Ashes of the Phoenix by Jess Haines
Series: Phoenix Rising #1
Published by Indie
Published on: August 22, 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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Legend says a phoenix will rise again—but all that remains of the immortal bird are ashes and whispered fairy tales...
Lyra Adams enjoys her job as a rare books dealer, but when an angry wizard barges into her store and demands she fork over a unique tome from the antiquities section, she's not about to let him get away with grand larceny without a fight.
Except it's suddenly very difficult to defend her wares, seeing as the wizard turned her into some kind of weird red bird by flinging a handful of ashes in her face.
Her only hope of returning to her normal, human self lies in the hands of the one man she never wanted to see again: her lying, stealing, sorcerous scumbag ex, James Pierce. The same light-fingered thief who tried to steal that very same tome from her a few days before.
She knows she can’t trust James with her heart or her inventory. Can she trust him to turn her back?
I am all about reading urban fantasy books, especially new ones by authors that I have enjoyed before. So I was excited to read the latest book by Jess Haines, the author of the H&W Investigations series, otherwise known to me as, The Others.
Lyra sells rare books, and that includes the occasional paranormal book. A newly acquired book from an estate sale is now the hot commodity in her store, starting first with her boyfriend, James, trying to steal it. I should say her ex-boyfriend now. We don’t witness that event, only hear about it after the fact as a reason for their breakup. When a wizard tries to trick her out of the book, rather than let him, she fights for her property. Only to get turned into a fairly large red bird-otherwise known as a Phoenix. James and Lyra go on a hunt for a way to get her back to human form. They visit an underground mage market-a sort tent city of magic practitioners that try and sell their services or wares. There we find James’s employer, Victor, a very powerful and evil warlock. To say he wants the Phoenix for his own purposes would be an understatement. And I have to stop there due to spoilers.
Short. That’s one way to describe this novella. Short, and not developed enough, and I was a bit disappointed, so it wasn’t necessarily the length that was lacking. There’s really not that much world building, nor character building for that matter. Romance? Very little in that department either. Lyra and James are newly broke up so we never got to see them meet, fall for each other, or anything else that adds to a story that includes a romance. At one point, I thought we might be in for a love triangle to spice things up a bit(although I am usually not a fan), but nope that never happens either. We do get some violence, and have a run-in with a very bad demon, but still. I guess you could say that I was a bit underwhelmed.
I did like Lyra as a character, and even James, shady at first, begins to redeem himself a bit. I enjoyed the visual of Lyra as a bird, but there again, I don’t know what to think about a main character that spends a huge portion of the story as a bird. I also liked the underground tent city and found that to be the most descriptive the book gets-at least I thought so.
I am sure that many people will enjoy this read, and while I can’t highly recommend it, I can however recommend her H&W Investigations series-vampires and werewolves for the win!