by John Dixon
The struggle of a young delinquent orphan, as he tries to survive a last chance boot camp island, that is not all that it is cracked up to be.
Before long the stories central character Carl Freeman, a sixteen year old boxer, nicknamed Hollywood, is in trouble with the islands instructors and fighting for his life.
Before long kids are running for survival! On an island where hunting people to death is a sport, and kids are feed to sharks, escape seems impossible.
Carl while short tempered, and easily carried away by his emotions, is truly a good guy at heart. Early in the book, we get to know about his tragic past especially regarding his parents as well as his urges to help those who are weak - acts of justice which at the same time got him in trouble.
Befriended by the old man, Carl is given a new chance, and with it a new body and brain. In the process he discovers that reality that he is being g trained as the new generation ultimate soldier.
Dixon delivers a good blend of action and reflective nature, to make the book interesting on more than one level. At times the action was brutal, particularly as the mob descends into Lord of the Flies style
Phoenix Island is an easy novel to read, that will leave the reader wanting more.
Heath writes reviews regularly for newspapers and magazines.