Saturday, 15 February 2014

Book Review (306): Phoenix Island - John Dixon

Phoenix Island

Publication: 7th January 2014
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 320
Genre: Thriller
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
The judge told Carl that one day he'd have to decide exactly what kind of person he would become. But on Phoenix Island, the choice will be made for him.

A champion boxer with a sharp hook and a short temper, sixteen-year-old Carl Freeman has been shuffled from foster home to foster home. He can't seem to stay out of trouble, using his fists to defend weaker classmates from bullies. His latest incident sends his opponent to the emergency room, and now the court is sending Carl to the worst place on earth: Phoenix Island

Classified as a terminal facility, it's the end of the line for delinquents who have no home, no family, and no future. Located somewhere far off the coast of the United States and immune to its laws, the island is a grueling Spartan-style boot camp run by sadistic drill sergeants who show no mercy to their young, orphan trainees. Sentenced to stay until his eighteenth birthday, Carl plans to play by the rules, so he makes friends with his wisecracking bunkmate, Ross, and a mysterious gray-eyed girl named Octavia. But he makes enemies, too, and after a few rough scrapes, he earns himself the nickname "Hollywood" as well as a string of punishments, including a brutal night in the sweatbox. But that's nothing compared to what awaits him in the Chop Shop: a secret government lab where Carl is given something he never dreamed of. 

A new life. . . . 

A new body. A new brain. 

Gifts from the fatherly Old Man, who wants to transform Carl into something he's not sure he wants to become. 

For this is no ordinary government project. Phoenix Island is ground zero for the future of combat intelligence. 

And for Carl, it's just the beginning. . .
My Thoughts.
I can honestly say that I'd never heard of this book before receiving it for review, and I like to think that I'm well aware of all current releases that I'm likely going to want to read, however somehow this book slipped under my radar and what a pity that would have been, I LOVED THIS BOOK!

Everything about this book was great, from the concept which was extremely well written and entertaining, full of action and nail-biting suspense, this story had me on the edge of my seat, so invested in this world and it's lead character Carl I didn't want it to end.

Carl has gotten himself into trouble one too many times, only sixteen and too young to be jailed he is instead sent to Phoenix Island, a sort of military camp for orphans that has ulterior motives and dangerous secrets that may just get you killed, when he discovers a diary written by a former orphan he realises that he must find a way to escape before the same fate befalls him.

I'm hopeful that there will be a sequel as I think that there is enough of a storyline to continue on with, and I want to see Carl have a fitting conclusion to his story.

A wondefully well-written novel that should appeal to readers that love their action/suspense stories that come with a bit of a twist then this is definitely the book for you!

Highly recommended.

I give this 4/5 stars.

I'm the author of PHOENIX ISLAND (formerly known as DISSIDENT), coming January 7th, 2014 from Simon & Schuster / Gallery Books. First in a series of sci fi thrillers for teens, PHOENIX ISLAND is the basis for the upcoming CBS TV series INTELLIGENCE, starring Josh Holloway (LOST), Marg Helgenberger (CSI), and Meghan Ory (ONCE UPON A TIME), which also debuts January 7th. 

Before all this dream-come-true stuff happened, I taught English at Springton Lake Middle School, where the course hid under the bland name "language arts" and where I was blessed with the coolest students of all time. I miss them now that I'm writing full time, but the constant companionship of my excellent dog, Scout, is powerful compensation.

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