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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dark Phoenix by Marly Mathews

Dark Phoenix by Marly Mathews
Publisher: New Concepts Publishing
Genre: Science Fiction (futuristic)
Length: Full (170 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 Cherries
Review by: Heather

Born with the magical soul of a Crimson Phoenix, Garrett Firestorm is a beacon of light in a dark universe. As an Immortal from the Hidden Realms of Magic, he and his starship fleet of freedom fighters roam the known galaxies fighting evil.

When he finds Alora Bishop in shackles and destined for the intergalactic slave trade market, he rescues her and brings her into his confidence, knowing that an unbreakable bond—a psychic chain for his kind, has been forged between the two of them, he sets out to win her heart. But Alora is a woman with a mysterious past, and the secrets hidden just might be their saving grace—or their total destruction.

Alora’s life was over – she'd been attacked, captured and sold as a slave. And then, she’s rescued by a mysterious stranger who claims she’s his mate.

Garrett is a legendary warrior, a mythical phoenix or firebird. Alora doesn’t believe in love at first sight. She’s grateful for the rescue, but is hardly prepared for him to take over her entire life. On Garrett’s next rescue mission, she meets Queen Aislynn, her consort Bryce and her children Merrick and Matilda. Alora becomes embroiled in aiding the deposed Aislynn reclaiming her kingdom. In doing so she discovers things about her past and her true nature that she never thought possible.

Aislynn is very strong for a secondary character, and nearly takes over the scenes she’s in. Her daughter Matilda is the same. At times Alora almost gets lost in the mix. The dialogue can be wordy at times – there are moments when this reader thought it read more like narrative with quotation marks that how people would actually talk. Matilda does not sound like a kid, or even a teenager--she talks like a mature adult.

Also, the editing could have been tighter. There are several words that are capitalized for no apparent reason and a few instances when the wrong variation of a word is used – ”reigns” instead of “reins”, as one example.

I liked that the villain is very dark – Dark Immortals to balance the Light. I love books that pit good vs. evil, and the darker the evil the lighter the good by contrast. I did wonder at the odd choice of having a gryphon on the cover of a book with firebirds as the primary characters and “Phoenix” in the title.

This was a fun science fiction, with a heroine that was fun to watch as she grew into her own, to become a power unto herself and more than a match for her mate. Alora and Garrett were an intriguing couple, and I wished them well when their tale was over. I would like to read other books set in their world.

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