Monday, March 12, 2012

The Last Beginning

The Last Beginning (Curse of the Phoenix #3) by RACHEL FIRASEK

Though she’s always hated being a phoenix, Sadie has to admit immortality has its advantages. She’s seen and done more in the last 150 years than she’d ever dreamed of, but she can’t get past the fact that Osiris has done nothing but manipulate her and her fellow phoenixes. Or that, when her last incarnation as a phoenix comes to a fiery end, the fire slowly begins to consume her body.

Sun god Osiris is ashamed of his role as ruler of the Underworld, but unless he can figure out how to save Sadie, that’s exactly where she’s going to end up.

Permanently. Terrified he’s going to lose her, he takes her on a hunt for The Book of the Dead, which is the only way he knows he can save her—even if it means she’ll hate him forever (goodreads).

Review:                                            Many thanks to Netgalley for this ARC

The Last Beginning is the final installment of the Curse of the Phoenix series. When I requested this novella, I did not know it was a the third in a series, but The Last Beginning can act like a stand-alone if you have yet to read the first two novels. I am sorry to say that despite its easy follow-along story, this book became a chore for me to finish. 

Sadie is a woman living during the Gold Rush and trying to make an honest living after her husband dies. Her pure soul catches the sights of the sun god Osiris who wants her more than anything but cannot have her. Despite Sadie not having an immoral bone in her body, Osiris takes it upon himself to make her a phoenix-a creature that must find the good in humanity and must die for every countless soul so that they may live on. One day after Sadie saves an old woman from certain death, she notices something different about herself-she's on fire. Sadie must team up with the man she hates the most to figure out what is happening. 

The plot is pretty straight forward. Sadie hates Osiris, Osiris loves Sadie, Sadie just might be dying, Osiris and Sadie fall in love. Rinse and repeat. I really wish that this wasn't a novella because this book definitely needed to be fleshed out. The action seemed to jump from scene to scene with no real flow. It was basically "we need to go to this place" and so they do. I was also disappointed that we really didn't get to see Sadie in her Phoenix-y element. Instead she runs between the Otherworld, and at the previous phoenixes' homes in an effort to bring back familiar characters from the previous two installments. 

My major issue with this book was the characters and their lack of personalities. Sadie is presented as a strong-willed character but yet, she falls into Osiris' arms just to remember that she hates him. I also despised Osiris. He went through RIDICULOUS lengths to makes Sadie notice him just to be surprised that she wasn't confessing her love for him. Yeah if I found out some guy was manipulating me for his own lust I don't think I would be that accepting either. Nothing Osiris did made any sense, and for such a strong woman Sadie sure did have many lapses in judgment. 

The writing was consistent but I did not find it to be very engaging. The writing seemed to tell more rather than do which I think is partly because Firasek wanted to include the stories of the past two phoenixes. 

Overall this book was not for me. The plot and characters were very bare, with forced action and love scenes. There is a possibility that I may have liked this book more if I read the first two books, but at the moment I have no plans to pick up the first two. 

I recommend this novel for fans of the first two installments and those who like paranormal romances. 


  1. It's a shame it wasn't that good. The cover is very pretty and phoenixes (?) are awesome! I'm stoked about starting Pandemonium :) They need to come out with Phantom of the Opera in the leatherbound classics!! I <3 Phantom!

  2. It seems like the story had potential and might have been better as a full length book rather than a novella. I think novellas must have a very narrow scope or they'll feel underdeveloped.


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