Phoenix Rising: Maggie Henning and the Realm: Part One (Volume 1) Lisa C Morgan
This book was gifted to me for an honest review.
Maggie is a typical 16 year old girl, grumbling at her alarm clock, disrespecting her mother and filled with teenage angst and moodiness. Maggie's father had a mental breakdown, killed eight people in a church by burning it down and is confined to a mental hospital, Sunnybrook where he has been since Maggie was 6 years old. She is none too pleased that she has to visit him once a month nor that she is labeled the daughter of a murderer. Maggie has been having weird dreams and visions. Then she finds a note sent to her from Sunnybrook, which her mother had apparently hidden from her. The note says: “It's all true. Guard the blood.” Maggie meets a strange boy in the mall who seems to be able to read her mind. Maggie's best friend Stephanie has an unusually negative, immediate reaction to the boy and abandons Maggie at the mall. Feeling rebellious and reckless, Maggie lets the boy give her a ride on his motorcycle. Without having to give the man directions, the guy, Michel, drives her straight home. Maggie's mother, like Stephanie has an immediate adverse reaction to Michel.
I have to say that I did not like Maggie's attitude at all. If I was her mother, I probably would have slapped her. She is a serious brat.
Maggie's visit with her father turns weird as the incoherent, drooling, shackled monster that she expected turns to her, spits out his medication and tells her that she is in danger and that her mother is not her mother. Maggie's father yells “Revenants” and “Guard the Blood!”
And that's when things get weird with vampires, fairies and skeleton monsters: creatures of the Realm. Maggie finds herself in the middle of a war between good and evil and is told that the tears of a Phoenix, her tears can end the war. And the Revenants want her blood so as to become invincible.
I am a big fan of paranormal, fantasy and urban fantasy and this one is pretty good. I did find Maggie's teenage angst a bit off putting. I frequently had the urge to slap her. I didn't like her in the beginning but I did like the vampire princes: brothers Michel and Luc. Maggie isn't very strong and she doubts her abilities. “I see a weak little girl who spent ten years being teased and abused by almost everyone around her.” Once she showed her vulnerabilities, only then did I begin to feel and sympathize for her. Maggie starts developing “firestarter” powers and it is interesting her developing relationship with Michel since he is ice and she is fire.
Two thirds into the book I really started liking the story. Maggie's struggle enthralled me and Lisa Morgan's voice really drew me in. Things started to get really exciting as the Realm went to battle with the Revenants. A predictable tragedy later occurs that is written so poignantly and eloquently that even though I was waiting for it to happen, it still brought tears to my eyes. “That even with loss, love endures.” “We appreciate the sunset as mush as we treasure the dawn.”
This was a really good, at times excellent book and I really enjoyed it. I would like to get the next book and read more about Maggie, Michel and Luc. Four Stars!