I received this book via Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.Destiny Calls by Phenice Arielle
Series: The Phoenix Rising #1
Published by Self Publish on June 5, 2013
Length: 523 pages
Reviewing eARC from Author
Have you ever felt like you’ve been preparing for something… bigger?
Do all your friends think your dreams are just plain… crazy?
College student Kay Morowa goes up against warlords, poachers and human traffickers in The Phoenix Rising – Destiny Calls.
Find out what Kay must sacrifice to help somehow familiar strangers bring about peace.
From Kirkus Reviews:
“After her parents reveal that they haven't been honest with her about her past, Kay leaves for South Africa feeling bitter and anxious.
Her excitement on arrival is cut short when she becomes a victim of a human trafficking ring operated by a large-scale poaching operation. She flees … to a refuge called Ipharadisi.
There, she meets the majestic, menacing Queen Zaina and a handsome doctor named Erec.”
“With its emphasis on South African politics and current events, Arielle's novel is a refreshing departure from the well-trod ground of paranormal romance stories.
...The constant athletic competition among donga fighters will remind readers that despite the prevailing desire for peace, this is a warrior culture that must remain battle-ready. Kay's narrative voice, as written by Arielle, is well-suited to a promising young journalist, and she comes across as witty and observant but self-conscious and vulnerable. ...smart..." --Kirkus Reviews
If Kay can survive, she may just become the kind of peace-seeking hero her classmates would never believe. Kay might even stumble through homesickness and loneliness into a surprising love.
Of course, our brave girl may instead discover the answer to something she never wanted to know the answer to:
What happens… when you die.
Hold on to life
Fall in love
And FACE YOUR FEARS
Book 1 in the Series
Your journey begins here.
Answer the call.
Oh WOW! Where do I even begin?!?!This book The Phoenix Rising – Destiny Calls is……it’s…..I don’t even have words! The story starts with a disturbing Preface (click here to read) that leaves you thinking that our MC is being tortured for the memories that become our story. Nanyamka, or Kay for short, is a beautiful African American college student in NYC who has been awarded the chance of a lifetime – a one month internship in South Africa for the NY Times. What journalism major could pass that up?! Well, if you could predict the future you would! At the airport in Cape Town, there’s an explosion and Kay is kidnapped and forced into a poacher’s slave camp. At the camp, another slave rescues her and the others that are imprisoned there and takes them to her tribe Ipharadisi (which translates to “paradise”). Here Kay learns about herself and what she is capable of doing for those she loves.
I loved these characters! Kay is so relatable in terms of her transformation from a normal American college student to a moral leader. The things that she encounters (love, loss, being kidnapped) all contribute to her development and I must say when faced with those atrocities she handles them well. She appropriately breaks down, but then she picks herself back up. Then there’s the two men in her life: Callum (her American, not-so-much boyfriend, but definitely love of her life) and Erec (the doctor in the African tribe she takes refuge in). In my mind, I pictured these two beautiful men!
|Callum (Sean Patrick Thomas Save the Last Dance Days)|
|Erec (Taye Diggs How Stella Got Her Groove Back Days)|
This is not a typical love-triangle scenario, instead put yourself in Kay’s shoes….she’s been kidnapped, probably is thought dead, no hope of returning home……I’d move on to the sweet, attractive doctor too! And I can’t write a review without mentioning Beth and Tuki. Beth was Kay’s college roommate and best friend, then the whole kidnapping thing happens. Tuki is the slave who saves Kay from the poachers and in turn becomes her best friend. I loved both of these characters so much. They bring the best out in Kay (just like friends should).
The writing is phenomenal. I loved each and every aspect of the plot and the imagery of South Africa. I felt like I was there, experiencing what Kay was feeling, hearing, and seeing. Told in first person POV, we get to see inside Kay’s head and not only experience things as she does but also feel her emotions! What a roller coaster this book was! I was laughing out loud, crying and my heart warmed with some of her experiences.
This story has a little bit for everyone! Mystery, suspense, romance and a bonus it’s a clean-read. I don’t think I read a single foul word in the book! Though (my guess) Kay is 21 or 22 this book can be a YA or NA read with themes that I think teenagers will learn from. Caution though, there is a cliff-hanger! Can’t wait to find out what happens to our Kay and the rest of the characters in book two!