Might include a few spoilers!!!
Book title: “New World: Rising”
Author: Jennifer Wilson
Publication year: 2016
Number of pages: 338
Amount of stars I gave on Goodreads: 5☆
Since witnessing her parents’ murders at the age of eleven, Phoenix’s only purpose in life has been to uphold her mother’s dying words- to be strong and survive. But surviving outside of The Walls- outside of The Sanctuary- is more like a drawn-out death sentence. A cruel and ruthless city, Tartarus is run by the Tribes whose motto is simple, “Join or die.”
Refusing to join and determined to live, Phoenix fights to survive in this savage world. But who can she trust, when no one can be trusted? Not even herself.
Let’s start this review off by saying that this book is one heck of a dystopian novel and might actually end up being my favourite dystopian series.
Everything in this book- the characters, the Tribes and the city- helped paint a gritty and dark picture of a world where violence and cruelty were everywhere you went. Tartarus in Greek Mythology was the prison of the Titans and in this book it was a kind of prison for the people living there. The city was dirty and polluted and far from paradise. It was actually far safer to walk around during the night than at daytime, because that was when the Tribes were out doing their business.
The Tribes were groups of people that the city consisted of. The motto was ”Join or die” , everyone had to be a part of a tribe, but of course scattered throughout the city were rogues, people who belonged nowhere and were the bosses of themselves.
There were five Tribes-the Ravagers, Scavengers, Wraiths, Adroits, Taciturns- each one more dangerous than the last. I liked how they all had their own distinct details and looks that could help tell them apart. They all had a part to play in everything that happened in the city and amongst them were of course those who were higher and those who were lower.
Phoenix, a rogue teenager who has been trying to survive alone for seven years , is a person who is very headstrong and certain in her ways. She does everything for herself and knows what is at stake in order to survive. One night she comes across a small girl (later to be named Mouse) who is followed by a group of Ravagers. To her own surprise, Phoenix saves her, but gets shot in the process and wakes up in the Subversive.
The Subversive is an underground ”system” of people who had survived running away from the Sanctuary and people who had run away from Tribes. Their goal was to destroy the Wall and break down the Sanctuary for good.
The Sanctuary itself was made out to be a utopia for the people living there, but it was really a place where the higher voices commanded and kept an eye on everything the people did. So in a way it was also a prison, where everyone was kept a close eye on and one wrong thing could cost you dearly.
I really liked the blurred line between bad and good and all of the motives. It really made the reading more interesting and was a great way to make up theories in my mind.
Besides Phoenix, Mouse and Triven were also very prominent characters in the book. Mouse was a sweet little girl who had a lot to say, despite being a mute. She quickly won my heart and formed a close relationship with Triven and Phoenix who were willing to do anything for her. Mouse was scared of course, but confident when she really believed in or wanted something and wasn’t afraid to put her foot down.
Triven was a guy with a lot of respect for everyone and knew how to stay rational and think about what is best for everyone. He was a really sweet person who stood out amongst all the stoic people. One thing that I felt was a little rushed: Phoenix+Triven. I feel like their love was a little like ”snap snap true love” . They found peace and hope with each other and their relationship added a nice nuance to the plot. It maybe would have been better if they had fallen for each other in the second book, but seeing as how things ended, I doubt that would’ve been possible.
There were many characters who also made an appearance and one of them was Maddox, the brute and creep. I actually quite liked him, he added a lot to the whole ”cast” of the story, I feel like he could’ve stayed in the story for more than one book. He had his reasons for being full of anger the way he was and you could actually see that even the toughest people have their own demons to fight with. Phoenix is also a great example to bring, because she might act like a brave girl, but she is also vulnerable and actually terrified of the world around her. But she finds a way to cope, a way to fight back against everything.
The plan to infiltrate the Sanctuary doesn’t exactly go the way as planned and things take a very sharp and crazy turn towards danger. And of course it all ends on a cliffhanger, but not one that you would hate, because now I feel like there are endless possibilities for how the story will go on.
I don’t want to give away any more details, so I will just fangirl for a little more. Eveything in the book was so well planned out and I loved how all of the dots connected with each other. There was nothing that shouldn’t have been in the story and I feel like nothing was missing.
It is a cruel, heartachingly perfect dystopian story and just the book you need to read.
Ps. Keep your eyes open for a little something something regarding the second book, coming soon 😉