“The boy seemed the perfect target. He stood at the back of a group taking the tour of the London Olympic stadium, attention on the construction vehicles beetling up the huge ramp to the athletes’’ entrance, not on the thief watching him.”
Phoenix has grown up with an extended family known as the community. Like a commune with a leader who demands their rent to be paid in stolen goods she has used her savant powers to excel in the only past time she knows well; stealing from tourists. However things change when she is sent to seek out one particular tourist, Yves Benedict. She doesn’t know why her leader wants her to target him but when the first attempt doesn’t end well it would seem that her mission grows in importance and becomes very personal.
I loved the first in this series, Finding Sky, so much and I knew I had to pick up Stealing Phoenix as soon as possible after it. Thankfully I have amazingly kind friends and the wonderful Viv from Serendipity Reviews sent me her Arc to read… And I’m so glad she did!
I wasn’t sure what Stealing Phoenix was going to be like as I knew the protagonist had changed from the first book in the series to the second. The focus was also on Yves, the second youngest Benedict boy, instead of Zed, the youngest. Once I started reading I was sure that the change really didn’t matter though because the characters were just as good as those in the first book! Phoenix was ‘street’ and yet very closed in her perspective of the world. She was self-assured but at the same time very unconfident and I think that her upbringing had a lot to do with that. Also she came across to me as a little younger than her 17 years at times and I think that was down to her way of life too. I loved how much growth Phoenix goes through during this book and in many ways she reminded me of myself when I was younger.
The focus on Yves instead of Zed was really exciting to me too because in the first book I really wanted to know more about him. He was my favourite Benedict boy in the first book but I’m not sure if this book ruined him for me. There are parts in Stealing Phoenix when it’s hard to like Yves, even though I was convinced he wasn’t really like the guy he was acting like; I was still put off him a little. It takes a lot to love Yves but he does have a lot to contend with, having 6 gorgeous brothers.
There are many characters in this book that appear in the first, obviously but I loved the insight into how Zed and Sky were doing following the start of their romance in the first book and the increase knowledge of the Benedict family’s powers and traits. There were also a few characters from Phoenix’s side of things that were great, Tony was a brilliant, yet very minor character and you could tell that he loved Phoenix even though he was kinda brainwashed to not trust anyone. The Seer, Dragon and Unicorn were awful character and my skin crawled every time they were on the page, especially Unicorn… ergh *shudders*
I don’t want to go too far into the plot of this book but let’s put it this way; it had me hooked. You know from the start that Phoenix’s “family” are corrupt, it’s obvious, and the plot is very much their evilness shining through, with Phoenix and Yves soulfinder romance intertwined of course. I love the crime element to these books and as I love to solve a crime and help (in my mind anyway) catch the bad guys these books are definitely for me. I had some of the plot pegged before it was unravelled but I don’t mind too much because the way it unravelled could never be guessed.
Joss Stirling really has got an amazing imagination to be able to pull off the worlds that she creates, the mix of paranormal with crime and romance is amazing and I love the ride that her writing takes me on. Phoenix and Yves whirlwind romance excited me as much as their mixes with the wrong crowds and the freezing of worlds. I really do love the world created in these books and I can’t wait to find out more about the other Benedict boys, I know we’re getting a bit further out the young adult range but I would love Xav and Uriel’s stories at least!!
Stealing Phoenix is the second in the Benedict series. It was published in September by Oxford University Press. My copy was gifted to me, Thank you Viv.