Havenfall was a 5 star read for me, I really loved the balance of the contemporary real world and fantasy realms that intersect in an unusual way with a select few folks guarding the doors. Maddie is a plucky, opinionated, passionate teen at the center of it all. She copes with balancing the world on her fingertips and her angsty teenage feelings quite well.
At the end of Havenfall, we had a nice resolution of the threat to the balance of the worlds and it wrapped up without a heavy YA cliffhanger. That helped contribute to my high rating, I love a story that wraps up its tale but leaves more potential to play in that world. Phoenix Flame comes back with Maddie and her friends/family looking to focus their energies on solving how to stop the abuses of Solarian magic they uncovered in the last story. This story has us seeing more of the other realms and getting some more backstories on characters beyond Maddie.
I enjoyed the action of the plot but was sometimes annoyed with long sections of Maddie overthinking every little thought and interaction in her head. This felt much more prominent in this story than in the previous novel. I get that she’s a teenager but her overanalyzation gave me anxiety, I wanted her to just talk to her friends / love interests rather than making assumptions about their motives and pondering for pages and pages. That said, I wanted about 100 more pages in the end to wrap up the story knowing that there is not another book planned for this story.
I still think this was a fun fantasy ride with unique magic and fascinating realms to explore but it didn’t quite meet the mark Havenfall set for me.
Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this novel. All opinions above are my own.