Review: Phoenix by A.J. Scudiere

23 June, 2012 / 2 Comments

I would like to thank NetGalley and Griffyn Ink Publishing for giving me the chance to read and review this novel before its publication date.  Although I appreciate the ARC, my review will be completely honest and I will rate it as it appeals to me/my preferences.
Pub date: October 2, 2012
NetGalley Synopsis:
Jason Mondy’s world is unravelling.
His seemingly secure job as a fire fighter is suddenly thrown into chaos.
The bright spot in his week is that he rescued two children from a house fire, but he returns home that night to find all his furniture is missing.
His girlfriend has left him without warning and his nightmares keep him from sleeping.  Even just a simple trip home to find some rest leads his adoptive mother to sit him down
and tell him that maybe his troubles aren’t quite as innocuous as they seem.  Then his she divulges a secret she’s kept for over twenty-six years . . .
Jason has a brother he doesn’t remember existed.
He doesn’t remember his life before he was adopted at age seven.
He only knows that he was rescued from the fire that took his birth mother’s life.  But the story is deeper than that, and the foundation on which he built his world is now cracking.  The brother he doesn’t remember 
is out there somewhere, left behind.
Armed with only this stunning new piece of information,
Jason embarks on a quest to find the truths buried deep in his past.
As he searches, one by one the pieces of his life fall like dominoes.
And the more he uncovers, the more everything he thought he knew
about himself and his past begins to turn to ash.
His truth isn’t true at all . . .
Story/Plot: I found the story to be a bit dull and not all that interesting.  It sounds interesting in the synopsis, but the book starts off extremely slooooow and I was pretty bored up until about halfway through.  Then it picked up and I became less bored and more interested in what was going to happen.  The story is filled with a lot of fluff that wasn’t really necessary…but I am a fan of YA fiction, so I guess I’m just not used to a bunch of fluff!
Characters: I did not care for the main character, Jason, very much at all.  I found him to be a very unlikeable character, in fact.  He says “holy s**t” A LOT; it’s almost the only thing he says in the first part of the book.  I felt that I didn’t get to know him or his personality until pretty far into the story.  He seemed to be a very shallow, sexist a**hole.  He also seemed hard and emotionally unattached.  However, he did get better toward the end, after falling for a different kind of girl.
The other characters are pretty likeable.  I found Clark to be likeable and I felt sympathetic toward him and his story.  And Amara was a lovely character, in my opinion.
Writing: The writing was good.  I didn’t really find anything wrong with the writing style (other than some mistakes, but the book is not ready for publication yet, so I am assuming that they will be fixed).  The only thing that I found undesirable (and this is strictly my preferential opinion) was that the novel was written in third person.  I am partial to first person narration, because the reader gets to know the main character better.  Maybe this is one of the reasons I was dissatisfied with the character of Jason.
Uniqueness/Creativity: I do not feel that the story was very unique.  It was creative at times, I suppose.  There were some nice twists and turns in there, but I saw most of them coming…so no real surprises until maybe the very end.
Overall: The book started off very dry, but picked up somewhere near the middle.  I was not impressed at all during the first half.  I had to will myself to keep reading.  I’m glad I did, as I was surprised that it did get much better later on.  But I swear, I was truly beginning to wonder if there were subliminal messages in the text to cause a person to fall asleep.  It took me a long time to read due to the first half trying to put me to sleep whenever I picked it up.  Seriously, it was unreal!  But, I would recommend this book to adult readers who have patience with their books and who don’t mind a lot of fluff.  I would also recommend it to fans of mysteries.
2.5 stars blue


Quote from the book:
It was like everything in his chest quit moving. “All this time I’ve been planning
on finding a death certificate for my brother. But I’m not going to find it, am I?”
Clark’s voice was steady, and the low tone indicated he understood what Jason
wanted to know. “I don’t think so.”
“I’m going to find him alive, right?”

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Posted 23 June, 2012 by Sam in Book Reviews, Books / 2 CommentsTags: , , , , , ,

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2 Responses to “Review: Phoenix by A.J. Scudiere”

  1. Wendy

    Well, I certainly don’t need help falling asleep so perhaps I should avoid this book!! Seriously, your review did not entirely put me off reading this novel – I have read many a book that took awhile to become interesting – so I will consider reading it. Thank you for another honest and interesting review.

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