Sunday, April 13, 2014

Phoenix Island by John Dixon

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Phoenix Island by John Dixon

First in the Phoenix Island series

3 stars

Carl is sixteen years old and he has been in plenty enough trouble in his short life time. When he finds himself in court again the judge sentences him to Phoenix Island. Phoenix Island will reform him and it’s the place where orphans who also happen to be delinquents are sent. There are a lot of strange things going on at Phoenix Island and it’s up to Carl to save his friends and figure out the dark secrets surrounding the island. I did enjoy Phoenix Island, but I didn’t love it. The book started out pretty slow and it reminded me a lot of Holes. You know judge sends kid to mysterious camp in the middle of nowhere.

Holes is better though. At least the movie is I haven’t ever wanted to read the book. Phoenix Island does have good qualities it is very suspenseful where it needs to be and it keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. I wouldn’t say it’s completely captivating though because while the suspense is brilliantly done it can also be incredibly boring and dry in certain parts. Towards almost the middle of the book (page 63 to 125) it picked up a lot and there was a chapter or two immediately following that were completely entertaining and then it fell. It fell and it floundered to find equilibrium with this new plot. It eventually worked, but it struggled. The writing was decent and I think it helped even the plot out eventually but it took longer than necessary.


The main male character is Carl. Carl is decent enough in terms of being a good character. I didn’t connect to him or find him all that interesting. He had good and negative points. I liked the reasoning behind why he feels the need to beat bullies up. It was a remarkable reason and Carl has great back story. Of course, he also is incredibly boring to read about because he is a he-man. He tries to seem philosophical but he is too into his muscles at times and it messes up the balance.


Swoon Worthy Scale: 6

The main female character is Octavia. I like Octavia. In fact, her POV was the more interesting one out of the two. I’m not really sure why there are two POVs in the first place because it was completely unnecessary but she was much more interesting than Carl in her few chapters. I especially enjoyed the chapters during the Blue Phase.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 6The Villain- I can’t decide how I feel about the villain in Phoenix Island. He has potential to be a great villain, but in reality he is just another wanna-be-villain wanting to be Voldemort.


Villain Scale: 4

The only character I loved in this whole novel was Ross. He was funny and he was a good friend to Carl and even Octavia. His comedy was dry, but he did say a few funny things that made me smile.


Character Scale: 6.5

I think Phoenix Island is a good book and I do recommend it for fans of Holes because I feel like that is an audience that would really enjoy it especially younger boys or even teenage boys who don’t read often. It’s something they would really enjoy. I liked it, but I’m picky about books and hard to please recently. I do plan on recommending these books to my younger cousins because I know they would love these. I will give the sequel a shot though because I’m curious about Carl’s future and even Octavia’s.


Thank you, Mr. Dixon for being kind enough to send me a copy of your book because my Kindle galley expired before I could download it! You rock!

Cover Thoughts: The cover is very rough and dirty fitting. It fits the book well. Not my kind of cover, but I love that it fits the book and its atmosphere.


1 comment:

  1. I've seen this cover around, but didn't realize what it was about. It doesn't sound like it would be the book for me, but I'll definitely keep it in mind for the younger guys who come into my library. Great review!

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