; it's worse when his mom accepts a job in the middle of nowhere and drags him off to Phoenix. She's excited about a brand new start, but Luke just wants to stay at his school, with his friends, and most of all near his dad.

Then they arrive at Phoenix. It's a brand-new town in the outback of Australia and everything is shiny new...except there's no cell phone reception, no internet, and no tv. The school seems just like everything other school; there's a class clown called Peter who offers to show Luke around and a nice enough girl named Jordan, who seems to have some history with Peter.

But some things seem a little...off. Why is Luke's the last locker? Why are there no cars? Why, in the middle of nowhere, does a brand-new town have a strange homeless man called Crazy Bill? When a mysterious tape, hinting at dangerous conspiracies, is given to the three, they start investigating and turn up what seems to be a conspiracy to end the world and start fresh with the people in the town of Phoenix. They can't trust anyone; not their parents, the other kids who seem to have secrets of their own, or the adults who are in the power of the lethal head of security, Calvin. Even Crazy Bill, who at first seems to be helping them, turns out to be dangerous and his strange powers are frightening.

I thought the description of this sounded interesting; I'm always up for a good adventure story, as are my middle school readers, but it turned out to be, well, rather boring. Most of the story is spent hinting at possible conspiracies and even the few exciting things that do happen (Luke's run-in with Crazy Bill, discovering the giant warehouse) are written in a flat "and then this happened" way that makes them, well, boring. The author also interjects language like "crap" but they don't feel like genuine dialogue, more like "this is how teens talk, time to put in another mild swearword". I figured out the hints right away and so there wasn't much suspense left for the rest of the book. There's also no character development to make up for the lack of actual action. We know that there's something going on with Peter and the other kids, that Jordan is a risk-taker, and that Luke misses his dad, but we don't really get a sense of who they are as teens. It's almost 300 pages of build-up and just when it actually starts to get interesting, it ends.

Verdict: I think the sequels probably are more interesting and if you stick to it until about 2/3 of the way through it heats up a little, but my readers of end-of-the-world conspiracy adventures are not going to stick with it that long. If they had taken the language out and cut it down a bit it would be a perfectly good choice for older middle grade. An additional purchase if you have kids who don't mind the slow build-up - but if you do decide to buy it, you need to buy the sequels simultaneously to get the whole story. There are three books of a planned six-book series out now.

ISBN: 9781610670913; Published June 2012 by Kane Miller Books; Review copy provided by the publisher
  JeanLittleLibrary | May 23, 2013 |
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Luke is having a rough year. When his parents split up, his mum drags him to Phoenix, a brand-new town in the middle of nowhere. But Phoenix is no ordinary town. There are no cars, no phones and no internet. Then he discovers that someone is plotting to wipe out the human race. Phoenix is suddenly the safest and most dangerous place on earth. And the clock is already ticking.… (more)

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Kane Miller Books

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