Saturday, 11 July 2015

PHOENIX by Theo Fenraven: a Re-Release Day Review

PHOENIX by Theo Fenraven
Size: 3991 KB
Date: May 2, 2015 
         Edited on July 11, 2015
Details: Re-release

The blurb:

New York City homicide detectives Rachel Wayland and Artemis Gregory are first on the murder scene of a beautiful young gay man, the third victim of a serial killer dubbed the Moon Killer by the department. Their investigation leads them to Talis Kehk, charismatic lead singer of the rock group Phoenix Rising. As the next full moon approaches, Rachel and her partner uncover clues that lead straight to Talis, even as Talis, exhibiting behavior Rachel finds strange indeed, considering the circumstances, uses every means possible to keep her close. Innocent or not, Talis has a secret, and discovering what it is will change Rachel’s world forever.

My thoughts:

Before I say anything about this wonderful book I want to point out thatPhoenix was previously published under a slightly different title and subsequently under this title but with another author name on the cover. I want to add that the story has gone through a significant revision and rewrite since the first edition.

Phoenix *sighs* what to say about this book I was lucky enough to beta read for the author. If I had to but a label on this book I would call it a magical mystery tour. The story is never quite what you suspect it to be. There are layers beyond layers, genres mix and match and the seemingly impossible is pulled off quite successfully. (I realise I’m being rather obscure here, but that’s very much on purpose. It would be a shame to spoil the surprises Phoenix has in store for its readers.)

It was wonderful to read a story in which the female protagonist is anything but weak or helpless. Rachel is strong, self-sufficient and not inclined to allow others to tell her how to live her life. She is also lonely and more than ready to find her significant other – if only she could find the time.

Talis had me mesmerized from the moment he was introduced – just as he mesmerized everybody he interacted with in the story. From the moment he makes his first appearance it is clear there is something magical about him, even if we have to wait a little while before we find out exactly what that is and whether it is a force for good or evil.

Phoenix keeps the reader guessing from the first page to the last. Every time I thought I had the story figured out a new question or mystery would surface. I like it when I can’t imagine how a story could possibly come to a happy or satisfying conclusion and the author manages to surprise me with a completely plausible ending I could never have predicted.

The writing in this book is exquisite. As always, Theo Fenraven manages to paint the clearest of pictures without ever using a word too many. Descriptions are kept to a minimum and yet I had no doubt what characters or their surroundings looked and even smelled like.

If you enjoy a book that surprises you, Phoenix may well be the book for you. Part mystery, part romance, part paranormal and part mythology, this was a thoroughly engrossing and fascinating reading experience for me.

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