This breathtaking and lyrical novella captures a thrilling and momentous decision for a young man and the people he loves. Told from the perspective of Sam, the sensitive musician from Jodi Meadows's Incarnate series, lifetimes before he meets Ana, Phoenix Overture is a story of love and loss, strength and courage, and facing the consequences of the hardest of decisions.
Phoenix Overture offers existing fans a deeper insight into a favorite character and the intriguing history of Heart, while new readers will find a stunning introduction to this rich world and the romantic, captivating fantasy of the Incarnate series.
In the wilds around the Community where Sam and his family have taken shelter, life is dangerous. Dragons, trolls, centaurs, and other monsters fill the world. The word comes from the council that everyone must leave and journey to rescue their leader, Janan, who has been abducted by a mysterious new enemy in the north. Faced with overwhelming threats that bring death and destruction, Sam and the others reach the northern Range and, reunited with Janan, are given an unimaginable opportunity. Although it would give them the privilege to live and learn and love without fear, the choice is not without its own dire consequences. And lives—though not theirs—are sure to be lost. Just how much are they willing to give up to save themselves?
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Great insight into this character!
So, when I found out that Jodi would be writing a novella to go along with this series, I squeed. When I saw it was from Dossam's POV, I jumped around for joy! I just love Sam. I didn't even care what it was about so long as I could see things from his POV.
And this was not disappointing in the least. I think the most interesting thing about this novella is it's from Sam's POV as a young boy of 15. I was not expecting that in the least. The novella read a bit like a middle grade read because he was younger in this story, but it was not at all boring. I loved Sam's voice.
The story shows us his relationship with his mother, father and brother and how it affected him. How he was always a bit of an outcast because of his love of music. And the story demonstrates how the music shaped him and was always part of his life from the very beginning, even before we were introduced to him.
It's a story of courage and remorse. A story of looking inside and finding out who you are and using that to make yourself happy, and to make the people around you understand who you are. It's sad and heart wrenching at times, giving us a key look into Sam's quiet and reserved nature (born of mistrust and fear).
The book also introduces us to Stef as his young friend. It's interesting to see how they met and how their friendship was borne and solidified.
It's so hard to review a novella because you don't want to spoil anything for the reader who has not read the books as of yet. I will say that this novella could certainly be read prior to starting the series, as it might give more insight into who Dossan truly is. It also introduces us to the world of Heart at it's beginnings. Any way you choose to read it, you won't be disappointed in Meadow's writing and prose.
This just made me that much more excited for Infinite!
Nice Insight into Sam and the Series
I'm going to start this off by saying that reviewing novellas is hard. (In fact, putting a rating was HARD. I'm not even sure if that's how I'd rate it, even though I really disliked nothing about this. It's just hard to say how I thought about it!) It's not easy to say whether I loved or liked it because of the length, and it's just not super easy (not that novels are) to put into words. So, I shall try my best. And I'll try to keep things somewhat vague so as not to spoil anything.
Also, did you know that Jodi's original title for Phoenix Overture was Bad Things Happen (To Sam)? Because that initial title is actually quite accurate.
In case you didn't know, Phoenix Overture is a novella that goes with the fabulous Newsoul trilogy by Jodi Meadows, and is suggested to be read after the second book, Asunder. I've heard that there are a few things from the first two books that can be recognized in the novella, and there are some familiar characters. I read this novella about seven months after reading Asunder, so my memory was a little spotty, but it was still totally readable. However, if you want to read Phoenix Overture and recognize all the little references, I'd recommend at least scanning the other books to refresh your memory, because I didn't see some of the references (though some things felt familiar, and that doesn't alter how I feel about the novella).
As for the novella itself, it's a nice (or not-so-nice, really) look into Sam pre-everything. It's Sam before souls were reincarnated, and it shows what his life was like and how reincarnation basically started. And oh, my Sam. My poor, poor Sam. I love Sam (or Dossam), and his life was filled with so many troubles, from an abusive father to lots of loss. I just wanted to reach through my Kindle and hug the poor guy; he didn't deserve so many things that came his way.
Fortunately, the whole novella wasn't all My-Poor-Baby-Sam. Things did look up...for a while, at least. He had two people that were there for him, one of whom was Stef. (Hmm, I think that name sounds familiar...) I enjoyed their friendship and how they were there for each other, and to see that it has lasted so long. (Forgive me if Stef is not who I think he is; like I said, my memory is spotty!)
One thing I really liked about Phoenix Overture was that it was different from Incarnate and Asunder. The world is different, the voice is different, and it separates itself (in a good way) from the trilogy. The writing and Sam's thoughts--I loved his love for music, which has been there for years--were great, and I appreciated how Meadows could be...is eclectic the word? I just liked how she was able to write two different things (or POVs) without having them sound like the same one.
In the end, Phoenix Overture is a nice insight into Sam and how the world of the Newsoul trilogy came to be. Really, I think I could've read the novella as a full-length novel, with more on Sam and what happened after the end of the book, and more on the mechanics, so to speak, of how the whole reincarnation really happened and came to be. (Which may have been mentioned in the previous books, but I don't remember.) If Jodi Meadows decides to write more about Sam, I wouldn't mind reading it. (I would totally read it.) In the meantime...can I have Infinite now?