Convict Fenix

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
426 Pages
Reviewed on 05/20/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Chris Fischer for Readers' Favorite

Convict Fenix, the new work of fiction by debut author Alan Brickett, is a unique read that kept me intrigued throughout. Follow the story of an unusual creature, Dunderland, as he finds himself an inmate in a prison designed for the worst of the worst creatures in the universe, but with no memory of who he is or why he is there. As the book progresses, Dunderland regains bits and pieces of his memory and finds out that the reason for his imprisonment is much darker and more sinister than he could have ever imagined. Escape becomes paramount, and the twists and turns that the plot takes as Dunderland learns more about his past and makes his way through the strange and terrifying prison are enough to make a reader feel as if they are on quite the roller coaster ride.

Author Alan Brickett is a very promising new voice in the genres of fantasy and science fiction, and one that readers interested in these genres should keep an eye on. Convict Fenix is a gripping tale, full of highly interesting characters that many will find completely original; not something easily found in these overcrowded genres anymore. Characters as well as environments are vividly drawn, and readers might just feel as if they have slipped through the pages into the very prison Dunderland inhabits as they are reading. It is easy for me to recommend this book, certainly to fans of fantasy and science fiction, but also to adventurous readers looking for a truly creative piece of fiction to enjoy.

Maureen Dangarembizi

Convict Fenix by Alan Brickett follows Dunderland, a magical being incarcerated in an interstellar prison for the universe's worst criminals. Using cunning and his remarkable powers, Dunderland explores the prison, looking for a way to escape the supposedly inescapable prison for the second time. In his journey of self-discovery, he meets and often fights beings of extraordinary power.

Alan Brickett provides a riveting narrative which largely focuses on the main character, Dunderland. Dunderland literally lives in his mind and rarely interacts with other prisoners. The narrative/dialogue balance is perfect for this kind of book. When he did speak, Dunderland always had something pivotal to say. The descriptions of the alien landscapes are as vivid as they are believable. Each alien being Dunderland comes across is unique, but they have one thing in common: the fight for survival at all costs.

The best part about this book is that it allows the reader to explore the core drivers of any person's character. It challenges the reader to become a creature of survival rather than a person who gives up hope, the very thing that keeps us going day after day. Dunderland carves a place for himself in the prison; he doesn't let anything discourage him from his chosen path - a quality that helped him. This book would make a great movie in the epic themes of Star Wars, Star Trek and the like. Another thing of note is the amazing battle scenes in this book. I applaud the author on his ability to make the reader live and feel the action.

Christian Sia

Convict Fenix by Alan Brickett is a compelling work, dark and arresting, a story written with a spell, and one with great psychological depth. The Prison is the worst place on earth anyone would want to find themselves. It represents everything there is about pain and torture and punishment. In fact, it is hell on earth. The strange but compelling warning that greets everyone sent into the dingy prison reads: “Your sentence is final. You are here to die, how that happens is your last remaining denial.” Dunderland finds himself in this place, without memory, nameless, and despoiled of everything that would remind him of his humanity. In a place of no escape, he has to use his wits and courageously do what no one has ever done — escape. But can he? How did he even find himself here?

From the very first lines of the story, the reader is gripped by the narrative voice and the powerful images it evokes — the man without a name, the somber nature of the prison, the stern warning that comes with disturbing finality. The protagonist is introduced immediately and the reader is keen as they watch him wrestle with conflicting thoughts and emotions. The author wastes no time in introducing the conflict, first at the psychological level, and readers begin to ask questions about the prisoners and the raison d’être of the prison itself. The reader already knows that there is no way to escape the prison, but somehow the author creates the faint hope that prisoners can get out through the silent musings of the protagonist. The writing is beautiful and arresting, and the characters are very compelling. Alan Brickett will catch your attention — your full attention — and have you following his characters till the end. A great read!

Tracy Slowiak

In the interesting and highly imaginative tale, Convict Fenix, by debut author Alan Brickett, readers will be taken on an adventure that will grip them from the very first pages and keep them obsessively reading all the way through until the very end. Follow the story of the title character, Dunderland, a man without a memory, not even sure of his real name, as he journeys through a life he cannot fully understand. Sent to a prison full of the vilest of all of the creatures in the universe, and unsure what he had done to get them there, Dunderland needs to use all he has available to him in order just to survive. As more and more of his memories resurface, Dunderland is able to piece together his past and realizes more than ever the importance of his escape from the prison he finds himself in. Will he succeed? You'll need to read the book to find out!

I enjoyed Convict Fenix. Author Alan Brickett has done a good job of creating characters that his readers will relate to, connect with, and truly come to care about, not always an easy feat in a work of fantasy. If that isn't the hallmark of a great author, I am not sure what is. His ability to create realistic scenes and environments in a fantasy setting is also exceptional. This book is riveting, and any minor editorial issues will easily be overlooked by readers with a love of fantasy, action, or adventure based novels. I am pleased to be able to recommend Convict Fenix, and look forward to reading more from the promising new author, Alan Brickett, when he has something available.