Sunday, 11 September 2011
Review- Stealing Phoenix by Joss Stirling
Finding Sky #2
Publication date: 1st Sept 2011
My rating: 4.5 out of 5
Stealing Phoenix is the second book in the Finding Sky series by Joss Stirling, it's definitely one of the best YA series out there (in my humble opinion), it's fast paced, full of swoon worthy Benedict brothers and has the best creepy villains EVER. The Benedicts are a pretty special family, the parents and the seven brothers who's names start alphabetically with Trace and ends with Zed are savants and all have special powers. Stealing Phoenix centres on Yves the second youngest brother who is a bit of a genius and can control fire with his mind. Yves is in London attending an environmental science conference when Phoenix or Phee for short is sent to use her savant powers to freeze time and steal the contents of his backpack. Unlike most people Yves is able to extract himself from Phee's mind stopping powers and whilst chasing her they realise they can talk telepathically to each other and are really soul finders- soulmates that are meant to be together.
I loved the characters in Stealing Phoenix. Phee is a kind of Oliver Twist type character, a poor orphan sent out to steal items on demand by the evil Bill Sykes type character The Seer. Despite being a professional thief Phee is actually a really sweet vulnerable girl, born into a community of savants her mother died when she was young and she has never really known who her father was. She lives in constant fear, very alone and survives from day to day, my heart just went out to her. The community is controlled by The Seer who reminded me of one of those scary cult leaders who brainwashes their followers to give up all of their family ties and money so that he can live in the lap of luxury all corrupt and evil. The Seer is a powerful savant who can put specific thoughts into a person's brain to control them and have them acting against their will. He really is a fantastically written evil baddie right down to his white suit and slicked back black hair, double chins and puffy fingers adorned with rings. The community members are terrified of him, they firmly believe they have no choice but to continue living in the squalor conditions stealing on demand for him and know at any time if they fail him he could use his mind control powers on them and have them digging their own grave in Epping Forrest. Creepy stuff indeed.
Once Yves realises Phee is his soul finder and begins to understand the terrible life she has been forced to live his sole aim is, with the help of his family, to get Phee safely away from The Seer. Action packed from start to finish the pace was fast and exciting with really sweet little romantic moments for Yves and Phee as they start to realise that being a soul finder means they actually complement each other. I adored the London setting, it made Stealing Phoenix seems really up to date to me and I loved the added bonus of little updates with Zed and Sky and with a few Xav scenes which hint that his book will be next (well it makes sense we've had Zed, Yves so I just guessed that Xav would be next- see I can do the alphabet in reverse!). Overall, it has a bit of everything- action, romance and creepy creepy baddies I devoured Stealing Phoenix in an afternoon sitting.
Thanks to Oxford publishing for giving me the opportunity of reading Stealing Phoenix and tune in tommorrow as My keeper shelf is the first slot on the Stealing Phoenix blogtour, author Joss Stirling will be talking about her favourite London places which inspired scenes in Stealing Phoenix.