Full of twists, the sweet and sassy love duo that is Ash and Natalie, and new awesome teen action heroes, Phoenix is an awesome followup to Black City. Richards took some risky moves, but they definitely paid off. I found myself invested and trusted new characters,, only to have the storyline twisted and jerked out from under my feet.
My only downfall with Phoenix was the disjoint between Black City and Phoenix. For me, they didn't seem like a cohesive pair. The writing seemed different in Phoenix, and it might only be noticeable while reading the books back to back as I did. Even so, Richards' storytelling is excellent.
Weeks after his crucifixion and rebirth as Phoenix, Ash Fisher believes his troubles are far behind him. He and Natalie are engaged and life seems good. But his happiness is short-lived when he receives a threatening visit from Purian Rose, who gives Ash an ultimatum: vote in favor of Rose’s Law permanently relegating Darklings to the wrong side of the wall or Natalie will be killed. The decision seems obvious to Ash; he must save Natalie. But when Ash learns about The Tenth, a new and deadly concentration camp where the Darklings would be sent, the choice doesn’t seem so simple. Unable to ignore his conscience, Ash votes against Rose’s Law, signing Natalie’s death warrant and putting a troubled nation back into the throes of bloody battle.