Friday, August 7, 2015

#Review - Devil's Pocket by John Dixon (YA Thriller)

Series: Phoenix Island # 2
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Publisher: Gallery Books
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller

The follow-up to the critically acclaimed Phoenix Island, which reads like "Lord of the Flies meets Wolverine and Cool Hand Luke" (F. Paul Wilson, creator of Repairman Jack) and inspired the CBS TV show Intelligence.
With a chip in his head and hundreds more throughout his body, sixteen-year-old Carl Freeman was turned from an orphan with impulse control issues into a super-soldier. Forced into the mercenary Phoenix Force group, he begins to fear he'll never escape. Sent to a volcanic island to fight for them, he'll compete in a combat tournament that awards teens with survival for merciless brutality. But just when all looks lost, he spies a friendly face...and possibly a way out.

Devil's Pocket is the second installment in the Phoenix Island trilogy by author John Dixon. Devil's Pocket is a YOUNG ADULT, Science Fiction story that features Dixon's main protagonist Carl Freeman. Carl was sent to Phoenix Island after constantly getting himself into trouble back in Philadelphia. Since arriving on the Island, Carl has been beaten, burned, sliced, shot at, watched his friends die, and had chips inserted throughout his body that has made him stronger and faster.  Carl has chosen to be a willing apprentice to the monster who wants to destroy the world; Commander Stark in order to save his friend Olivia.

Devil's Pocket takes things to a whole different level of intensity and brutality. Carl is chosen to represent Phoenix Island at The Funeral Games. If you are thinking about FIGHT CLUB, then you're not all that far off. The Funeral Games pits contestants against each other in a brutal and bloody fight for survival. There are three divisions: Lightweight, Bantamweight, and Heavyweight. The most interesting part of these games, is that they are a spectator sport for those with wealth and power. This sporting event is run by a secretive group known as the FEW. Carl isn't the only focus in this story. 

Octavia has been rescued, given an entire new identity as Margarita by a group hoping to bring down The Few and Phoenix Island, and sent to infiltrate the Few's secretive location where the Funeral Games are being held, and uncover their identities which have been kept away from prying eyes. Octavia has had her entire life disrupted. She finds herself with growing psychic abilities. Abilities that help her map out faces, and see what will happen next. I dare say that her connection to Carl is definitely tested. She faces incredible odds in exposing the Few, while getting out alive.  

Devil's Pocket is a pretty decent follow up to Phoenix Island. There are mysterious new characters introduced, and not everything is what it seems. I don't think I need to say that there is a nice, but bizarre reunion between Carl and Octavia. Carl is still struggling to keep from killing anyone. It is what Stark wants, so therefore Carl keeps hoping that his will power will remain in place, and not turn into one of the monsters introduced in this story. New nemesis in the FEW that makes Stark look like a child. Definitely eager for the next installment to see what happens to Carl, Olivia, and the rest of Phoenix Island.

**I received this book for free from (Publisher) via (Edelweiss) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.** 

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