Monday, October 4, 2021

A Couple of Reviews: Phoenix Heart: Season 1 by Sarah K.L. Wilson & Crimson Phoenix by John Gilstrap

About the Book

Disabled and rejected in her community, Sersha has never had a best friend. Until one day, a phoenix enters her world, tied to her heart in a way no one can break.
Now, this great fiery beast has adopted her as his best friend and he wants to take her away from the world she’s known until now.

But Sersha’s village is in trouble and unless she can learn to work with her phoenix friend right now, they might both lose the future they were counting on.

Will Sersha’s big heart be enough to forge a bond between them?

"Phoenix Heart "is a series very much like your favorite streaming tv show. There are seasons and episodes. The episodes are designed to be read in roughly two hours, though fast readers will read more quickly and those of you who like to take your time may go more slowly. They’re intended to be fast-paced and exciting, and they release frequently so that you can keep up with the story even if you have a very busy life. Perfect for lunch breaks, a single evening of enjoyment, and younger readers who prefer bite-sized chunks.

Available in Kindle Unlimited at time of posting

On All Five Episodes of Season One

I was in the mood for something different, so I picked up episode one from Kindle Unlimited, not really expecting much. I thought I'd probably read a chapter or two and send it back. Boy was I wrong. I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved it!

I've never read anything in an episodic format like this, but I really enjoyed it. It's fast paced and engaging. It kept me invested in the characters' lives and yet still had me hungering for more. It was quite inspiring watching Sersha's journey from a voiceless underdog that everyone dismissed and saw as dispensable to the strong and fierce young woman she became.

This was my first time reading anything by Sarah K.L. Wilson. I read the first four episodes in a row and then while I was waiting for episode five to release, I picked up a copy of the first book in her Bluebeard series and became a forever fan. If you're looking for captivating and quick reads, check out this highly addictive series. I can't wait for season two.



About the Book
From John Gilstrap, the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Jonathan Grave novels, comes Crimson Phoenix—first in the new Victoria Emerson Thriller series. With America brought to the brink of destruction, one woman becomes the last hope of a nation and its people . . .

Victoria Emerson is a congressional member of the U. S. House of Representatives for the state of West Virginia. Her aspirations have always been to help her community and to avoid the ambitious power plays of her peers in Washington D. C. Then Major Joseph McCrea appears on her doorstep and uses the code phrase Crimson Phoenix, meaning this is not a drill. The United States is on the verge of nuclear war. Victoria must accompany McCrea to a secure bunker. She cannot bring her family.

A single mother, Victoria refuses to abandon her three teenage sons. Denied entry to the bunker, they nonetheless survive the nuclear onslaught that devastates the country. The land is nearly uninhabitable. Electronics have been rendered useless. Food is scarce. Millions of scared and ailing people await aid from a government that is unable to regroup, much less organize a rescue from the chaos.

Victoria devotes herself to reestablishing order—only to encounter the harsh realities required of a leader dealing with desperate people . . .

I borrowed this from Kindle Unlimited, but it doesn't look like it's available to check out there anymore.


I had high hopes for this novel, but it just didn't work for me. I ended up not finishing it. I hate doing that, but I just didn't want to spend anymore time on it.

I will say though that I enjoyed the first half. It was really interesting and engaging before "the event" happened. Watching how everyone prepared for "the event", wondering if it would actually happen and if it did, what that would look like. But once it did happen, that's where things started falling apart for me. Maybe I've read too many books like this, but things started taking a very predictable turn. There were no surprises, nothing special. And add to that the fact that Victoria, an outsider, came into a town, started barking orders at everyone and the townspeople did as she said with little to no arguments. I've gotten really tired of that trope. The one where the newcomer comes into a well established place and just takes over, saving the day for the poor people who didn't have a chance without her. 🙄 I just didn't care anymore after that.

I will say that I did enjoy the bits of story that followed the makeshift government. That was new and interesting, and I wish the whole story had focused on that instead.



  1. I've never read a book written in episodes and seasons like Phoenix Heart. What a clever idea. And I'm sorry the Gilstrap didn't work for you. He's an author I've been meaning to try, but maybe I won't try this particular book.

    1. I've been curious about Gilstrap's books, so I was kinda sad that I didn't enjoy this one. It could've just been my mood, though. And I loved the whole concept of Phoenix Heart. The idea of a book released in episodes was fun. And I loved how fast the story moved along without sacrificing character development. I'm hoping season two will be just as good. :)