Friday, June 1, 2012

Review: Stealing Phoenix (Benedict #2)

Stealing Phoenix (Benedict #2) 

Author: Joss Stirling


Yves' story.

This is about getting you out...I'm stealing you.  

Phoenix belongs to the Community-- a gang of thieves with paranormal powers. Yves Benedict-- an American student visiting London-- is her mark. But Yves turns out to be more than just a target. He is her destiny. Her soulmate. But the Community owns Phoenix's past and it wants her future too. Can Phoenix save the boy she loves... and herself?

Published 18 August 2011


Sometimes you immerse yourself in a drama, so much that it's all you can think about when you eat and when you sleep. And all that time spent outside the tale has you aching to get back into the exhilarating experience of hanging onto every word from the endearing cast. Then, as you zoom through the episodes, eagerly waiting to see how it ends, you realize with a start that time flies and there's only one more episode left. 

If you're nodding so far, I can only say, "Hi friend, you have to know how I feel." Because that was precisely how I felt when I was reaching the last chapter of this book. Part of me couldn't stop, the other part of me hated that the story was going to end.  

Back to the drama allegory. Think back on the time when you finished chasing all forty episodes of that drama. You've smiled with the characters, cried when they cried and now you've finished watching the most memorable times of their lives. Aside from the fulfilling satisfaction at the perfect or not-so-perfect ending, there's an undeniable hollow in your heart. And all that fills your head is thoughts of "How can it end just like that?!" 

Yeah, that's me and my unforgettable experience with Stealing Phoenix-- a masterpiece of a novel, one which stole my heart. And if I could choose, I would let it steal my heart again, at any of time of the day. 

Because even though I've read a series of really good books lately, this was still the one I gripped onto with the whitest knuckles, brought along with me to the most places and finished reading with the goofiest smile on my face. Hands down, no competition. 

It's spectacular, stunning, emotional. 

When I halted that tiny second in front of the pile of messy books lying in the school canteen and picked it up, I had entertained many possibilities, that this was a mystery novel, an adventure story, or maybe even one with a tiny romance playing in the background. But never once in a million years would I have thought that this would be a great love story. Yet, it is.

Yves and Phoenix. So perfect for each other that it hurts. I loved the two of them-- how they met, how they hurt each other and most of all, how they loved each other.

Phoenix. The girl with so many secrets to hide and so many burdens on her shoulders. She's born in a pack of wolves-- cruel men who use fear to exploit and subdue. She is forced to use her savant (people with paranormal talents) powers to steal. A day without loot means a night of abuse and displeasure. To survive, clever Phoenix has never failed in a single mission... Until the day she meets Yves, the smart and handsome American boy who is her target, and she fails her most important mission by far. 

Lying to cover up, Phoenix placates her superior, The Seer (leader of the pack of "wolves"), and weaves an elaborate scam to get herself closer to Yves. But, outwitted again and again by him, Phoenix  is trapped in a fraud of her own making. But, here's when the charming American boy grins. With thudding hearts, we fall head over heels in love when he says what we've been anxiously waiting for all along,

I knew it, you're my soulfinder.

Yet, Phoenix who has lived in a lifetime of fear is cursed by the powers of the Seer. Set against the backdrop of the glamorous London, Yves and Phoenix race against time to be together, coming to terms with who they are and why do they belong together. At the heart of these startling revelations, cunning manipulations and feigned betrayals is a perfect love story of two teens falling in love against all odds. 

Quoting the lovely Sara Dessen, 

“There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.” 

Yves fell in love with Phoenix. Phoenix fell in love with Yves. And I fell in love with this book.

Source: The Good Old Library (with the awesome Shi Le's library card)



  1. OMG SEL the drama allegory is exactly how I feel!!! Every time I look at the long list of episodes waiting for me, I'll be eager to zoom to the ending, and smile if its happily ever after, or cry if the curtains draw with a tragedy. Yet when there's only a single episode left, when I'm finally about to reach its end, I hold back and feel sad. 和剧中的人物相处的时光总是触人心弦,我会很舍不得就这么把他们放下 :( NOW I MUST READ THIS BOOK FOR MYSELF!

    P.S. 甄嬛传真的超级超级好看!!!就皇帝老了些...呵呵.


    1. I know right!!! I was completely writing from experience and thinking "I know Wu You will definitely agree" :D I knowwwwww, I always cried like crazy then afterwards there would be a 失落的感觉,like 心里空空的。

      皇帝好像是有点老... 不过那个帅气的十七爷可以补偿补偿一下吧~

      呵呵,就知道你会有同感 ^^

  2. you didn't acknowledge me as your source!!! xD i helped you borrow rmb? haha i can totally understand that feeling! xD ahhh this is going on my TBR list i guess! with 10,000 others...

    1. Acknowledged :D

      Yes yes yes! Look at Wu You above, she couldn't contain her excitement at seeing her feelings described ;) Yeah, this must must must be on your TBR list. Move it to the top! I insist!

  3. This sounds like a great book! Awesome review! New follower :)

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  4. Sounds to me like something i have to read :) but i shall read the first book first :) haha nice revie!

    1. Thanks :) I didn't read the first book too, only when I finished this then I realized that there was another book before it. I've ordered it and am waiting for it to arrive! Can't wait for more stories on the hot Benedict brothers :D

  5. Stealing Phoenix sounds amazing. I like the storyline and I was nodding my head along with the review. What a fantastic quote, too! I definitely want to read this one!


    1. Yay! :) Glad you liked the Sara Dessen quote, it really echoed with the book's main message!

      Go read it! *urges*

  6. Oh my, I definitely have to get this today!

    I just re-read Finding Sky instead of revising, which I liked although I did find the storyline quite soppy and I think she could have made the book longer, as I did want more information, as I thought the transition between Sky being wary to falling head over heels with Zed was quite quick and unrealistic. (Not that I can blame her, of course! Haha)

    So, yeah, I'm heading to the bookshop to buy this if I can find it! :D

    ~Hannah xx

    1. Would it be really eager for me to reply again and say that I've already read the book twice, and I love it!

      Although I'm not sure whether I like Yves or Zed more, but I think Xav is so much funnier! Hahah, but they're all in my list of fictional crushes. ;)

      ~Hannah xx

    2. That's great to hear :D For me, I only chanced upon the Benedict series one month back, and the first book I read was the second in the series :/ which kind of sucks for most series except this one. Because each story is about one brother, so it stood on its own.

      And I don't mind having Sky falling head over heels in love with one hot Zed. Ahhh, now I'll have to go read it! The book shop near my house doesn't have it in stock (bleh).

      So glad you read Stealing Phoenix, isn't it pure goodness? I can't compare the brothers yet, but Yves completely stole my heart. And now I have a huge crush on him :D Another book boyfriend for me! (Why are the boys in books so much better than the ones in real life? )

      This series has me devouring the story while ignoring my homework *sigh* But it's worth it >:)

      Sel, xoxo (waiting for Seeking Crystal with puppy-dog eyes)^^

    3. Hi. Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog. Sorry, if I sound desperate commenting twice! :P

      Joss Stirling came to our school last year, and I just re-read the book last week. Then yesterday, I bought it and I've already read it twice - it's that good. I couldn't put it down! You MUST get Finding Sky, it's good but I'm not sure whether this one is better but they're about the same.
      But I'm really excited for Seeking Crystal but I think JS is not going to have enough verbs for the book titles if she does all 7 brothers! Don't worry, that's fine I'll have Xav or Zed - I'm not fussy! Hahahahah ;) BUT WHY do all the good books come out in October, I have 4 months to wait...(not so) patiently - I'm also waiting for the next Percy Jackson book - The Mark of Athena, too! (117 days..)

      I think it's quite sad to say, that I seem to have more fictional character crushes than real life ones. Oh dear, oh dear! But I'm waiting for the movie for SP to come out so I can be an extra on set...just trying to get a glimpse of all those actors... *swoon*

      I know what you mean, I'm supposed to be revising for my GCSEs and that's going really well...NOT. Books are such a (good) distraction instead of the boredom of revising!

      ~Hannah xx

      P.S. 131 days and counting - that's depressing. So that's 18 weeks and 5 days... I'll start crying now. :'(

    4. OMG... Have you seen the blurb?!
      Who is Crystal getting married to? :O Ahhh, questions questions!

      "Crystal Brook has always been the dud Savant in her family; paranormal powers just aren't her thing. Dropping out of school with a clutch of 'E' grades and no future, she lives in the shadow of her high-flying sister Diamond. On a trip to Denver, a chance encounter with the dashing Benedict brothers leaves Diamond head over heels in love and engaged to be married. Crystal, on the other hand, is unimpressed by their charms . . . in fact no boy can annoy her as much as Xav Benedict! Back in Venice, their families assemble for Diamond's wedding and a powerful enemy seizes the opportunity to attack. Crystal and Xav must join forces to save their loved-ones, unlocking a secret that, until now, has lain deeply buried . . ."

    5. LOOK LOOK LOOK ->

      Okay, I'm really sorry for the multiple comments, sorry for clogging up your emails etc. but I'm soo excited :D :D

      ~Hannah xx

    6. I love comments, Hannah! So I never never get upset with them. Who cares about my inbox when I get lovely heartfelt comments from people like you? >:)

      And I just went to see all the teasers. They are amazing!!!! I love Joss Stirling! Did you see my interview with her yet? :D

      Ahhh, a lot of people were saying that Diamond was engaged to Xav. If that is really the case, things are about to get complicated... But, honestly, I really hope not. Crystal & Xav are perfect together!

      I'm super excited too! I'm going to dash for TBD the moment Seeking Crystal is out!

    7. Oh gosh, I'm so sorry about my stalkerish comments. I just have to share my excitement with someone!

      Nah, because in the teasers Crystal says to Xav "look at your brother and my sister". I think Diamond will be engaged to Victor, because we've met him etc. so his character doesn't have to be developed so much. Although in my opinion Diamond is a duff name, Ruby or Emerald would have been way cooler! :P

      Oh gosh, I don't think I can wait any longer!!

      ~Hannah xx
      P.S. Congrats on winning the entry for your short story competition! :) It was really good = goosebumps!

  7. Love the storyline and I see you have it on your birthday giveaway..

    looking forward to read this after this great review.

    1. Well, thank you :) The storyline is one of the best I've ever read, maybe you can choose it for the giveaway if you win ;)

  8. I've read this book too and absolutely loved it!
    I think your review matches perfectly with the storyline and like you mentioned, I too fell in love with the book!

    Cant wait for the 3rd book releasing in Oct :D by the way; what's your favourite part of the book. (sorry I know you get a lot of comments!) xxx :)

  9. Hey I read finding sky but I haven't read stealing Phoenix. It's quite good and after exams are finished Im going to borrow it from the library! :) And I hope to borrow Seeking Crystal from the library too! I recommended it to nlb and hope they buy the book and allow it to be borrowed soon! :)


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