Stealing Phoenix is the second book in a series by Joss Stirling. It was published in September by OUP and the book is 272 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC for review.
Although Phoenix has special powers, she is far from being in a good position in life. Living within the Community means working for the Seer and using her gift to do as he asks…in this case it means stealing certain things. When her latest mission that includes a very specific target fails, Phoenix knows she is in deep trouble. The only way to save herself is to get closer to the guy she is supposed to steal from, an American student visiting London.
That American student is Yves Benedict and what Phoenix doesn’t know is that Yves has special gifts of his own. He is a Savant just like her. He turns out to be so much more than Phoenix’s next target though, he is her destiny even if she doesn’t believe it to begin with. The Community has different ideas though and think that they own Phoenix - past, present and future. If Yves has anything to do with it, she won’t be staying there for much longer but there are many obstacles to overcome before that can ever happen.
What I thought
Ever since I finished Finding Sky, I was dying to have more from Joss Stirling and the Benedict boys. I couldn’t have been more excited when Stealing Phoenix got delivered!
What I love about this book, even though it is technically part of a series, it also works really well as a stand alone. There may be a little confusion when it comes to figuring out what Savants/ Soulfinders are but other than that, you don’t really need the previous book, Finding Sky for anything. While the Soulfinder aspect is great, this book works just as well if you take that out, although it obviously strengthens the story.
I was really glad to see that this book was set in London, rather than in Wickenridge, Colorado again. It isn’t that I didn’t like that setting but I think changing the scenery gave this book a whole different feel to go with the new voices of Phoenix and Yves. This also gives the readers from the UK a big advantage by knowing a large amount of places mentioned in the capital. I really enjoyed the London setting and I could really feel myself going where Phoenix and Yves do and to have that feeling of familiarly throughout.
Phoenix (Phee for short) was a wonderful main character. Her life is not easy at all and she has had a lot to deal with for only being a teenager. Knowing no other life than that of the Community, Phee gets on with life as best she can, by doing the jobs the Seer gives her. Although in some ways, Phee is ruled by other people, she still has a strong voice of her own and isn’t one to back down from a fight. I loved how spunky and strong Phee was even though she had so much going on. Her fighting spirit certainly made me love her to pieces and to route for her from the very beginning. I also really liked the journey that Phee went on throughout the book in the sense of finding out/ realising who she really is.
Joss Stirling has a fantastic ability to create swoon-worthy teenage guys. As much as I loved Zed from the previous book, Yves has completely knocked him out of view. As a very intelligent guy, Yves had a lot going for him. Not only is he extremely good looking, he is smart beyond the average, isn’t afraid to show his geeky side and is very confident in himself. I loved everything about Yves as soon as he appeared on the page. He was charismatic and funny but also sensitive and caring when he needed to be. If Yves were real, I would go to London right now, track him down and attempt to steal him away myself!
It was good to see characters from Finding Sky appear in this book. As much as I enjoyed Phee and Yves’ story, I was happy to see some of the Benedict family make an appearance and to help out. Stealing Phoenix gives some insight into what may come in future books from Joss Stirling and into what the other brothers may be like in their own books. Not only were the reoccurring characters good but also the new characters. With people like the Seer, Dragon and Unicorn, this book was never going to be boring. The Community as whole provides a lot of mystery and action throughout which made the pacing perfect. There are some really good fast paced parts that were mixed well with slower, more sensitive parts when it came to Phee and Yves.
I was a little worried that I wasn’t going to like this book as much as Finding Sky but infact, I liked it a hell of a lot more. If you thought that Zed was the brother for you, be prepared to think again!