Curse of the Phoenix (Curse of the Phoenix #1-3)
Published: June 24, 2014 (Entangled)
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by: Amy
Average Rating (out of 5): 3 stars
Note: This is a review of a ‘bundle,’ which includes all three stories in the series.
In order to pay penance for their past sins, the god Osiris has charged Ice, Arabella, and Sadie with saving the souls of those who would die, sacrificing themselves in their place. Then, like a Phoenix, they rise and go through the process over and over again. Always dying in horrible ways, just to wake up in their palace in the sky to be given a new assignment. They’ve been doing this for centuries, some longer than others, and it doesn’t seem like Osiris is anywhere close to letting them off the hook until they’ve learned from their mistakes. The Phoenixes are none too pleased with the arrogant god whose lately been MIA.
I thought Curse of the Phoenix was definitely something better read in a bundle because I don’t know if I would have continued the series had I only read the first book. The first book deals with Ice’s story and it also introduces the characters and world to the readers. Ice’s story, at times, felt very disjointed. Her name “Ice” should say it all right there. Her icy personality was difficult to get around. There’s a reason for it, obviously, but I honestly didn’t have much interest.
What Ice’s story did really well was give readers a glimpse of the other Phoenixes. This is what made me continue reading. For me, Arabella, with her warmer personality, was a better story of redemption. The premise for all the Phoenixes is the same; what is different between them is how and why they were made into a Phoenix and how they finally realize the true pathway to move on.
I would say that the god Osiris is actually the most compelling character in the series. He’s talked about as being their prison guard of sorts, yet we don’t actually meet him until Arabella’s book where his air of mystery is challenged when we learn he may have a soft spot for his Phoenixes.
The buildup of the series is clearly leading to Osiris’s story, and if you’re doing the math that only leaves one Phoenix left to share it with him. For me, Sadie’s story was the best of the bunch. I feel like Rachel Firasek really found her stride with this one, and I would have loved for it to be full length. While I feel like we were given enough of a look at Sadie’s past life, you can definitely tell where some things were cut short in order to accommodate the novella length. This too can be said for the other two books in the series as well.
Something also to note is the fact that this series centers a lot on Egyptian mythology. Firasek took a little bit of liberty in figuring that many readers are already familiar with the mythology. Not as versed in Ancient Egypt as I should be, oftentimes I found the references confusing (that is until I looked it up on Wikipedia). I would have liked a bit more info, but again I think things like this get cut in cases of novellas.
I’m glad I stuck with the series and I think this could be a great summer read. Each story is quickly paced; you can definitely finish this in a lazy afternoon. Plus, as of writing this review, the bundle is a pretty good deal compared to buying separately!
Sexual content: Graphic sex