Phoenix A Boy With Unprecedented Power Must Turn To The Terrifying Alien Enemies Of Humanity To Discover His True Nature And Bring Peace To A Galaxy At WarLucky Lives A Relatively Normal Life On A Remote Moon Of The Planet Aries One, Safe From The Turmoil And Devastation Of The Interstellar War Between Humans And Aliens Lucky Has Seen Images Of The Horned, Cloven Hooved Aliens Before, But He S Never Seen One Up Close Then One Night, He Dreams That The Stars Are Singing To Him And Wakes To Evidence Suggesting That He Is Not So Normal After All When Lucky S Mother Sacrifices Herself To Help Him Escape An Elite Human Military Force Called The Shadow Guards, He Must Rely On The Alien Crew Of A Ramshackle Starship, Where He Finds That Humanity S Deadly Enemies Seem Surprisingly Human Up Close In Fact, They May Be Human Than Lucky Himself, Who Has A Dangerous Power That Could Change The Course Of The War And The Fate Of The Galaxy If He Can Learn How To Use It Star Wars Fans Seeking Another Saga To Love Need Look No Further Than This Epic Middle Grade Adventure From SF Said, Illustrated By Dave McKean With Remarkable White On Black Spacescapes

Said grew up in the Iraqi diasporic community in London, moving there with his mother at the age of two After graduating from the University of Cambridge, he worked as a press attach and speech writer for the Crown Prince of Jordan s office in London He began a Ph.D in 1997 looking at the lives of young Muslims in Britain, but left academia to focus on film journalism for the Daily Telegraph

[KINDLE] ❄ Phoenix  ❦ S.F. Said –
  • Hardcover
  • 496 pages
  • Phoenix
  • S.F. Said
  • 03 March 2017
  • 9780763688509

10 thoughts on “Phoenix

  1. says:

    What a gem of a book I m actually surprised this sci fi middle grade novel is so under the radar, because 1 the story is really well written and 2 the hardcover is kick ass gorgeous Plus it has tons of cool illustrations inside Granted, I sure would have liked it if those illustrations actually illustrated the world Lucky lives in, than the kind of abstract part with the stars But they do add to the lyrical atmosphere, making this a than poetic work.It took me so long to feel interest in reading this book It didn t look bad, but the number of pages intimidated me a little Alright, so it s not like this is my first time reading a novel of around five hundred pages, but I m not a huge fan of science fiction, so yes, I was a little scared of Phoenix The moment I started it though, I literally couldn t put it down It was part I want to know what the hell is going on and part oh my god these illustrations are so cool oh the next ones are in twenty pages no worries I ll just keep on reading S.F Said has talent in writing action scenes or precisely, intense scenes I felt the rush, I felt the danger, I felt the beauty of the world I felt the sadness and hurt, and happiness and wonder Which really is the main reason why I m mind blowned right now how does this not have thousands of readers yet The author did an okay job with the world building I understood the matter at hand war between humans and aliens but we do not have much background on how the world came to be like it is and why and when the basic questions were not concretely answered But the author does show creativity in this, that s for sure I especially liked the idea of the astrolabe and the Shadow Guards The storyline is also easy to follow, despite some lack of understanding of the world Highly, highly recommended Blog Youtube Twitter Instagram Google Bloglovin

  2. says:

    I m a big fan of SF s Varjak Paw and can t wait to get my teeth in to this beautiful new tome, wonderfully illustrated by Dave McKean JS

  3. says:

    S F Said is one of those rare writer s who, despite writing books for a younger audience, manages to pack very vivid well developed characters and difficult themes into his books whilst never bogging it down or slowing the pace Having previously read Varjak Paw when I was younger and again a few years ago, I knew to expect brilliant writing and themes from Phoenix but with this being a science fiction novel, obviously this would be a departure from the philosophical Varjak Paw stories.Pairing S F Said s writing with Dave McKean s dark and atmospheric illustrations will always be a winner for me The use of the black and white illustrations that almost bleed in and around the text makes this a really well designed book and I couldn t imagine this story without the images The world building and characters, as I said, are vivid and believable I grew emotionally attached to all of them but especially Lucky, our young protagonist I loved how there was a perfect balance with regards to the characters there were strong female and male characters, making this a rare middle grade YA read that hasn t been overtly gendered and could be enjoyed by any young reader.This book explores themes such as power, fear and war in a way that would never be too overwhelming or complicated to a younger reader but it has the right level of depth and intrigue for older readers alike.Overall I would highly recommend this novel if you are looking for fast paced science fiction read, a book for a younger reader or anyone who wants an introduction to the genre.

  4. says:

    The absolute brilliance of SF Said has bought a story that brings fantasy of science fiction to be so real life and heart warming.Brilliant illustrations by Dave Mckean and fantastic writing by SF Said, make this book so fascinating Every page you read you can create a picture in your mind Every chapter leaves you with wanting to read on and the story fills you with warmth through Friendship, will power and the ability to bring new things to light My new favourite book

  5. says:

    A brief diversion before I begin this review Once, a long time ago, I went to see Persepolis in the cinema For those of you who don t know it, it was an animated adaptation of a wonderful graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi The Complete Persepolis The film is glorious in many, many ways but there was one particular scene which tore me open and stands with me now Marjane is on her way to study in Austria Her parents wish her well at the airport Farewells are said Smiles Hugs.And Marjane turns around, one last time, just one last moment, to see her mother crying her heart out and being helped away This is love, then, this mad and foolish and facade full thing we love, we put our faces on, and we sacrifice the whole of ourselves for another, we want them to live and to love and to thrive and to be themselves, to be whole and to be the best that they can be and to be the person that they should and could be and we will stop ourselves and hold ourselves and make that happen because we love them We love them.This is Phoenix This is Phoenix I am sunk by this book and how underneath the layers of space and of aliens and of war, it is a book about humanity and hope and belief and of love It is a book about being brave It is a book about fighting for what you believe in It is a book about hope About faith.And again, always, about love.Phoenix is so much about love and about connections and about fitting into the great space of the world s , that I am a little bereft at finishing it It is it is something It is so very definitely something a text that dances with shadow and light and illustrations that pull and tease the words until something strange and alchemical happens to them.This is Phoenix A book about a boy with the power of the star.And it is a book about us.And love Oh god, oh how much this book is about love.

  6. says:

    Originally reviewed for YA Books Central beautifully illustrated sci fi fantasy heavy on the fantasy , seemingly aimed at the younger side of the Middle Grade audience The story is told in past tense third person limited from the perspective of Lucky, a young boy who lives alone with his mother on a human colony in some indeterminate distant future reality The humans are at war with an alien species known as the Axxa for which Lucky holds a fearful disdain and only the vaguest understanding But as it turns out, Lucky may not be entirely human himself His mother has been keeping secrets from him that Lucky s own body is betraying The stars themselves are in danger of being snuffed out, and Lucky may be the key to saving the entire galaxy.What I Liked The black and white illustration work is stunning and ethereal perfectly capturing both Lucky s vast astral journeying as well as his varying emotional states I appreciated Dave McKean s work in THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, but here he s really outdone himself Somewhere around 1 4th of this book s pages are in some way enhanced by his unique blend of organic and geometric elements Fractals, Moire patterns, and starscapes oh my Along with many of the illustrations, the segments describing Lucky s Astro Astral projection travel between and interaction with the stars were easily the brightest highlight Here the simple prose became vivid and lyrical The most standout characters in this story may arguably be the needles that Bixa wore in her hair We aren t given much by way of explanation for them, aside from the understanding that they are a form of weapon to her But their reflective response to her emotions in color and behavior was a consistent and enriching detail worth looking forward to What Didn t Work For Me Not knowing Lucky s age was continually disorienting As a result, I had to guess and gauge based on his internal thoughts, vocabulary, and dependency level which I would place around that of a 10 year old an immature 12 year old at the very oldest We are told he thinks the alien girl, Bixa, is his age but he doesn t seem to know anything about her people s physiology or lifespan, so the comparison wasn t particularly effective Regardless of his age, he comes off as a pretty passive and bland character There was some growth in him by the end, but not enough to forge the degree of connectivity this reader prefers Regretfully, the worldbuilding left a lot to be desired Having 12 star systems based on the 12 astrological signs was an interesting element in concept, but the twist applied to it toward the end negates a lot of the originality Alien names like Mystica and Quicksilver reinforced a fantasy feel, as did a lack of emphasis on anything remotely scientific And aside from the insult moonbrain and weapons like sensory dazzler, there s little by way of adaptive slang or terminology A few of the oddly non alien non futuristic colloquialisms the Axxa use even when they don t know a human is around include Take the bull by the horns How in heaven s name the best seat in the house The prose is serviceable, but without being memorable Unremarkable portions are sometimes overwritten, and the cryptic messages presumably from the stars at the beginning of each chapter end up ponderous than foreboding There s a general poverty of description both in physical i.e no idea what Lucky s mother looks like and in terms of the numerous space based locations As a result, much of what is being talked about is difficult to picture.Content Notes A subversive anti parent sentiment seems to persist throughout, from the negligence and deception of Lucky s mother to the twist , to actual quotes from endeared characters No father can tell him what to do It is not a parent that he needs, but that which is already inside him The book contains some entry level curse words, and there is a scene where the characters are forced to strip for a travel search and the female love interest makes an admiring comment regarding Lucky s naked posterior How inappropriate this is depends somewhat on the character s ages, but as we aren t told their ages, and as Lucky s thought process gives the impression of a child no older than 12, I leave this to individual parents to gauge At the risk of giving spoilers here, I wanted to alert parents and readers that this book has evidently jumped on the recent bandwagon of re branding Satan yes, literally The Devil to make him appear sympathetic heroic, even Never mind that it s also a bizarre and incongruent insertion that made a shoehorn fit into the rest of the sci fi and astrological theme of the book at large But he is Lucifer And you know what that name means It means Bringer of Light That s all Lucifer wasn t just the Devil He was also called the Morningstar the brightest star And in all the legends, one thing shines through Lucifer was stubborn He stood for free will and choice So even if is Lucifer, I reckon he can do whatever he wants with his power He s the only one who can decide

  7. says:

    A phenomenal sci fi story by SF Said perfect for UKS2 to support a topic on Space Opportunities to pair with range of non fiction texts to support understanding and even war poetry to discuss futility of war which is key theme.

  8. says:

    Up until recently Moontrug was not a fan of science fiction books E.T kind of stressed her out and even WALL E made her feel a bit shivery But SF Said s latest book, Phoenix, is packed full of the best aliens ever and Moontrug is starting to realise that there are boundless stories lingering up there in the stars Phoenix is a cracker of a book, as Moontrug knew it would be after meeting the author, SF Said, back in October, but when the book started topping Best of 2013 Children s Book charts Moontrug knew she had to start reading it right away Lucky thinks he s an ordinary Human boy But one night, he dreams that the stars are singing and wakes to find an uncontrollable power rising inside him Now he s on the run, racing though space, searching for answers In a galaxy at war, where Humans and Aliens are deadly enemies, the only people who can help him, are an Alien starship crew and an Alien warrior girl, with neon needles in her hair Together, they must find a way to save the galaxy For Lucky is not the only one in danger His destiny and the fate of the universe are connected in the most explosive way Even from the opening lines of the book, SF is onto a winner He talks of a million points of silver light, shining in the black, and of the small, soft, silvery sound, like the chime of a faraway bell The writing is so fierily poetic that you end up feeling the stars aren t just calling Lucky they re calling you, too, up into their sparkling galaxy And the writing just gets better and better as the book goes on An Alien called Mystica tells Lucky that the stars call across the immensities of space like great whales singing in the oceans deep, or bells chiming out, like silver in the black we hear their songs, and we feel the truth inside ourselves SO COOL Moontrug is secretly hoping that she might discover she s in fact a Startalker in disguise Unlikely though because Moontrug s as clumsy and unmeditative as you can get, like some explosive ball of misdirected enthusiasm Not sure how the stars would respond to someone like that Moontrug will settle with the knowledge from the Professor that she s part star instead You see, Lucky, everything in the universe is made of atoms and elements that were created in the heart of the stars, billions of years ago Even our own bodies You are entirely made of stardust Phoenix is bursting with stunning illustrations by Dave McKean Somehow he makes black and white squiggles look so enchanting, so mind bogglingly magical, that he s able to conjure up space in just a few pages.On top of fabulous writing and brilliant illustrations, Phoenix also boasts a fantastically fast paced plot Shadow Guards are bent on ripping brainscans, Supernovas are exploding and Astral Martial Arts are being done on a MASSIVE scale And while all of that is going on, Mystica is brewing up Xoco the alien version of hot chocolate which smells like a strange mixture of gunpowder, chocolate and spice and Lucky is discovering important truths Lucky looked at the world, laid out beneath them like a tapestry, or an open book But just because it s going to die one day doesn t mean it s not worth fighting for Maybe it matters even , because it s all we ve got Despite the vastness of the galaxy, Lucky realises that we matter And that s a truth worth hearing.Lucky s warrior friend, Bixa, is original and as feisty as they come I mean, anyone who uses moonbrain as an insult is going to get you on side And wow, what an ending the book has Lucky s realisation of who he is is SPECTACULARLY good and Bixa s realisation of his significance is heartbreakingly cool Nice work, SF Said Phoenix has earned a place up on Moontrug s Altocumulus Tower The Tower is growing nicely in size these days, jostling for space amongst the clouds Who knows, perhaps the tower will reach so high soon that the books will start hearing the small, soft, silvery sounds of the stars Extra moontrug comment for SF Said himself I reckon the S of your name stands for Star Star Flyer Star Finder Hmmmmm

  9. says:

    It is rare to find good science fiction for children, but this really pulls it off whilst also being so much Set in a distant galaxy, where the Humans are at war with the devil like Axxa, an alien race, our hero Lucky is growing up with filled with prejudices against the enemy But when he finds himself on board an Axxa spaceship, he is soon to discover that there is to the Axxa and to himself than meets the eye Maybe one day he will discover why he can sometimes hear the stars singing Although the writing style is fairly simple, the story is so involving and detailed that it really pulls you in Even amazing are Dave McKean s simply gorgeous illustrations, which add something completely unique to the book, intermingling with the text to create something magical and immersive This is a must read for pretty much any 9 12 year old Whether they are a boy or a girl, and a sci fi fan or not, this book really has something for everyone Adventure, magic, space, destiny, battles, and just a little bit of romance but not too much

  10. says:

    Phoenix is so good, it shot straight up into my list of 20 best books of all time SF Said manages to cover life, death and the meaning of the universe in one story, with big dollops of humour and pathos thrown in Lucky is one of the most interesting and unusual protagonists in MG fiction, and the truth about his clothing s unfortunate tendency to spontaneously combust in a crisis makes for a fantastic reveal at the end Populated with wonderful characters, Phoenix explores everything from the pointless nature of war to the music of the spheres It struck such a deep chord, I found myself listening hopefully to the night sky afterwards just in case I could hear the starsPS Buy the book rather than ebook edition if possible The illustrations by Dave McKean are extraordinarily good.

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