Book #1 of the Shardwell Series
by Amanda Gerry & Christy Hall
Publisher: Scribes of Shardwell, LLC (January 2012)
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Format: Paperback (329 pages)
Source: Review Request by Author
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 stars)
Maggie is a normal teenager, trudging her way through senior year with her best friend, Lily. Then a boy named Kyle Spencer came to Idaho Falls, and since then everything has fallen apart. Something mysterious has passed among the three friends. They are developing terrifying abilities–strange powers that separate them from normal people.
Even worse, someone–or something–has taken a deadly interest in them. They never know when they are going to strike, or how to protect themselves, or even who they are. All friends know is that they want one alive and the others they want dead. Which one will Maggie be? ~Add to Goodreads
At A Glance
This book was a little bit of a rollercoaster for me. I loved certain parts then almost gave up reading on others. It was a good book, just not great.
Maggie is the beautiful girl with a lot of issues (especially boy issues) but her smart, happy best friend, Lily, kind of balances her out. But when Kyle moves into town, Maggie can’t help but hate/love him. And that’s when the trouble starts. Maggie is assaulted by numerous creatures and new powers start to emerge. A strong connection is forged between the three friends when they all start to show signs of supernatural gifts. And when a new boy tries to join the group (Carter) things get even weirder…and deadlier.
The beginning grabbed me right away. I love Maggie. She is such a hardass. She was burned by a boy once and now she has built a shell around her so no one can hurt her again. Then Kyle comes and messes up her private life. I like how Kyle takes Maggie’s bad attitude in stride. He feels a connection with her and won’t give up trying to win her trust. But of course nothing is that easy. They end up hurting each other quite often. I loved watching their high school romance play out. It was cute and exciting. You can’t help but root for them the whole time.
I enjoyed Lily and her voice of reason. She is always so logical and tries to do whats best for everyone else. She was the perfect best friend. I was heartbroken when Maggie and her fought. And it was only made worse when Carter comes to town. He is a mystery to the group and Maggie and Kyle don’t trust him. But Lily can feel that they are meant to be together. I loved how, as a reader, you really don’t know if they can trust Carter. He seems like a nice guy but something sinister lurks below the surface.
I was dying by the end to know what the hell was going on. We get some hints as the group is repeatedly attacked by weird creatures that seem to have a past with them. The group’s power continued to grow and I was excited to see what each was capable of. The ending is a major cliffhanger, and I am interested to see where Gerry and Hall are going with this story.
I think what bothered me the most is the lack of direction of this book. I thought there would be action throughout but we only get it in the beginning and end. The middle was just romance fluff and high school drama. This book kind of has identity issues. Is it fantasy or a romance? I still don’t know. But I did like the first half of the book, but the second half was blah.
Another thing that bothered me is that the book blurb focuses on Maggie, but the book is written in 3rd person with 3 alternating POVs. We get Maggie a lot in the beginning, Kyle in the middle, then mostly Lily at the end, and a tiny, tiny bit of Carter. I think it was too much for me and it felt very uneven.
This book is very YA. The sexual content is low, except for a sexual assault, and the romance was okay. I enjoyed Maggie and Kyle’s relationship. Loved their drama. But Lily and Carter’s relationship was a turnoff.
The first half of Phoenix Angel really kept my attention. It was more about high school drama and YA romance than anything, but I enjoyed it. I just wish the second half lived up to the first. Recommended for YA readers.
Sacrifice and devotion do not inherently save those you love; sometimes their chosen path will lead them past any hope of redemption.
She ran for the door, seemingly forever at the end of the corridor. Just as Maggie reached for the knob, something closed around her right arm and jerked it down painfully. Her head slammed into the floor.
She looked up into dead black eyes.