Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pale Phoenix by Kathryn Reiss - quickie review

Pale Phoenix by Kathryn Reiss
Copyright 1994
Harcourt, Inc. - Paranormal YA fiction
326 pages

This is just going to be a quickie review because I've already mentioned the book but want a separate post to refer to for the RIP IV. I read Time Windows, also by Kathryn Reiss, in December of 2007 and really enjoyed it. You can read my review of Time Windows, mixed in with some other nonsense <----here.

In Pale Phoenix, the author brings back Miranda Browne of Time Windows. Now 15, with a friend who might be turning into her boyfriend and an interest in the preservation of history, Miranda meets an annoying young girl named Abby while selling items to benefit an historical home that has been turned partially into a museum. Abby has a strange habit of disappearing, leaving footprints that simply stop in the snow, and crying in the night but without being present. Miranda knows such things because her parents have invited Abby to live with them until her relatives have been located.

Miranda thinks there's something fishy about Abby. The disappearances, the crying, and a large number of photographs of Abby taken in different time periods all add up to something out of the ordinary. An ancient carved whistle in the shape of a phoenix may hold the key, but there is danger in using the whistle and only Miranda can possibly help Abby -- possibly putting herself in danger, as well. Will Miranda and Abby, along with Miranda's boyfriend, disappear forever or end up stuck in time if they try to help Abby? Or can they figure out how to stop Abby's endless cycle of misery?

I loved this book. Like Time Windows, it's a unique story that never reaches freak-out level and the paranormal concept is pretty easy to grasp. I didn't have much trouble with suspension of disbelief. This was a great book for the RIP IV (at least for me) because it's not gory or terrifying. It's mildly creepy and the pages flew.

4/5 - Very good; still sticking with me about three weeks after I finished it.

This was my 3rd read for the RIP IV challenge.


  1. Ooooh, I really like the sound of this series! Definitely want to know more about Abby, so I'm adding it to my list.

  2. The book sounds good and the cover's fabulous! (I finished The Unlikely Disciple and think Kevin Roose has a great future.)

  3. Jenclair,

    Pale Phoenix was my third book by Kathryn Reiss and I've enjoyed them all, although Dreadful Sorry wasn't quite as good as Time Windows and Pale Phoenix, in my humble opinion. They're nice, quick reads -- great for a little paranormal escapism. I think you'll enjoy the author. :)


    Isn't that a beautiful cover? I love the fact that it's both spooky and colorful. I agree with you about Kevin Roose. So glad you enjoyed the book, too!


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