Review Phoenix Awakens by Eliza Nolan

9:00 AM

PHOENIX AWAKENS by Eliza Nolan is starting our day today Addicts! This new YA book, first in the Phoenix series was gifted to me by Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion, as always. Read on to see where this one hit on the book addiction scale!

Phoenix Awakens (The Phoenix #1)

A paranormal debut about a high school senior who finds herself in a fight with a secret society for control of ancient magic.

Julia never believed in magic.

Julia Long is starting her senior year with an extra dose of crazy. The dreams of cultish, bloody rituals are weird enough, but the victim in her lifelike dreams is her new classmate, Southern charmer Graham.

Graham admits he was a Phoenix — part of a centuries old secret society — but swears he left it all behind. As Julia works with Graham to figure out why she is dreaming about his past, she's discovering she has other abilities. She heals Graham’s migraines with a touch, and there’s her superhuman strength that comes and goes. Julia doesn’t know where her new talents come from, but there’s no denying that when Graham is near, her powers kick into overdrive.

But the Phoenix Society wants Graham back. They need his blood to awaken the magic they seek, and they’ll do whatever it takes to get it.

Can Julia uncover the truth behind her connection to Graham? How far will Julia go in order to save Graham and stop the Phoenixes from harnessing this powerful magic?

I wasn't expecting this! I wasn't expecting PHOENIX AWAKENS to be a decently good read. This one was attractive in many ways: the cover and the blurb chief among them.
Julia starts out as a more reserved, almost shy heroine, but like many good YA's she grows and develops into a graceful, stronger person who stands up for herself and the people she cares about. Julia also suffers from creepy cult sacrifice dreams that are more like premonitions--maybe, to me at least. Even better, the boy that is always being sacrificed shows up at her school senior year.
He's Graham, by the way.
Graham was a bit of an enigmatic hero at first, and a tad unlikeable to be honest. Then he too changed and became much more adorable :) love my hunky YA boys. 
The secondary characters: Clara, Nate, Samantha, were all pretty great too. They were well written and had just enough story and or mystery to really make you want to know more. I give full credit to Eliza Nolan and her debut book for even making the secondary characters grow and develop along the way! Not an easy thing to accomplish for sure.
For being a sci-fi/fantasy book there were certainly a heaping  of very real and could totally happen aspects that made the world feel real and help draw us in as readers. The plot was well done and nicely paced, for the most part.
Julia is going through so much in this book and it does take a while to finally get answers......which even then doesn't tell us everything that's being set up for the next book. 
The powers--that come and go for the characters--was a cool and unique way of taking something that a staple of the genre and making it different. 
World building is clearly a strong point for Eliza. I just love books that take many different cultural mythologies and use them in their own way.
That's the good parts. Now the not so good.
The first part dragged to the point of nearly making me put this one down. Also, there wasn't any real hints dropped or threaded into the story for the reader to really anticipate or even start guessing what my be coming next. We don't get a lot of answers for Julia's crazy life, which gets me. Ayden-Julia's dream guide-never got any kind of explanation at all. Or if he did I don't remember it, not a great thing to happen in a book. 
I guess, overall there was just too many unanswered things to make me feel like I couldn't give a higher rating. I am definitely interested in seeing what happens next thought. 
I would recommend this one to fans of the genre of SFF and YA!

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