Sparkling water fanatic. Lover of random crap. Goodreads member curious to see if the grass really is greener on the other side.
"Welcome to the post-human age."
It's the Marines meets Maze Runner meets Unwind meets Fight Club (the cover even reminds me of the FC cover) meets some weird version of The Island of Dr. Moreau/Jurassic Park (without the animals) mashup - in this book's version of "it really sucks to go to juvvie."
The show Beyond Scared Straight would probably love to have some of Phoenix Island's tactics at their disposal.
I'm itching to shelve this book as horror lite, but I'll go with science fiction and a nod to dystopia (even though the "off-island" world isn't on the same abnormal scale that Phoenix Island is).
Who would miss them? They were just a bunch of throwaway orphans.
Since the book was something of a slow-starter, I'm not sure if I was on board enough to start caring about what happened to the characters by the time the action finally started kicking in. With some retooling, Phoenix Island would probably work better as an adult offering. I expect YA books of this category to hit harder and faster out of the gate, whereas I am more patient to wait out a slow build with adult literature.
However, all is not lost. This is exactly the type of book that my teenage son would have loved a few years ago. At the first hint of danger and/or violence to come, he would have stayed glued to the pages, waiting for it to happen. He would have cared less about character attachment, and more about seeing how the shit was going to hit the fan. While he and I both read and enjoyed books like Unwind and The Maze Runner, we definitely had different reasons for why we liked those books. In retrospect, Unwind is still a book I think about, while Maze Runner has dulled with time for me (because I've read much better from the genre since then), and I'd actually put it on par now with Phoenix Island, which might not be as good of a compliment as it would have been a couple of years ago.
"They look like the damn Hitler Youth."
Even though I'm sort of half-and-half on this book (the second part was pretty good - I'm just sad that it took me so long to get invested), I'm going to go ahead and recommend Phoenix Island to anyone who wants to get away from the Matched, Delirium, Wither type of romantic sci-fi and delve into something grittier.
This book provided from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All quotes taken from the pre-published copy and may be altered or omitted from the final copy.