-Harper Lee

blue sky 5 stars

A Powerful & Compelling

Psychological Thriller,

Meritt delivers a superb debut.

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How can Raven Kennedy survive in a world without a soul, without a heart; a world beyond redemption? Terrorist attacks and religious fundamentalism are rife across the globe and the government is struggling to control an increasingly violent public. Hoping to ease the pressure on overcrowded prisons, the nation is forced into a brutal and uncompromising penal system – The Phoenix Project. Prisoners are forced to fight each other to the death in front of TV cameras, watched by a world that callously cheers for their favourites. Awaiting his death at the hands of The Phoenix Project Raven must fight to stay alive, while at the same time coming to terms with the horrific crime he committed. Can Raven overcome his guilt and remorse before the fights send him to his death?

 

Bringing palpable tension and scope to an intriguing theme, The Phoenix Project is the debut novel from author D. M. Cain and it’s a difficult book to put down; one that hits you square between the eyes and lingers in your thoughts once finished. Decidedly dark, Cain’s writing is eloquent and honest as she weaves a graphic tale of emotional complexity. One that raises the spectres of justice, pity, hope, kindness, as well as hate, bigotry, and the abuse of power in a painfully plausible dystopian future. Each one a foil against which Raven Kennedy must reconcile the true nature of the crime for which he was committed. This isn’t a world rendered in black and white, but plays to indifference with Cain judiciously avoiding the prescriptive stereotypes that populate less imaginative works. There are no trite revelations, rather a gradually evolving awareness that answers and the reality they herald, are often at odds with commonly held prejudices.

 

Powerful, intelligent and undoubtedly thought proving, The Phoenix Project heralds the arrival of an exciting new literary voice in author D. M. Cain. Certainly deserving of your attention, it is recommended without reservation!

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The Phoenix Project

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