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Phoenix Hardcover – 1 Aug 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 489 pages
  • Publisher: David Fickling Books; 1st edition (1 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038561814X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385618144
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 4.2 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 90,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Brilliant . . . a total pageturner. . . gloriously produced" (Jacqueline Wilson)

"Completely absorbing . . . The book is beautiful - lavishly illustrated by Dave McKean, with words and pictures working seamlessly together." (Julia Eccleshare Guardian)

"This is fabulous, high-octane stuff, with an uplifting ending, stunningly illustrated by the brilliant McKean" (Sally Morris Daily Mail)

"Breathlessly paced . . . A powerful story of great scope and ambition, from an expert storyteller. And with these gorgeously deep black-and-white illustrations, the great McKean is on absolutely top form here." (Daniel Hahn The Independent on Sunday)

"A big (and big-hearted) story . . . Said’s child-centred, inclusive text and McKean’s gorgeous images combine to produce a story that will encourage young imaginations to take flight. The final sequence, in particular, is both stunning and uplifting." (Linda Buckley-Archer Guardian)

Book Description

From the creator of Varjak Paw, the famous Kung-fu Cat, comes the incredible story of the one boy who can save the Galaxy.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have just finished reading Phoenix. I am glowing.

Such is the warmth, poignancy and power of this remarkable book. It is a wonderful read; I was thrilled by many genuine goose-bumping, spine-tingling moments.

To read Phoenix is to be enthralled and absorbed - and to be transported, giddily across the galaxy.

To reflect afterwards is to marvel at how reading Phoenix is such an extraordinary, enchanting experience and to begin to appreciate that SF Said has somehow crafted a terrific, pure narrative that is steeped in myth, legend and the greatest stories in the universe. A tale that is written so clearly and with a tremendous, potent simplicity. A book the shines with great humanity*.

(*Though readers - and I suspect the author - may rightly quibble with the word `Humanity'....)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Absolutely stunning! Phoenix ranks among the classics in sci-fi and fantasy for considering humankind's relationship to stars and space - that literally, we are all made of the same stuff - but is also a meditation on humanity itself, and not only are we made of star-stuff, we are also all linked - Axxa and human are not as different as anyone thought. This is both a rollicking good read, a sensitive and thoughtful look at what it means to be human in a world increasingly riven by war, and a beautiful artefact. Dave McKean's illustrations make a wonderful story into a modern classic.
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Format: Paperback
Phoenix, by SF Said, with illustrations by Dave McKean, is a science-fiction adventure of galactic scale.

When I was a kid, more decades ago now than I care to remember, science fiction made up a significant proportion of my reading. Eleanor Cameron’s The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet was my comfort re-read – I read it over and over again. Astronomer and TV personality Patrick Moore wrote a series of six near-future semi-realistic books – the Scott Saunders Space Adventures – that had pride of place on my shelf right next to my HMSO guide to Moon, Mars, and Meteorites. Doctor Who novelisations sat in stacks on my bedside table to be devoured one after another. (My record was seven in one day.) The Star Wars novelisations and spin-offs, too, found their way onto my shelves – my dad bought me a copy of Star Wars before we’d even seen the film, and I have a vivid recollection of reading the back of the book on the bus home and asking him what a lightsaber was! I frequently searched out Andre Norton books from the library. Adult scifi writers like Robert Silverberg (Revolt on Alpha C) and Robert Heinlein (Have Space Suit, Will Travel) provided what they called “juveniles” that provided a gateway into the world of grown-up scifi that I gladly followed just a few years later. John Christopher, too, wrote for children – his Tripods series had me rivetted.

At the time, it seemed like half of all children’s books were science fiction. That probably wasn’t true in general, but it was certainly true of my bookshelves, and I definitely never had any problems finding science fiction when I wanted to read it.

I’m not sure that’s the case these days. Young Adult has its science fiction contingent, but a lot of that is dystopian, which I’d regard as a separate sub-genre.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brilliant world building and characters you really care about. A gripping plot and such beautiful writing. This book is wise, original and so full of fresh ideas. I found it thought provoking and moving. I loved it. Great illustrations by the amazing DM too!
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Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful story that takes you on a journey from the heart and emotions of a young guy to the fate of the universe. Dave McKean's wonderful artwork expands across the pages - a perfect match to SF Said's visual imagination where stars sing to each other. Kick ass characters with a pacifist ethic. Environmental destruction and war. A story about love and sacrifice. 'Phoenix' has a timeless message for any age that will change the way you look at the stars.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Epic, visionary and beautiful. S F Said has written a classic which every part of what it is to be alive and what it takes to be part of the universe. Dave McKean brings his unique view to bear through the most remarkable illustrations of his career. Spread the word, Phoenix deserves a wide audience.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 7 year old daughter loved this and read it as soon as it was released. As it's her favourite book, she is reading it again now a few years later, which is unusual for her, as she has never read a book twice, so this is a testament to SF Said's most recent book.
She loved the 2 Varjak Paw books but says this is even better.

Our only complaint? Bring out more books please SF Said!! We have been waiting for more of his magical books to be released.
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Format: Hardcover
I'd enjoyed reading the two Varjak Paw books to my kids,and on the strength of that, thought I'd give Phoenix a go. So glad I did. It's a fantastic read.

It's sci-fi novel, as the words on the back cover make clear. 'One boy alone can save the galaxy.' It sounds like a pretty tall order and yet, in SF Said's capable hands the gradual unfolding of the plot is entirely plausible - as well as immensely imaginative and loads of fun!

I'm not going to talk about that plot as the information is drip fed to the reader, and a summary would spoil things. So what is it about? Well, everything really! Good and bad - and the grey bits in between. Life and death. Love and hate. War and Peace. Creation and destruction. The universe. Life itself...

And with such immense themes at play, it is to Dave McKean's credit that the illustrations manage to convey so much so beautifully. Whole chunks of the book are a coming together of the text and the illustrations, almost like a graphic novel, and give the reader the feeling of careering through space.

There is a lot of high quality fiction around for kids at the moment. But for me, Phoenix stands out as one of the best. SF Said is a star!
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