Sunday, June 9, 2013

[BLOG TOUR] Review + Character Interview + INT'L Giveaway: Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards

Hello! Welcome to my stop. For this post I will be doing a review of Phoenix, the sequel to Black City by Elizabeth Richards, a character interview and an international giveaway! Follow the rest of the tour HERE and on Twitter (#PhoenixPHTour).

Phoenix (Black City #2)
by Elizabeth Richards
Published: June 4, 2013

Ash and Natalie are just starting to build a life together when things in the United Sentry States go from bad to worse. Ash and Natalie find themselves at the center of turmoil when dictator Purian Rose threatens Natalie’s life unless Ash votes in favor of Rose’s Law—a law that will send Darklings and other dissenters to a deadly concentration camp known as the Tenth.

When Ash can’t bring himself to trade Natalie’s life for those of millions of Darklings, her fate is sealed. Enter Elijah Theroux, the handsome Bastet boy Natalie once saved from her mother’s labs, where he’d been experimented on and tortured. It was his venom the Sentry used to create the lethal Golden Haze, the heart of the government conspiracy that led to Black City’s uprising and Ash’s rebirth as the Phoenix, the face of the rebellion. Elijah is back and Ash doesn’t like him; it’s clear he’s taken with Natalie, and Ash fears she may have feelings for him as well.

But Elijah also may have the answer to taking down Purian Rose for good—a powerful weapon called the Ora. Ash, Natalie and Elijah just have to escape Black City undetected to find it. But fleeing the city and finding this weapon (if it even exists) are easier said than done, and the quest could tear Ash and Natalie apart, even pushing them into the arms of others.

This enthralling sequel to Black City is just as absorbing, delicious and steamy as the first book, leaving readers hungry for the series conclusion.

I picked this book up with enough time to finish it, write my review and have a vacation before my post for the tour. Unfortunately, I wasn’t even halfway through when I had to put it down for some school obligations but trust me, it was not because it was bad. So now here I am, finally writing my review, albeit one day late, and I think I’m GOING. TO. DIE. Because the moment I was reading the last few pages of Phoenix, I was thinking of unleashing my well-hidden ability of travelling into the future, just so I would know what in the world is going to happen next. WHAAAAAAT?!

With the way Black City ended, I expect a lot of action would follow and Elizabeth Richards did not disappoint. Phoenix left me in a jumble of emotions from the heady mix of adrenaline to challenging decisions and heart pumping romance.

Ash and Natalie’s relationship had been tested before but now that the war is worse and Purian Rose is determined to eliminate every traitor in the United Sentry States, his eyes are dead set on the couple who ignited this rebellion. Threats were issued, sides were chosen, everyone is in danger and Ash is torn between saving millions of people who’ve put their faith in him and betraying the girl he loves. Truthfully, I thought the romance was kind of instalove-y in the first book but it really warmed me up here especially when it faced a lot of doubts and obstacles. It’s what made it stronger. Through those ups and downs, Natalie and Ash have proven that nothing will set them apart.

It was the world-building that made me like Black City. It’s this dark and bloody dystopian world where Darklings, Lupines, humans and other creatures inhabit but it is the humans who dominate. I found the Darklings really interesting. They’re like vampires but at the same time not. If you think about their features you’d say that but with the story in a modern setting with advanced technology and such, I don’t see them as fictional or paranormal characters and I think that’s what made the concept different and fresh.

I’d say this, I liked Phoenix more that Black City. It was better, fast-paced, and action-packed. You’d meet a set of new characters you’d trust or hate and the setting wasn’t focus in one place alone. You’d travel across deserts and seas or stay in a place where you’d have to guess the names of the tavern to get free drinks; places full of singing merchants and colors that disguises the terror and ruthlessness that’s really underneath. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough and with a lot of bustle going on, I didn’t have much time to think about what may lay ahead. One time it’d cross my mind that I might have figured it out but then something happens that would make me doubt my guesses so I left it to the author to surprise me. Boy, was I?

Yes, I was. The reason why I am travelling to the future right this second. It doesn’t matter that you all know my secret ability now (I should kill you, you know) but I really need the third book now. See you guys there!


Elizabeth Richards is an award-winning journalist, who spent her early career reviewing videogames before making the bold (or crazy) move into travel writing, despite suffering from terrible travel sickness.

In her spare time, she ran a successful lifestyle website aimed at teenage girls, where she got to interview many of her favourite bands, go to gigs and basically blag loads of free swag all in the name of ‘research’.

Elizabeth lives in Buckinghamshire, England, with her husband. Black City is her debut novel.

Fun Facts:
  • She's an identical twin. (No, they don’t have psychic powers, and yes she is the evil one.)
  • She's a little bit in love with Daniel Radcliffe.
  • Her favourite book of all time is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
  • Her second favourite book is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
  • Her third favourite is Harry…oh, you get the idea.
  • Her ambition is to see 10 volcanoes before she dies. She's already seen Stromboli, Vesuvius and Mt Etna. Just 7 more to go!



Today’s 60 Second Interview is with Lupine pack leader, Rafe Garrick.

1. Please describe yourself in three words.
Alpha, dominant, mercenary.

2. What’s your favorite pastime?
Drinking Shine and playing Lady Fortune’s Luck with my lieutenant, Sasha.

3. Cats or dogs.
*chuckles* To eat? Cats.

4. What’s your favorite food?
See above.

5. Tell us a secret about yourself.
I can foxtrot. Don’t ask me why I had to learn that…

6. What are you afraid of?
Anarchy. I like order. I need order.

7. Who do you love the most in this world?
I love my pack. They’re my family.

8. Who do you hate the most?
I don’t hate anyone. I don’t take sides. We all have good and bad in us.

9. Winter or summer?
Most Lupines prefer the cold, but I’ve always preferred the sun.

10. If you had one wish, what would it be?
To spend an uninterrupted weekend up in the mountains with my lady. That’s not going to happen any time soon, though.

Open to international entrants.

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