Explosions, Emotions and Excitement Fuel Phoenix Rising

Books GeekMom

I love superhero stories, but I’m not big on visual formats like comic books and graphic novels. That’s why I was so excited to review Corrina Lawson’s new novel, Phoenix Rising. It’s a comic book kind of story anchored in novelistic prose, so it’s definitely my kind of read.

Aside: After reading the review, check the end of the post to enter a free giveaway of the book.

To those who know him, Alec Farley is the closest thing to a superhero they’ve ever seen. He can move things with his mind, he can control fire with a wave of his hand, and he looks good enough to pull off a spandex ‘n’ cape ensemble (although he doesn’t wear one).

Trouble is, not many people know Alec. That’s because he’s been kept under lock and key for most of his life, “protected” from the world by his adoptive father, who just happens to be the power-hungry director of a shadowy organization called The Resource.

Beth Nakamora wants to change that. Herself a telepath — although her power’s been latent since her childhood — she understands what it means to be used for your power and given no choice about your life path. In the guise of a mental health counselor, she infiltrates The Resource and gains Alec’s trust, hoping to show him another way to live.

But things go a bit awry, and Beth ends up kidnapping Alec, which leads to a string of shootouts, desperate escapes, rebellions, and reversals. Oh, and there’s a radioactive dirty bomb heading for New York City, and Alec might be the only one who can stop it.

Phoenix Rising keeps up an intense pace and a gripping narrative. As outlandish as the characters may sound, they’re actually quite believable and relatable, and watching them come to terms with their powers and fight to make their own decisions — all while fending off bad guys — is endlessly absorbing, and in the end, quite moving. Alec in particular is a unique mix of tough-guy supersoldier and naive youth, and his emotional arc as he learns to think for himself is very compelling.

Vivid writing makes the climactic scenes incredibly visual — you can almost picture these fiery explosions and tension-filled standoffs as gorgeous full-page panels in a comic book. But I’m just as happy to have read them in print.

Full disclosure: Yes, of course, I know Corrina Lawson! She’s one of our fine editors here at GeekMom, and we’ve been friends and occasional critique partners for years. That doesn’t unduly influence my review, though, because the fact is that I only hang out with awesome writers. Cory’s definitely one of them, and Phoenix Rising is a terrific read. I’m looking forward to the next book in what looks to be a fantastic series.

To enter to win a copy of Phoenix Rising, just comment below and Corrina will pick a winner via random number generator. Winner will be announced in the comments on Tuesday of next week.

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18 thoughts on “Explosions, Emotions and Excitement Fuel Phoenix Rising

  1. Sounds like a book my daughter would love! She’s currently working on her first sci-fi book at the age of 12!

  2. @Lora — That’s awesome that your daughter is starting to write novels at age 12! However, I should’ve mentioned in the review that the book does include some sex and strong language, so you might want to give it a read to make sure you’re comfortable before you pass it on to her.

    1. Thanks for the heads up! I’ll definitely have to check it out for myself. Sounds like a good read! The strong language is not much of worry for me with my kids. They both grew up going to my roller derby practices. 😉 The sex scenes would be too much, though, but not for me!
      My daughter spent last week grounded and started her novel. Even though she is no longer grounded, she’s been spending all her free time on it. I think she’s about 10 pages into it, which is the most I’ve ever seen her write on anything! Of course, I think the main antagonist, Madame Drone, is modeled after me. I take no offense. I’m quite proud of her.

      1. That is awesome, Lora! 🙂

        And here’s the part where I confess my twelve-year-old son has read Phoenix Rising. He started reading on my computer one day when I left the document open and…oops. #momfail there, though he doesn’t seem scared at all. He wants to read the sequel I’m working on but I’m not so sure that’s a good idea….

  3. I’ve been hearing good things about Phoenix Rising, and can’t wait to read it.

    I agree on it being too much for a 12 year old. There are a ton of cool YA sci fi books out there that I’m sure she would love.

  4. Great review–thanks for the heads up! This has been on my TBB for a while–I love the combination of adventure and romance 🙂

  5. I have heard so many great things about this story and would dearly love to win this delightful book,
    Thank you for the contest giveaway..*S*

    pommawolf @hotmail.com

  6. Sounds very interesting- bookmarking the 1st chapter to read once I get a chance (blame the Baby for everything I can’t do these days lol)

  7. Well – I have to throw my hands up and confess to ‘knowing’ Corrina too (online) – and having heard little bits about this story – it’s great to hear that it’s finally out! Can’t wait to read it …

  8. I’ve heard lots of great things about this book on the Samhain group so I’d love to win it! Of course I’ve added it to my wishlist too! 🙂

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