Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Phoenix Burning by Bryony Pearce

Phoenix Burning (Phoenix Series)My name is Toby, and Ayla has stepped onto the deck of the Phoenix again. I thought she liked me up until the moment she had me imprisoned on her mother's ship, the Banshee. My father installed solar panels to power our ship, but we can't use them without an inverter. That's why Ayla is here; she needs one too for her mother's ship. Ayla has an idea. The two of us will win a competition on the island of Gozo and steal their inverters. There are a few problems with her plan. We don’t know where the inverters are kept, we don’t know how to escape, and we’ll be immediately blinded if we win. Now, that we’re here, I see the Sun and Moon competition is all about surviving the challenges. And despite teaming up with Ayla, I know she may stab me in the back at any moment.

This book is the sequel to Phoenix Rising, and you need to read it first. You need to know the story of Toby and Ayla’s relationship and the complications arising from their families’ past histories. The setting is in the future, far enough ahead to present creative worlds but close enough to the past to remember how things used to be. Much of this book takes place on Gozo, and the inhabitants have cult-like beliefs. Their whole world is centered on the sun and moon, and they resent other cultures that have misused the sun’s power. Having the contest winners sacrifice their sight in honor of the sun is pretty radical, but sacrifices made by the losers isn’t much better. Throughout the plot, the focus is on the fragile teamwork between Toby and Ayla and their contrasting motivations. The author leaves a dramatic surprise for the climax that is sure to affect the sequel. The utopian island the characters seek is still a mystery, but they discover exciting clues in the book’s resolution. 

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