I received an eARC of this book through netgalley in return for an honest review.
I really enjoyed Phoenix Awakens - so much so that I didn't even stop to take notes. It was an easy going YA read that didn't hand me the answers to questions posed to the character on a silver platter.
Like a lot of books I've read lately, Phoenix Awakens had a very slow start. A lot of it was relationship development between the characters, along with little teasers of what was to come here and there. It wasn't overwhelming slow though, so it didn't bother me.
I found the main character, Julia, was relatable. However, I'm looking forward to seeing her develop more as a person. The romance between her and Graham wasn't insta love, or insta lust, which I liked. They did have a static connection - but it has more to do with Graham’s link to Julia's magic. They went through some awkward stages and even though they became very close very quickly, it seemed like a normal pair of teenagers whose feelings heightened thanks to puberty and looming danger.
Nolan did a really good job on the friendship side. There's a big tiff between Julia and one friend and I totally connected with it. I was angry and sad and just wanted to punch a pillow because it really resonated with things I went through as a teenager.
Nolan also did well with leaving breadcrumbs for Julia and the reader to follow without giving away the entire plot. I really liked that. It's so annoying to read something only to know the entire plot a few chapters in. I liked that it was a little unpredictable.
I'm looking forward to the next, but I hope there's a lot more action in it. While Phoenix Awakens had a good chunk at the end, it was very short lived and a little anticlimactic.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and will be continuing the series. I'll be rating it 31/2 stars.