Book: Phoenix: Rising, Author: Martin Allen, Review By: Scott Freisthler
Plot Synopsis by Amazon: An Imperial Investigator is sent to Investigate, and possibly assassinate a mysterious preacher in the wastes. In doing so he stumbles upon an even more shadowy presence that could jeopardise the entire Empire he is sworn to protect. Can the preacher assist him in overcoming the shortcomings resultant from his training and the betrayal of his family, or is the seemingly innocuous Movement following the “Phoenix” doomed to be slaughtered as a way of destabilising the Theocratic Empire?
Review: I cannot tell you how much I loved this book. It is a science fiction book, but it doesn’t feel like one. Usually, in my experience, when it comes to a science fiction story, you are following a space crew as they explore the deep reaches of the unknown but this novel took the original approach on focusing on religion. If there were not any references to colony planets or plasma weapons, I wouldn’t have guessed this fact at all but I think that is something that really works for this story.
The plot of this story is heavily influenced by the New Testament. You can probably guess what story specifically by the plot synopsis. If not, then you will recognize the story the second you read the first reference. Despite all that, the ending is not as predictable as you think it would be. It felt like the first time I have ever heard the story, which is great.
Also, should make a comment on something. This book is not very dialogue heavy, but you get a big picture on what goes on in the protagonist’s head. That, to me, is a more important aspect in books because this is the only form of media where you can get to know your main character inside and out completely.
I highly recommend this book to all those who want a different approach to the science fiction genre, those who are interested in learning a bit more about religion without digging into the bible, or those who want a refreshing take on an old story.