2 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Aschyllia is only 16. While she lives with her grandfather on his farm, she longs for more adventure, similar to the ones found in the books she reads. One day, while skipping out on her chores, she and her best friend, Bleak, stumble across a woman who has just given birth to a child. Bleak and Aschyllia try to help but get into more trouble, as a young man seeks to kill her. They manage to get the upper hand against him, but their act of kindness might cost them more than they realize. Thus starts Aschyllia's own real-life adventures.
The Descent of the Phoenix is written by Morgan Paul Cooper. This novel is around 400 pages, and I would classify it as an adventure. It takes place in a more medieval time, complete with swords, soldiers, horses, and a lack of technology. For that reason, it could be classified as fantasy (as it has no basis in actual history); despite that, there is no magic or supernatural creatures. There are some innuendos as well as some violence. However, nothing is too gory or explicit. For those reasons, I would recommend this for high school age and older.
I enjoyed the descriptive writing of the author which allowed me to picture the scene fully. Because of this, I was able to immerse myself into the story and escape the world for some time. Sentences like the following helped to create this graphic image. "...just as the sun broke into the sky, and filled the world with its radiant morning light, the two reached the grove of oaks and ashes, through which just enough sunlight weaved that Aschyllia would no longer need an artificial light."
In addition, the characters were realistic, inspiring, and, yes, even frustrating. The author sticks with the same group of characters throughout the novel; because of this, I grew to love these characters and felt almost as if they were family. Though there were secondary characters, it was not a story that had so many as to feel overwhelmed.
The novel slowly builds up in intensity, finally reaching a climax at the end. The pace was steady, which helped to keep my attention focused on the story at hand. There was a good mix of backstory to help the reader understand the characters' motivations as well as action so that the book wouldn't become boring. This is the first in a planned series, but I felt like there was at least some conclusion at the end, which kept me from feeling frustrated at the lack of finality.
There is one significant drawback to the novel, however - the editing. I don't believe the book was proofread by a professional, much less edited. Words were constantly missing from sentences. Names that were supposed to be possessive often weren't. The wrong tense was used relatively frequently. It slowed down the pace of the book as I stumbled over these sentences. For example. "Kalia, with Zie at her side, stood staring off to towards the west as the other girls existed the farmhouse..."
Overall, this was an enjoyable read that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a character-driven, light adventure. Due to the numerous, overwhelming, and often distracting errors, I have to give The Descent of the Phoenix 2 out of 4 stars. Once some major proofreading and editing take place, I would have no trouble raising my score to the full 4 stars. In spite of these issues, I would like to see more of Aschyllia and Bleak's adventures.
The Descent of the Phoenix
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like kandscreeley's review? Post a comment saying so!