Review Blog

Apr 27 2015

Man in the Shadows by Chris Morphew

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Phoenix Files Volume 1. Contains Book 1: Arrival. Book 2: Contact. Hardie Grant Egmont, 2015. ISBN: 9781760124250
Set in some unknown part of Australia, Phoenix, unreachable by phone or internet, appears to be the perfect town, inhabited only by the employees of the Shackleton Co-operative.
Seventeen year old Luke, simmering with resentment and already missing his dad, finds himself confronted by a scenario that even he finds difficult to believe. The world is about to end and he and two new friends, Peter and Jordan, have to prevent the Co-operative from completing the countdown to the annihilation of the human race.
With his mum engrossed in her new position and working all hours, Luke has only his friends to help him make sense of the cryptic messages Crazy Bill, the town's one jarring oddity, leaves for him. As they do, all three begin to realise the danger that they and everyone else is in. It soon becomes clear that the Co-operative will stop at nothing to achieve its end goal. The collateral damage begins to mount and the hundred day countdown to Armageddon has already begun.
The first of a 3 volume trilogy, Man in the Shadows, is a tense and realistic portrayal of 3 ordinary teens attempting to make sense of what, even to them with their newly discovered proof, seems untenable. With time running out, with no allies, with Crazy Bill locked away, what can 3 teenagers do?
This reader eagerly awaits the next instalment to find out.
R. Lange

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