Saturday 4 April 2015

{Review} New World: Rising by Jennifer Wilson

23364341Posted by Melanie
Release Date: September 24, 2014
Finished Date: March 23rd, 2015
Publishers: New World: Rising Point 
Genre: YA, Dystopia, Fantasy, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eBook
Pages: 226
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US 

Since witnessing her parents' murders at the age of eleven, Phoenix's only purpose in life has been to uphold her mother's dying words- to be strong and survive. But surviving outside of The Walls- outside of The Sanctuary- is more like a drawn-out death sentence. A cruel and ruthless city, Tartarus is run by the Tribes whose motto is simple, "Join or die." Refusing to join and determined to live, Phoenix fights to survive in this savage world. Trusting no one, she lives as a rogue, fending only for herself. Then in a moment of rash judgment, she breaks all of her rules to save a child, and in that moment her life is turned upside down. When the rescue mission goes awry, Phoenix is captured by an underground group who claims no allegiance with either the Tribes nor The Sanctuary. She finds herself in the most dangerous game of survival she has ever played. In her captivity, only one person- the handsome and oddly sympathetic Triven- shows Phoenix something she has never before experienced: kindness. While warring with unfamiliar emotions and still skeptical of her captors' motives, Phoenix quickly realizes that these people may just hold the key to her lost memories. But who can she trust, when no one can be trusted? Not even herself.

The Review: New World: Rising was an intriguing read. Set in a dystopian Earth that has been destroyed and only pockets of life remain. There are two cities – one is called Sanctuary and is meant to be a utopia of sorts, a city behind an impenetrable wall where people can live in peace together. Outside of the walls is called Tartarus, a lawless place where people need to fight to survive, there are Tribes of different sorts and depending on which one you meet, it determines whether they want you live or die.
 Phoenix is a loner and has been since her parents were murdered when she was eleven, she trusts no one and has a strategy for survival which includes never letting anyone in. Whilst on a food run in one of the more dangerous parts of Tartarus, she breaks all her rules when she sees a young girl being hunted by the worst tribe around -the tribe responsible for her parents’ deaths- and knowing that if they catch the girl that she could suffer a fate worse than death, she helps her and puts herself in the line of fire with tragic consequences. Waking up, Phoenix finds herself a prisoner in a compound with a tribe she’s never heard of…. But they know her and most don’t like her.
There is only one person who shows her some kindness and that is Triven, for some reason she is drawn to him but is determined to keep her heart cold. As more information becomes available to her, she realises that she does have something in common with these people, they know about her previous life but also hold the key to her death. Phoenix has a bargaining chip though, she knows Tartarus like no one else – so her knowledge is valuable…. And Phoenix has nothing to lose but what they will uncover could mean death to all that she has come to hold dear.
So, I enjoyed this story, I liked the premise about a ravaged world with the unreachable utopia which is not open to anyone unless you were born there and like-minded, then we have the flip side of Tartarus which is as savage as can be, filled with Tribes where they hunt, forage and murder at will and every day is a survival lesson. With Phoenix being a loner and not trusting anyone we get another side of someone who has freedom - in a sense – and has a system for how she will survive. She is very wily in her surroundings and has it down pretty much to a T, her life is just about survival. She seemed perfectly happy with her solitude and you can understand why, when having someone with you, they become a liability and a burden, where you have someone else to worry about and not just yourself, so it’s a big leap to help that little girl. By helping the little girl she becomes more sympathetic, seeing herself in the girl and wanting her to survive and endearing herself to the reader in the process because she was very stoic up until then. Again when she meets Triven and he shows her some kindness, helps her, understands her, then we see her heart melt a little more and whilst she’s not happy about that initially, she goes with it and finally has someone to care about. It was lovely to see her open up to love and friendship because she really needed that in her life and Triven was lovely to her.
The story line is very much filled with the world building where we find out about the places, the environment and of course the Tribes. The tribes run the show in Tartarus and most are savage with the Ravagers being the worst. We see Phoenix in her world and how she lives, alone, scouting, stealing food etc. and how she trades with people. It’s good to see her out of her element when she is ‘rescued’ and also gives us another point of view of the world from this new tribe who live in another safe haven. What drives them all is survival – staying alive, food and shelter – and this group has a plan for what should happen next and that involves breaking into ‘Sanctuary’ so the story becomes about planning, scouting and as the title would suggest – a ‘rising’ of sorts. When we are with Phoenix for the first part of the book, they pacing is very slow but later when she joins Triven, the pacing really quickens up as they go on missions etc. the Ravagers become even more of an enemy and it definitely becomes an evade/capture scenario with a good few encounters that end in violence and death. I really enjoyed where the story went, it got steadily stronger as the book went on and built in excitement until a huge climax that ended with a horrid cliffhanger. As first books go, this really grabbed my attention and I will look out for more.

Thank you to Jennifer Wilson for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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