Thursday 18 November 2010

The Phoenix Files: Mutation

The Phoenix Files: Mutation by Chris Morphew (hardie grant Egmont)
PB RRP $16.95
ISBN 9781921502415
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

There are sixty-three days till the end of the world. When Luke, Jordan and Peter arrived, they believed that the move would give them a fresh start in life. But too soon, they discovered that every person brought to Phoenix was part of something more sinister; that they were all pawns in a power play. Their attempts to discover what and when, have been continuously thwarted by the Shackleton Corporation and all the security guards it employs, by threats to their lives. In this the third book in the series, the character Jordan is narrator.

Shackleton has had Officer Reeves killed in front of the three friends because he helped them in their search for truth. His death is made to look like an accident. But this hasn’t stopped them from searching for evidence against Shackleton and his apocalyptic operation Tabitha, and perhaps a way out of town. They wear a tracking device and because of their many escapades, they have been fitted with a suppressor that can be activated by computer in a matter of seconds. This has the ability to totally immobilise them and leave them disabled permanently.  Peter’s father has already been a victim of the mighty corporation’s brutality and is now wheelchair-bound as a warning to Peter to stop prying into ‘things that didn’t concern him’. But how do you stop three children who are determined to prevent the end of the world?

Strange mutations are taking place within the population. Jordan’s mum has been informed that the child she is carrying is growing at an accelerated rate and will be born well before the normal gestation period ends. He announces a ‘town wide screening program’ through blood tests after Georgia, Jordan’s sister, and Peter exhibit abnormal violent behaviour, which causes Peter’s suppressor to be activated. He is kidnapped by an unknown person soon after and forces Luke and Jordan into another dangerous mission to find him.

Jordan is experiencing repetitive and terrifying visions. Luke and his mother discover they lack the genetic requirement for being in Phoenix and should it become known to Shackleton, they will be killed.

Great trials await all the residents of the new town and despite the antagonism between them, three other children are at work searching for the same answers as Luke, Jordan and Peter, but going about from a different angle.

This sci-fi mystery/adventure is riveting reading and equal to that of Michael Grant’s Gone series. It will keep you wondering and guessing, desperate for the next book.

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