WINNER OF THE BRAM STOKER AWARD FOR SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
John Dixon’s critically acclaimed Phoenix Island reads like “Lord of the Flies meets Wolverine and Cool Hand Luke” (F. Paul Wilson, creator of Repairman Jack). For fans of The Bourne Identity, Alex Rider, and Melissa Marr.
The judge told Carl that one day he’d have to decide exactly what kind of person he would become. But on Phoenix Island, the choice will be made for him.
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.
John Dixon is a former Golden Gloves boxer, youth services caseworker, prison tutor, and middle school English teacher. You can visit his blog at JohnDixonBooks.com.
Publisher: Gallery Books (January 7, 2014)
Length: 320 pages
"This action-packed novel (with YA crossover appeal) combines adventure with extreme violence and concerns a young boxer sent to a very special youth boot camp.... When things come to a head, Carl finds that all of his suspicions about the island prove even worse than he thought in this crisply written and imaginative effort. Dixon’s page-turner will keep readers of all ages enthralled. A fast-paced, exciting novel with the promise of future installments."
– Cemetery Dance Magazine
"An unusual premise makes Dixon’s thriller debut a welcome series kickoff... the pacing and smooth prose will have suspense fans waiting for the next book, as well as the upcoming CBS adaptation, Intelligence."
– Publishers Weekly
"Filled with both menace and heart, Phoenix Island stands out in all the right ways."
– New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr
"Lord of the Flies meets Wolverine and Cool Hand Luke. A tribute to the indomitable human spirit that challenges the mob and chooses values over expediency."
– F. Paul Wilson, New York Times bestselling creator of Repairman Jack
“Fast-paced and thoroughly engrossing – I could not put it down!”
– Lissa Price, international bestselling author of Starters
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