Monday, February 24, 2014

Review: "Phoenix Island" by John Dixon

The judge told Carl that one day he'd have to decide exactly what kind of person he would become. But on Phoenix Island, the choice will be made for him. A champion boxer with a sharp hook and a short temper, sixteen-year-old Carl Freeman has been shuffled from foster home to foster home. He can't seem to stay out of trouble, using his fists to defend weaker classmates from bullies. His latest incident sends his opponent to the emergency room, and now the court is sending Carl to the worst place on earth: Phoenix Island. Classified as a terminal facility, it's the end of the line for delinquents who have no home, no family, and no future. Located somewhere far off the coast of the United States and immune to its laws, the island is a grueling Spartan-style boot camp run by sadistic drill sergeants who show no mercy to their young, orphan trainees. Sentenced to stay until his eighteenth birthday, Carl plans to play by the rules, so he makes friends with his wisecracking bunkmate, Ross, and a mysterious gray-eyed girl named Octavia. But he makes enemies, too, and after a few rough scrapes, he earns himself the nickname "Hollywood" as well as a string of punishments, including a brutal night in the sweatbox. But that's nothing compared to what awaits him in the Chop Shop: a secret government lab where Carl is given something he never dreamed of. A new life. . . . A new body. A new brain. Gifts from the fatherly Old Man, who wants to transform Carl into something he's not sure he wants to become. For this is no ordinary government project. Phoenix Island is ground zero for the future of combat intelligence. And for Carl, it's just the beginning. . .

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read and review an ARC of this novel.

Whew, what a ride!  This book is definitely action-packed!!!  I had no idea from one moment to the next what would happen to Carl and his friends - I was pulled in right from the first page and barely put this book aside until I was finished. 

Thrilling, suspenseful, electrifying, breathtaking, captivating, mind blowing, riveting - all words that could be used to describe "Phoenix Island".  I thought after reading the synopsis that some elements of this book would be way over the top, but Dixon writes in a way that the reader will believe that there could be a place like Phoenix Island.  The setting is described so realistically that I could practically feel the sweat dripping down my brow.  And Carl may be my newest book boyfriend!  Although there was not much in the way of romance in "Phoenix Island", I couldn't help but wish that Carl was real - he's friggin' AWESOME!  Needless to say, I'm waiting with bated breath to see what happens next!

My rating:

1 comment:

  1. This is one I passed on because I already have too many books to read and I wasn't sure that I would like it. Your review makes me want to go back and grab a copy. Thanks for sharing!

    Tressa @ Tressa's Wishful Endings