Title: Phoenix Flame
Author: Sara Holland
Pub. Date: March 2, 2021
Pub: Bloomsbury YA
Genre: YA Fantasy
Maddie thought her problems were over. She saved the Inn at Havenfall—a sanctuary between magical worlds—from the evil Silver Prince. Her uncle the Innkeeper is recovering from a mysterious spell that left him not quite human. And there are still a few weeks of summer left to spend with her more-than-friend Brekken.
But there’s more work to be done to protect the Inn—Maddie must put an end to the black-market trading of magical objects and open the Inn’s doors to the once feared land of shapeshifters.
As she tries to accomplish both seemingly impossible tasks, Maddie uncovers secrets that could change everything. What if saving everyone means destroying the only home she’s known?
This will be a spoiler free review. Thank you to NetGalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review. If you’re interested, you can check out my spoiler free review of Havenfall here.
I tried to read this.
I wanted to give this world, these characters another chance – a fair chance.
I didn’t make it past 30% – and because of that, this review is going to be short.
Do I even remember what happens in Havenfall? No.
Did I care about anything happening in this book? No.
Did I care about characters and their relationships? No.
In 30%, nothing remotely happened. Maddie legit just breezes through life, with all these half-baked plans and she just expects people to agree with her. I didn’t like Maddie in the first book, and she really didn’t do anything to ingratiate herself with me.
It just wasn’t fun or interesting being back in this world. Maybe if I’d read further, I would have started to care, but if you can’t hook me in the first 30% – which is roughly 1/3 of this book – then you’ve lost me as a reader.
I will say that I blew through the first 30% rather quickly, so that means that this book is a pretty quick read, but again, nothing happened in that first 30%, so wtf is going to happen in the last 70%. This book is only 272 pages – incredibly short – so there’s no time for nothing to happen.
Holland’s book have been misses for me since Evermore I loved Everless and found it to be a fantastic book, but sadly every book I’ve read of Holland’s since then has just fallen incredibly short.
I’m legit sitting here trying to remember anything that happened in Havenfall and nothing comes to mind.
I went in with an open mind and the willingness to try and read this. I wanted it to redeem Havenfall, but it didn’t.
If you’ve read both books, let me know if it might be worth it to push through and potentially finish this book.