Another in the post-apocalyptic genre, Phoenix Rising seems a bit younger a lot of more cheerful than a lot of its contemporaries. Where volcano eruptions have poisoned the oceans and the sun has only broken through the dust clouds in recent years, Toby Ford is a pirate ship with his father, who fled the government to keep his inventions to himself. Toby has been on the ship since the age of six, but when the Phoenix’s plans to locate solar panels go awry Toby finds himself forced to team up with Ayla, second in command on rival ship the Banshee
It’s refreshing to read a dystopia where people are striving to return to normal, and even some of the pirates are good hearted, although the threat of a corrupt government is still very much present. Toby’s AI parrot, Polly, makes the action seems somewhat younger and friendlier, making it good for younger teens who might not enjoy the bleakness of some other dystopian books. The environmental theme is returned to constantly, but again, with a largely positive outlook and also an interesting examination of the effects – older pirates often have Vitamin D deficiency as a result of not having seen sunlight for years, and pirate will fight for medicine as well as fuel. An enjoyable start to a series.