Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Last Phoenix by Linda Chapman and Steve Cole

The Last PhoenixMy name is Jason, and the only phoenix on earth needs help from my siblings and I. Fenella has laid an egg for only the second time in her thousand-year life (the first egg disappeared), but she needs us to collect four ingredients from around the world, some found in the future and some in the past, or the egg won't hatch. She's nearing the end of this life and should soon be reborn from her ashes, but she's looking sicker each day. We fear she might die this time. Our travels to the jungle, ancient Egypt, and atop a mountain are dangerous enough, but we've been warned that someone is watching our every move. We've noticed a man in a trench coat hiding and following us around town. Who is he, and what does he want? Magic may be able to help us, but it sometimes has bad consequences. Just ask the kids playing soccer with me during the school challenge. We must find some way to save the egg and the last phoenix on earth!

This book is the sequel to Be a Genie in Six Easy Steps, but it can be read on its own. The plot offered fun scenes where the kids were challenged during their own lives and during the four quests. Young Milly wanted to be chosen for the lead role in "Annie", Jason wanted to successfully do something athletic, and Jess was stressed about doing well in school. The quests were interesting and fun to read, but they weren't overly suspenseful. However, the climax of the book offered a surprising twist. There were some clues and suspicions earlier in the plot, but I still wasn't fully prepared for the identity of the secret antagonist. This book offers a compassionate cast of characters, as the step-siblings have their little spats but truly care about one another. Despite their differences and personal issues, they were committed to helping Fenella.

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