3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Gripping epic set among the stars,
This review is from: Phoenix (Hardcover)
SF Said's previous books, Varjak Paw and The Outlaw Varjak Paw, were assured and compulsively readable, while also managing to deal with the complex problems of growing with an admirably light touch. It turns out they were paving the way for Phoenix, which is a real triumph. From the moment the young hero, Lucky, wakes up with charred bedsheets the action whirls us away on a bizarre but entirely believable journey. In no time at all Lucky is flying among the stars, meeting new and scary people, making friends and finding out things about himself that seem impossible to believe.
Phoenix tells an amazing, wild story set among the galaxies exceptionally well, and it take us along with Lucky and his friends the whole way. It's exciting storytelling, but is also packs in a whole range of highly current concerns - racism, war, terrorism, depression, environmentalism, myth, ignorance, knowledge and the end of all life. It's not easy to glide through such potentially tough material without patronising younger readers, and to entertain all the way, but Phoenix pulls this off brilliantly. Said has also invented a whole series of highly convincing technologies and has equipped the future with ordinary details, establishing a time that is both now and far away from us. It's a society that needs to look beyond authority and science to the mysteries it has forgotten, and understand why they mattered. Sounds strangely familiar. And it features a super-cute, fire-snorting pet phoenix. Highly recommended.