|It’s been two weeks since I finished reading this novel. I am sorry for updating so late. Gonna try harder to be disciplined hihi.
“The phoenix flower was his greatest botany experiment. It was designed to enrich the soil of war torn earth, and can only germinate when in contact with fire. He named it after my nickname. I didn’t want him to, but my father used to call me his little phoenix because my unruly red hair reminded him of fire.”
A young, free-spirited girl, Florence Nightingale, ran away from the riotous Brooklyn along with her father and her best friend, Sabrina, to small and isolated place, The Colony, only to find herself more trapped there with all the unreasonable rules and conditions to live. Besides the rules ‘not to steal, not to kill, not to commit adultery, The Colony, in my opinion, was a hell for a woman, or a man, or lovers! There were fewer women than men, which made women so precious that the only way to get them married was through raffle. Men, as long as they’re single, no matter how old they were, could join them. The women were enlisted in their 16th birthday. But the marriage could only occur among white-skinned people, whom I presume in this story was the Caucasian (because there was a dialogue that showed how Sabrina perceived her late Japanese friend as different). The black-skinned people were considered a disease, an abnormality, a curse. That’s why they were also treated so inhumanely, viewed as a low-class citizen there that only deserved a job as slaves.
The discrimination did not stop there; it occurred the white skinned themselves. Where they lived and what occupation they had was decided by a kind of psychometric test or IQ test (can’t make sure). The lowest among them were those who lived in The Third Level. These people working their ass off to watch Creatures work. The higher rank was The Second Level. These people worked as teachers for the society and the highest one, The First Level, was filled by the doctors and also the leaders of The Colony. One mystery that had been in Florence’s mind was if the black-skinned people were not allowed to get married, how could the Colonist leaders keep providing the town with newly born ones for filling the role as future slaves? Living there was like a hell for such a girl. Not to mention Flo should see her father, a biologist (who succeeded to produce a new phoenix), executed for the thing he didn’t do and the situation forced her to be independent. She didn’t live alone, though; she’s taken care in a kind-of-orphanage by Tabby, a black-skinned woman, in The Third Level, along with Sabrina and other black-skinned kids, including Tyresse, her soon-to-be lover. Things even got worse when finally, Flo turned 16, thus forcing her to join the marriage raffle and to forget her true love…
So, I can only explain the summary till this point. I am afraid I will spoil everything if I go further. In addition, the thing about dystopian story is the world-building explanation and how well you get along with it. I am trying to pull you with the world building first, you fall for it? Hehe.
I got the e-book version for free through a dystopian story lover group in Goodreads. They offered a free e-book as an exchange for a review I would make, with deadline of reading and reviewing in 3 weeks. I received this at the end of February, meaning that I failed to keep my promise T.T but I try to still write the review anyway Lol.
“The day you witness wrongdoing and fail to feel compelled to do something to stop it, is the day you’ve lost sight of what life is all about.”
This novel is beyond my expectation; when I began to read this, I kept in mind that The Birth of Phoenix was a masterpiece from a newly debuted author, Candice Snow. I didn’t mean to disgrace her, in fact I usually do that to keep my expectation as low as possible so that I can be more understanding with some perceived decays, like typos, unsmooth character introduction, and, because this book talked about dystopian society, lack of thorough explanation of the world. Those are merely the technical things I consider, not including the personal experience I had with the books, like a chemistry with the characters and other kinds. But I got those two aspects as I was digging more and more hehe. The world building was clear and understandable. The characters, their background and other details, were smoothly introduced and explained through the eye of Flo, because she was the story –teller of all the situations happened inside The Colony. In spite of producing a subjective perspective, but it helped me to know deeper about other characters and how difficult it was to live in the Colony, with all discriminations and hidden mystery.
“I drop to my knees, hanging my head in defeat. My eyes swell with hot, angry tears, but I refuse to let them fall. I refuse to cry. Crying is for the weak.”
One thing quite discomforting me was Flo being too…emotionally explosive! Too easy for her to get exploded, perhaps there was too much fire inside her heart. She deserved someone soft like Tyresse. And she was too brave. Hmm… Oh, and things got more touching when the story was about to end…
By the way, don’t be too surprised if the economic system inside this novel is quite similar with the one in The Hunger Games’ Seam. As far as I could remember, there was no currency but a barter system to buy something. Tyresse himself reminded me of Peeta, of his cool-headedness and soft nature. But the similarity stops there. And I don’t mean to compare one another =)
In short, I RECOMMEND this for you! But I think it’s still difficult to find this book in Indonesia. I am currently looking for the sequel, Baptism of Fire. Huff… Okay, bookers! Have a nice day! ~~~
“Compassion has lead to many lives saved. Hatred has lead to many lives destroyed. But apathy… apathy lacks the passion of both hate and compassion. It is a void that is not easily escaped. Once you fall into its depths, it is extremely difficult to arise as anything more than a shell of a human being… It is a desire to do nothing, feel nothing, be nothing. It is numbness, simply put. And numbness towards life, Miss Aiden, is very dangerous.”