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!
I haven’t tried this one but like you I really enjoyed her other novels
Melliane recently posted…P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Yes, they were good weren’t they?
This definitely sounds like something I would enjoy but I might hold off until you read book two to see if it gets better. 😉 Wonderful honest review Lorna!
kindlemom1 recently posted…Review: Urban Enemies by: Jim Butcher, Kelley Armstrong, Kevin Hearne, Seanan McGuire, Jonathan Maberry..
Thanks! I don’t honestly think I will be continuing the series though.
Glad you enjoyed this one, even if it wasn’t as good as you’d hoped. I’ve had the other series on my TBR for a while. Great review.
Melanie recently posted…Review: Justice Ascending by Rebecca Zanetti (@mlsimmons, @RebeccaZanetti)
The other series is good although I haven’t finished it yet
oh, I really struggle with novellas, because rarely are they developed enough.
I went into the read thinking it was a full length book so I think that is part of the reason why I was so disappointed
SOmetimes short is just that too short 🙁
blodeuedd recently posted…TMST: Low ratings and Silence Fallen
Yes, you are right, it was just disappointing.
Oh bummer. I too enjoyed her H&W Investigations series and I’ve read one or two of her other books she’s written past that, but alas, I can’t seem to enjoy those as much as her previous series either. Sad to hear that this one was a bit of a letdown. Let alone, a novella series. Nothing wrong with those as I’ve read quite a few good ones over the years and many which were series as well. But I don’t know about this one. I tend to trust my blogger friends when it comes to books I feel on the fence about. I might have to pass on this one. Nice and honest review though! 🙂
Thanks you. I’ve read and enjoyed many novellas as well. I didn’t realize this was a novella until I was done reading it so I am sure that factored in my opinion
Hmm, it really does sound like it had some big potential, but was clipped way to close to take advantage of the good plot threads. Neat that a phoenix was the paranormal element. Thanks, Lorna!
Sophia Rose recently posted…To Be or Not to Be…Read TBR Pile Vote July 2017
Exactly, I thought it had a good premise. And I am not sure, but I don’t think it was supposed to be a comedy, but a huge talking red bird for a main character? It was just funny.
I have been wanting to read the H&W Investigations series and will get to that one some day. Sorry to hear about the novella but maybe it will go better with a series rather than as a standalone. Brilly review.
Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…Arts and Crafts (and Entertainment): Dog Harness and NetFlix
I just wish I had realized it was a novella before I read it cause I sure expected more.
Oh, that’s disappointing. I sure it’s only because it’s a novella that’s why the story seems lacking. I hope you’ll enjoy the rest of the books, nonetheless.
Joy // Joyousreads recently posted…Lazarus
Yeah, I didn’t realize it was a novella until I was done with the read. Not sure, but I don’t think I will be continuing the series
The set-up and the plot with the phoenix does sound interesting, but that’s too bad it was too short and not developed enough. That would be difficult to get a feel for a character that spends most of the book in phoenix form.
Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #241
Here’s the thing, the bird talked. So that’s how we got to know the main character. It didn’t work for me unfortunately.
Well boo…the whole book store and paranormal aspect had me drooling. I do however have the H&W Investigations on my wishlist!
kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Dark Rites by Heather Graham
I know, I thought it sounded good too. And actually it wasn’t horrible. And I am sure other people might like it, but it just wasn’t for me. I think you would enjoy her other series
This sounds like a great read Lorna. I wonder if the story was fleshed out into a full sized read, if you would enjoy it more. Seems like the character was a bird for too long.
Naomi Hop recently posted…The Boy Next Door by Ella James ~ Review & Quote-tastic (@author_ellaj )
She definitely was a bird for far too long-3/4 of the book or better! Just not for me I guess, although I am sure others will enjoy it. If it had been longer, more developed etc, I am sure I would have enjoyed it a lot more!