Review Blog

Jan 08 2016

Phoenix rising by Bryony Pearce

cover image

Stripes Publishing, 2015. ISBN 9781847154507
(Age: Young adult) Highly recommended. Themes: Dystopian literature; Environmental issues; Piracy; Adventure. This is amazing! It is a cross between an environmental disaster story and Pirate adventure, with a teen hero discovering his own strengths, rising to overcome opposition while working on a risky salvage operation on the high seas. A blurb quote describes it as 'Junk-Punk'. Whatever the genre, it is an entertaining read.
A preface with clips of newspaper headlines gives some idea of the reasons this world is so different to our own. As an example of a dystopian futuristic world, it is unique and gives the reader a view into a disastrous view of the world following a major environmental disaster. The oceans are seething with 'junk', which is either a major shipping hazard or is being salvaged and repurposed in a new world where power sources cannot be relied upon, and those in power cannot be trusted. The pirates are out for themselves and will not let anything get in the way in their search for 'treasure'. The Phoenix is the vessel upon which Toby sails as a self-trained ship's engineer. His coming of age and his acceptance as a mature member of the crew comes after he attempts to rescue a ship stowaway from an attack from a rival pirate ship. There is a violent encounter, a potential romance and renewed respect from his own crew, and eventually the wounded vessel makes its way into further danger.
This book is full of drama, and is well-written. It will definitely be enjoyed by young adult readers. It is stirring, fast-paced and . . . there will be a sequel! Unusually for a YA book, there is no offensive language, and although there are violent encounters and sword fights which might be problematic on film for a young audience, in text this imagination limitation just makes the story spectacular.
Carolyn Hull

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Miles Franklin longlist 2017
Reading Children's Book Prize 2017
Klaus Flugge Prize shortlist 2017
Branford Boase Award shortlist 2017
Text Prize 2017
NSW Premier Literary Awards shortlist 2017
Aurealis Awards winners
YABBA Awards shortlist 2017
Stella Prize 2017
2017 YALSA Teens' Top Ten Nominees

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Bookmark and poster templates