#BookReview The Phoenix Cycle: The Best Shall Rise by Bob Collopy

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J A Warnock is here today with a slightly quirky review style for us. The Phoenix Cycle: The Best Shall Rise by Bob Collopy is under the spotlight for review. We received at Love Books Group HQ the book in a potato sack along with a letter.  Great PR and it was so unexpected. 



The Best Shall Rise

New San Francisco is the last city standing on a world ravaged by storms of ash and debris. The city survived by putting the ideals of the American dream on steroids and inspiring its people to persevere, though they have become ruthless in the process. Its citizens are ruled by the General, who has made sure that his people understand that gentleness and pity have become weaknesses that nature no longer tolerates.

Now Steve and Leslie must choose whether they will apply for the General’s once in a lifetime opportunity to “Rise from the Ashes” and join the Inner Circle that rules the city. If they don’t, they will be damned to spend the rest of their lives in the ghettos of Edingburg, a place where virtual reality has become a government-subsidized addiction.

For Steve, the choice is easy. His loyalties lie with the IRA, a revolutionary army led by a voice only known as “Mom.” They are trying to overthrow the General and free the people of New San Francisco from the cruelties of the City Guard. Steve’s mission is to broadcast a recording of a speech that a famous philosopher died to tell. Many thousands have and will perish to get this message out, but is anyone willing to listen?


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Dear Kleiner,

I hope this message finds you well. The potato sack was genius. As I lack such resources I rely on mutual friends; you have my word that Love Books Group can be trusted with this message and any reply you are able to send.
Having read your story, I understand your caution. Until such times as the Inner Circle  tackles its contradictions and angst I will remain suspicious of teddy bears in crash helmets and we won’t be sharing a glass of spirited potatoes. More’s the pity.
Bob Collopy, tells your tale with great tact and understanding. He portrays a world that should be unrecognisable yet makes the reader relate by drawing on the worst characteristics that lurk within us as individuals and in the society we know. Thankfully, we also see some of the finest and, even when it is not the best who seem to rise, their story is compelling. Key themes such as  coruption of power and the motivations/rewards of profit weave a thread through the story and help pull it together.
Fear is a funny thing. It often masquerades as strength or bravado and I admire Collopy’s attempts at unravelling these confusing and conflicting characteristics. The addition of artwork and actual broadcasts adds neatly to the tapestry of life in New San Francisco and, under the circumstances, I can forgive him the slightly moralistic apportionment of blame between natural disaster and human interference. A fair point made with a certain amount of grace.
Kliener, I wish you well. Inner Circle, I wish you the future you deserve. World, I heartily recommend the Phoenix Cycle. Four Stars.

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