*Please note that this book at the time of reading was in beta and has since then been updated this to information provided by other reviewers. The finished copy will differ from what I have read.
I received a free digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
New San Francisco is the last city standing on a world ravaged by storms of ash and debris. The city survived by putting the ideals of the American dream on steroids and inspiring its people to persevere, though they have become ruthless in the process. Its citizens are ruled by the General, who has made sure that his people understand that gentleness and pity have become weaknesses that nature no longer tolerates.
Now Steve and Leslie must choose whether they will apply for the General’s once in a lifetime opportunity to “Rise from the Ashes” and join the Inner Circle that rules the city. If they don’t, they will be damned to spend the rest of their lives in the ghettos of Edingburg, a place where virtual reality has become a government-subsidized addiction.
For Steve, the choice is easy. His loyalties lie with the IRA, a revolutionary army led by a voice only known as “Mom.” They are trying to overthrow the General and free the people of New San Francisco from the cruelties of the City Guard. Steve’s mission is to broadcast a recording of a speech that a famous philosopher died to tell. Many thousands have and will perish to get this message out, but is anyone willing to listen?
The Phoenix Cycle is a dystopian-style novel where the world has destroyed itself so much that it is ravaged by ash clouds and storms every night causing the remaining citizens of New San Francisco to hide underground, in bunkers, or secure buildings. New San Francisco is our setting for The Phoenix Cycle and is run by a dictator who goes by the name, the General – a man who frequently informs his people that anything other than power, strength, and ruthlessness is a form of weakness. We follow Steve as he attempts to change the mindsets of everyone around him and knock the General off his seat of power.
The concept of this novel is definitely one that I found interesting. It sounded dark and gritty and suggested a world filled with fear. However, coupled with some other elements of the novel I did find it hard to follow the plot and events taking place. These elements included the mish-mash of Scottish, Irish, and American cultures within New San Francisco which I found a bit disjointed as I couldn’t really see how it connected in any way. I was also interested by the idea of every main character being based off of a philosopher or philosophy. However, with little knowledge of philosophers and philosophy, I feel like this element of the novel was lost on me as some of the characters dialogue seemed – to me – to stray into unknown territory away from the main plot-line.
With that being said, I did enjoy the variety of characters that were presented in the novel. There was a mixture of personalities that clashed and complimented each other and their dialogue made for enjoyment and laughter thanks to sharp witticisms and actions between the characters.
Though I did enjoy the novel, I have found it hard to write this review. I didn’t find it to be anything special and nothing really stands out for me. I believe the concept would have worked well in another scenario but I just found myself confused and losing concentration a lot.