Book Review: Phoenix Rising by Bryony Pearce

phoenixrisingPhoenix Rising is the first novel in a brand new dystopian YA series about Pirates. The main character is Toby, chief engineer aboard the Phoenix.

The novel is very fast paced. The main character,Toby, moves from saving the ship’s engines to discovering a stowaway. The action never stops, it is a very wild ride, with the enemy ship the Banshee captained by Nell and her daughter Ayla as well as prison breaks, epic battles and explosions. I love that the world is well realised, an environmental calamity has changed the world and governments have collapsed new states have sprung up with pirates scavenging resources from the floating junkyards that the oceans have become.

There are a lot of crew on the ship which made it slightly hard to keep track of but the main characters of Toby, Barnaby, Polly the very special parrot, Hiko were well drawn. Toby is very likeable main character, he’s more of an engineer that a fighter and he is very trusting which is rather unusual for a pirate. I liked that characters were not just black and white morally and I loved all the twists and turns within the plot. I really was kept guessing.

Ayla is a fantastic creation, she is very much her mother’s daughter but meeting Toby complicates matters for her. I love the way she sets out to do things and achieves them. she is not a girl to back down and she isn’t a damsel in distress or otherwise.

With Phoenix Rising being a duology the end of this book felt rather abrupt. The drama and action kept on to the final page and I was left wanting more. Not so bad as a cliffhanger but it was a jolt to the system a minor grumble in an otherwise fun book.

Phoenix Rising is a novel with a great story and a lot to say on the world as it is at the moment, I would heartily recommend it.

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