As always, if you haven’t read this book please look away now. This post contains spoilers. If you want a spoiler-free review, please pop over to my GoodReads, the link to my review is HERE
New World Rising by Jennifer Wilson
Published January 5th 2016 by Oftomes Publishing
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Firstly, lets talk about the first thing we all noticed about this book… What a stunning cover! It immediately draws your eye to it and makes you want to pick it up. Green Is one of my favourite colours too, so it sang out to me from the shelf! From the cover alone, you sort of get a feel for this book (other than what you get from the title alone).
Okay wow, page 2 and we are seeing our protagonist go through some serious child hood trauma! Watching her parents get murdered is horrible enough, but watching her father bleed out while her mum gets raped then killed is a whole other lot of horrible. How did the Ravagers not kill her? Why did they let her live when they found her hiding in the drain?
The writing style is easy to get into, the pacing seems a little slow to start and I am finding the language a little stiff. But I am intrigued by the protagonist. I am 4 chapters in and still no mention of her name (Yes I know what it is from reading the blurb/synopsis, but no mention in the text as yet), only that she was 11 when her parents were murdered and she was forced to live on the streets on her own. She is savvy, sneaky and incredibly brave. I want to know more about her.
I’m not sure that I am enjoying this book, I am at the 50 pages mark, the point where I decide whether to read on or not. I think it may have something more to offer as the plot thickens, so to speak. I’m going to soldier on, I am intrigued and I do want to know more about the background of the protagonist.
Finally, we are told her name is Phoenix. I get it, she chose that name as a way of becoming the person that she needed to be, in order to survive the tribes.
Hello Subversive! Woah, this place is crazy! It is like a whole different world underground, both scared and liberated and wanting revenge and freedom. Those combinations can be deadly.
Okay, hello there Triven! He is such a total sweet heart, everything about him screams good-guy, even his whole-hearted love towards Phoenix after knowing her for such a short time. His trust and belief in her shows how much more he can see of the world. He holds a lot of power though, yes he may be the leaders son, but in some ways, he outranks her? She makes a decision and if Triven doesn’t like it, he over rules her. I’m worried that this power is somehow going to impact upon his and Phoenix’s relationship.
I love the dynamic between Phoenix and Mouse. Phoenix constantly talks about not wanting friends or any one to care about because it makes you weak and gives people something to hurt you with. But here she is, protecting this child, seeking her out, to make her happy. To make Mouse’s life a better one than Phoenix herself ever knew. Their relationship is so pure, Mouse only wants to see Phoenix smile, to feel her presence near her, she makes her feel safe.
Okay, side note…What the heck is with the weird names in this book. I know it is a dystopian novel, but geez, lay off the hard to pronounce names! I spend the first 150 pages calling Arstid, Astrid! It isn’t a fun time!
I am still not sure about the writing style and pacing of this book. I am liking where the book is going, and it is keeping me on the edge of my seat, but I am also a little bored with it. I’m also feeling like nothing is happening, and I think that is due to the odd pacing. It is rather slow-paced for a book with as much action in it. I will definitely keep reading though, I need to know more about Triven, more about Phoenix’s parents, more about the sanctuary.
Phoenix is getting on my nerves, everyone is treating her like she is the only one who can save them and show them where to go, where as in the beginning they hated her and wanted her executed. Phoenix herself is appearing more annoying than ever, it really feels as though she is showing off? Like she is trying to say hey, look how amazing at all of these things I am? And bloody Triven isn’t helping that situation one little bit, like how he constantly praises her for her safe houses, for her swiftness, for her survival skills. Yes, I get it, you think she is great, but is she really? She gives off a selfish air , and yes I know she had to survive on her own for the last 6 years, but still, she feels ignorant of the people around her.
I mean, she kisses Triven, and is into it and is starting to want to be there for herself, and then she over hears a conversation and tries to leave. When Triven catches her before she goes, he begs her to stay and nothing he can say will get her to stay, other than using Mouse against her, and in the end Phoenix stays, for mouse. After Triven and herself kiss and create a closer relationship, she stabs him in the heart, basically saying, no you aren’t good enough for me, I’m going. Then she says she will stay for Mouse. Once again, I am irked by this protagonist.
So I have under 100 pages left, and I honestly feel as though nothing has really happened, I need something amazing to happen before the end of this book, to warrant me reading the second book in the series… Ugh Chapter 17, I get that there was going to have to be a flashback to her parents murders at some point, but this one feels so forced. Like of course the only place that they could possibly hide, is in the sewer drains. And of course she once again, witnessed someone being killed, felt their blood on her face from the gunshot…. Aaand then the chapter goes from Phoenix’s repressed pain to the only other person she cares about being in danger. I get what Wilson has tried to do with this chapter, to up the stakes, quicken the pace and really get the reader emotionally involved. But for me, it fell flat, it really feels forced and that takes away the emotional charge that Wilson is trying to create.
So the ending picked up the pace! We were thrust into a never-ending action sequence, where we see all of our ‘favourites’ go through some seriously dangerous stuff. Which would have had my heart pumping, if I had formed a bond with any of the characters. The end definitely was a highlight, the pacing finally picked up, we saw Phoenix caring more for others than for herself and we saw Phoenix, Mouse and Triven become the family that we all wanted them to become. The final scene with Phoenix asking Triven to save Mouse was the most emotionally laden part of the whole book, for me. Like she finally realised just what it means to have a family, that loving other people isn’t a burden, it makes you stronger, it gives value and meaning to your life. We see Phoenix start to realise this, and then it is all taken away from her.
I definitely will be reading the next book in the series, I do want to see how Phoenix swings this bad luck around, she always seems to be able to get herself out of these things with minimal effort. I am also hoping that we learn a little more about her parents and what they did before they escaped.
All in all a good read, for me it is a 3/5 stars.
On another note, I am so happy that I actually got to read something off of my December TBR! You can find it HERE to see what else I may be tackling this month!
Have you read this book? What did you think?