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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Book Review: Phoenix Fire by S.D. Grimm

Phoenix Fire (Phoenix Cycle #1) by S.D. Grimm
Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal/Fantasy)
Date Published: March 5, 2018
Publisher: Entangled: Teen

After spending her life in foster care, Ava has finally found home. But all it takes is a chance encounter with hot nerd Wyatt Wilcox for it to unravel.

Now, things are starting to change. First, the flashes of memories slowly creeping in. Memories of other lives, lives that Wyatt is somehow in. Then, the healing. Any cut? Gone.

But when Cade and Nick show up, claiming to be her brothers, things get even weirder. They tell her she’s a Phoenix, sent to protect the world from monsters—monsters she never knew existed. It’s a little hard to accept. Especially when they tell her she has to end the life of a Phoenix turned rogue, or Cade will die.

With Wyatt’s increasingly suspicious behavior, Ava’s determined to figure out what he’s hiding. Unless she can discover Wyatt’s secret in time and complete her Phoenix training, she’ll lose the life, love, and family she never thought she could have.

Phoenix Fire is the first book in the Phoenix Cycle series by S.D. Grimm. You don't see many Phoenixes in fiction, at least not as main characters, and I really loved that they were front and center in this book. I only know the basics of their mythology, and I love how they were completely brought to life in the present day. The character's each had a history too, and we got to know them quite well as memories of their past lives resurfaced. They were each a part of a larger puzzle, and it was an adventure in itself as all the pieces started to come together. There were a few surprises thrown in too. I'm very excited about this series, and I can't wait to see how it all unfolds in the upcoming books.

Phoenix Fire by S.D. Grimm was kindly provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley for review. The opinions are my own.

Something about Wyatt’s calm demeanor helped me, too. He poured peroxide into the bowl and then took Ajax’s offered paw. Slowly, he held the bowl up to Ajax’s paw, talking softly to him. Ajax sat still while the white foam bubbled around his cut. “So, tell me something about yourself.”

“Umm, you are aware he’s a dog, right?”

His return chuckle was soft and deep. “I mean you, Ava.” He glanced up at me, smile in his eyes.

I really liked when he said my name. “Like what?”

“Anything. Sometimes it helps to talk. Ajax can’t, but he’s a really good listener. Aren’t you, boy?”

His tail swept back and forth across the floor as he looked up at Wyatt. He leaned forward and licked the tip of Wyatt’s nose.

“Apparently he likes you.”

“I’m a likeable guy.” He lowered the bowl from Ajax’s paw and inspected the cut. “Almost done.” He glanced at me. “Hand me the gauze?”

I did. Wyatt’s fingers grazed mine as he took it from me. He wasn’t what he seemed. Not in the slightest. At school he always kept to himself in a way that made me write him off as some awkward guy. But here, helping the dog, he was confident. More like the guy who’d shielded me from wreckage, pulled a car door off its hinges, and tried to bust down my front door to come to my rescue. Not some weakling who couldn’t stand up for himself.

“Why do you let the guys at school push your books out of your hands every day?”

He paused in wrapping the gauze around Ajax’s paw for a heartbeat and glanced at me over his shoulder, a smile lighting his eyes. “Not every day. Besides, who will they pick on if not me?” This close, I caught sight of the depth of color in his eyes. Layers of blue and green and a bit of gold.

“You can’t possibly mean you let them pick on you so they don’t hurt someone else.”

He let go of Ajax’s paw. “Good boy.” He patted the dog’s head, and Ajax granted him another kiss. Then Wyatt faced me. “I said tell me something about yourself, Ava.”

Those layers of blue, light over greenish over bright. It was an amazing combination. I had to stop staring. I picked up the bowl and set it in the sink. Now that I was farther away from him, I faced him again. “I’m parentless.”

He pulled his eyebrows together as he stood and grabbed the broom. “That’s a strange label. Does it define you?”

Did it? “I don’t think so. The fact that I had parents defines me, though.”

“The fact that someone loved you?”

Whoa. Close to the mark, and I wasn’t in a sharing mood.

I started writing when I was in elementary school. I wrote short stories about a girl with dozens of pets who could talk to animals. By the time I got to middle school, I couldn't stop writing. I wrote about portals, magic objects, super powers, and animals who could talk--yeah, I have a thing for talking animals.

I'm still writing about those things. I guess I just never forgot how to dream.

To learn more about S.D. Grimm and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.

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