Last week on the blog I was extremely lucky to have the amazing SF Said on the blog for a Q & A as part of the YAShot blog tour which gave me the opportunity to read ‘Phoenix’ which I’ve been longing to delve into for a very long time. This story totally blew me away, I experienced a multitude of emotions as I was taken away on an epic adventure through the stars. Yet this book is so much more than a thrilling ride, there are underlying themes exploring ignorance, prejudice, and the devastating effect of war on mankind. It manages to be both magical and spiritual, inspiring curiosity and wonder about the world beyond our galaxy and opening our minds to new and exciting possibilities.
Lucky thinks he’s an ordinary Human boy. But one night, he dreams that the stars are singing – and wakes to find an uncontrollable power rising inside him. Now he’s on the run, racing though space, searching for answers. In a galaxy at war, where Humans and Aliens are deadly enemies, the only people who can help him, are an Alien starship crew – and an Alien warrior girl, with neon needles in her hair. Together, they must find a way to save the galaxy. For Lucky is not the only one in danger. His destiny and the fate of the universe are connected in the most explosive way.
‘Phoenix’ is tense and breath taking read that will hold you tightly in its grip until you reach the magnificent ending. After turning the last page I just sat contemplating this tale which had deeply touched me whilst totally enthralling me, a rare combination to find. Elements of the story filled me with sadness and outrage at the way the opposing races where treating each other. In particular the scene at the border controls where the Axxa’s humanity is stripped away simply because they are deemed to be ‘aliens’. In a world filled with fear and mistrust ‘Phoenix’ helps children understand how reality can become distorted when it gets caught up in political propaganda. Through Lucky’s journey, it reaffirms the belief that despite our differences, all of us are intrinsically the same.
Incredibly entertaining and exciting, ‘Phoenix’ is filled with the most complex and interesting characters from the feisty Bixa to the thoughtful Frollix, they defy stereotypes as they try to come to terms with their own destinies and what paths they must follow. Wonderfully, dark and menacing it is the fear of the unknown and unexpected which will captivate children’s imagination, how do you know who to trust in a world full of uncertainty. Just when you think the book can’t be surpassed, Dave McKean’s sublime black and white illustrations burst through the pages with a formidable energy. Conjuring up this unknown world before our very eyes and capturing the drama and danger of Lucky’s mission. A powerful and brilliant book that deserves to be in every school library, a truly stunning read.
To find out more about SF Said visit his website or follow him on Twitter @whatSFSaid
To find out more about Dave McKean visit his website or follow him on Twitter @DaveMcKean
Thank you to SF Said for donating a copy of ‘Phoenix’ to our school library.