Here is my review as posted on Amazon.com and Goodreads.
P. Benjamin Mains’ work, The Phoenix Rises: Beyond Imagination opens with a dream sequence reminiscent of Starship Troopers. Mains does a great job describing both the combat and the villainous Zom-Borgs. I loved lines like “looking more Spartacus than Michelangelo”or “Leo thrus his arm to the heavens in a theatrical gesture that would make any tokusatsu fanboy proud.”
The initial scene revolves around a group of knights and their efforts drew me in to my childhood days of watching Power Rangers, Voltron, or the more modern Pacific Rim or Ready Player One. In chapter two we read of a darker, colder, slower world where we meet “Reilly Brendan Patrick Major, professional pushover.” As one might expect, we discover soon there is a connection. Once the connection is made we have a “unimportant character discovers he is very important” tale. This particular one is told well with pop culture references, its own well designed world, and excellent battle-scape narrative. Like well written fiction in this genre, it reads at the pace of a good, immersive video game never letting up on the throttle. Constellations launch!
I was given a copy for review. The opinions are my own.