Phoenix Island Book Review

Disclosure:  I participated in this post on behalf of Simon & Schuster, who provided product in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Phoenix Island
  Written by John Dixon
  Hardcover, 320 Pages
  Fiction, January 2014
  $19.99

Synopsis:
A champion boxer with a sharp hook and a short temper, sixteen-year-old Carl Freeman has been shuffled from foster home to foster home. He can’t seem to stay out of trouble—using his fists to defend weaker classmates from bullies. His latest incident sends his opponent to the emergency room, and now the court is sending Carl to the worst place on earth: Phoenix Island.

Classified as a “terminal facility,” it’s the end of the line for delinquents who have no home, no family, and no future. Located somewhere far off the coast of the United States—and immune to its laws—the island is a grueling Spartan-style boot camp run by sadistic drill sergeants who show no mercy to their young, orphan trainees.

Sentenced to stay until his eighteenth birthday, Carl plans to play by the rules, so he makes friends with his wisecracking bunkmate, Ross, and a mysterious gray-eyed girl named Octavia. But he makes enemies, too, and after a few rough scrapes, he earns himself the nickname “Hollywood” as well as a string of punishments, including a brutal night in the “sweatbox.” But that’s nothing compared to what awaits him in the “Chop Shop”—a secret government lab where Carl is given something he never dreamed of.

A new life...

A new body. A new brain.

Gifts from the fatherly Old Man, who wants to transform Carl into something he’s not sure he wants to become.

For this is no ordinary government project. Phoenix Island is ground zero for the future of combat intelligence.

And for Carl, it’s just the beginning....

John Dixon is a former Golden Gloves boxer, youth services caseworker, prison tutor, and middle school English teacher. Visit his blog at JohnDixonBooks.com and find him on Twitter at @JohnDixonBooks.

My Thoughts
This was a fast moving book.  It had me rooting for Carl, hoping that he would be able to make it off the island alive.  There were a few twists and it was easy to really dislike several of the characters.  I am looking forward to see where the next book takes Carl...  I Rated This Book:  4/5 Stars ****

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