By Gabriella Lepore.
Pages: 360 (Kindle edition)
“When Sophie Ballester and her twin brothers Sam and Todd are uprooted from their home and sent to a remote boarding school run by their Great Aunt Ness, they stumble upon a hidden room that holds a secret—a secret that will change everything. The people of Phoenix Holt are not what they seem. In fact, nothing is.”
A brief summary:
New to Phoenix Holt, Sophie and her older brothers Sam and Todd have more than a strange place to adapt to. They have acquired a relative whom they did not know existed, their Great Aunt Ness, and a secret family legacy; they are witches. This lack of knowledge about their magical heritage leads to trouble. By mixing potions, unsupervised, in Aunt Ness’ apothecary, the Ballester siblings attract the unwanted attention of Devillions; the demon monsters which track witches to consume their essence and thus their power.
Taking refuge in the boarding school where Aunt Ness is headmistress Sophie finds herself drawn to the mysterious Jaxon. Jaxon is a Phoenix, a once dead soldier returned to life to protect the Ballesters, and neither Ness nor the other teachers trust Jaxon around Sophie. They all seem convinced that he will lose control and end up putting Sophie in danger. When things go horribly wrong and Todd is hurt Sophie knows that it is Jaxon that she needs to save him but not everyone feels the same way. Some would prefer that Sophie and her brothers disappeared for good and the impending threat from the Devillions offers just an opportunity.
O-M-G! Is there nothing that this woman cannot do? This is now four fabulous novels from the wonderful Gabriella Lepore.
As soon as I heard that this was being released I went straight onto Amazon and downloaded my Kindle copy. I devoured this book in three days (would have been less but I was very busy) I read in every spare moment that I had, I just could not put it down. Gabriella Lepore is like no other in terms of snaring the reader’s interest. She does not waste time with four or five chapters of frankly unnecessary background information or ‘setting-the-scene’ nonsense, no she gets straight down to business. Once you have read one chapter you move onto the next and then the next and the next, it just flows so effortlessly.
Phoenix Holt has amazing characters and a beautiful mystical setting alongside magic and witchcraft, it really is perfect. The way in which Lepore writes is so understated, the magic, mystery and witchcraft is there but not in an overbearing manner. You could almost miss it. It is so realistic and it is this property that I appreciate so much in her novels. I find myself believing in magic all around me it’s truly wonderful.
Lepore provides some of the most likeable and relatable characters in contemporary literature. I have yet to come across a character of hers which I do not like, I even have a deep appreciation of the villains as they are so well written. Her exploration of family relations is second to none. In Phoenix Holt we look at Grandparent-grandchild, aunt-niece/nephew and sibling relationships and they are remarkably accurate. Even though Sam is annoying as hell I love how loyal he is to his brother and sister, how he says that they are the only people that he loves more than he loves himself. From him that is such a kind thing to say. Lepore definitely knows her characters.
Of course we have a love interest in Jaxon and oh boy is he the epitome of dark and mysterious! From the first moment that I ‘saw’ Jaxon I could feel myself falling a little in love, he is a little damaged and withdrawn but he has a heart of gold and for that reason you cannot not love him.
I could rave about this book all evening, please go and read it. Read all of Gabriella Lepore’s books as they are all incredible reads. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter, she loves hearing from you. And if my recommendation is not enough for you then the lovely Benjaminoftomes loves Gabriella Lepore as much as I do – could he ever be wrong? I don’t think so.