The brand new edition of dystopian, psychological thriller The Phoenix Project, by D.M. Cain, has been re-released today (December 11).
Originally published in May 2014, this new Booktrope edition has had a complete editing overhaul, plus a stunning new cover design.
Author: D.M. Cain
Title: The Phoenix Project
Genre: Psychological thriller / dark thriller / dystopian
Book content: Occasional adult language, graphic violence, and mild sexual content.
How can you fight to the death, when you’ve given up on life?
A thought provoking and compelling dystopian world that will change the way you view justice...
A man fights for life—and redemption—in D. M. Cain’s riveting re-released novel, The Phoenix Project.
Britain has descended into chaos as violence and terrorist attacks seethe across this once-peaceful country. Outraged by the steady stream of lawlessness, citizens demand a harsher penal system, and the Phoenix Project is born.
In prisons across the country, inmates fight to the death in a weekly bloodbath while the nation cheers them on.
Raven Kennedy, a prisoner who has never forgiven himself for his unspeakable crime, struggles against his own guilt and self-loathing. But even as the real war wages on within himself, Raven is forced to battle some of the prison’s most ruthless killing machines. Can he survive long enough to unravel the anger and regret that shackle him—and one day find the forgiveness he seeks?
‘The Phoenix Project by D.M. Cain is a superbly written debut, soaked in tension and intrigue’ ---- Jack Croxall, author of the ‘Tethers’ trilogy.
A Never-To-Be-Forgotten Masterpiece
In my humble opinion The Phoenix Project is a masterpiece in every sense of the word.
It succeeds in an extremely difficult task of being both thought-provoking and entertaining at the same time – while also being uncomfortable but essential reading.
DM Cain has created a terrifying scenario set in the not too distant future where terrorists and other violent prisoners are pitted against each other in a fight to the death – televised for the world to see.
Terrifying on two counts; one, for the prisoners incarcerated in the brutal world of Salverford prison, and two, terrifying for us readers because this way of legally disposing of violent prisoners is brought alive and believable by DM Cain’s skilful writing.
While some of the detailed description of the fights is particularly brutal, showing the inmates’ inhumanity to fellow prisoners, this is a vital aspect for what follows as we join Raven Kennedy on his horrifying journey. The various fighters’ deliberate and prolonged cruelty within the ring is more than matched by Raven’s cruelty to himself as he struggles to come to terms with the terrible crime that landed him in Salverford.
And that is the book’s strength. DM Cain pulls no punches as she introduces us to Raven’s self-harming attitude, and we see why he is desperate to stay alive so he can suffer more and more until he is satisfied he has atoned for his crime. But will he ever reach self-forgiveness?
The heart of this once-read-never-to-be-forgotten story is Raven’s own guilt and self-loathing, which comes
alive with clarity and believability.
Although he committed a monstrous crime, I still sympathised for every injury he sustains in the ring, and every pain he causes himself through self-harming. Here is a guy we want to come through! The actual tale of what led up to his crime runs parallel with his life in Salverford, and indeed both timelines reach their shattering climaxes at the same point in the book.
The descriptive scenes take us into the very heart of Salverford – I could see every nook and cranny, feeling as if I were locked in that cell with him – and the extensive, wonderfully written, dialogue between leading players gives us a unique and changing insight into their characters, what drives them and motivates them.
When I first started reading this book I described it as fastening a collar around my neck and dragging me along, relentlessly, behind it – I couldn’t stop even if I wanted to. That applied right through to the end. The Phoenix Project will remain in my memory for a very, very long time to come.
The horrifying 'dark room' in The Phoenix Project (a pitch-black sensory deprivation cell) was inspired by D.M. Cain's visit to the Terra Haza in Budapest -- a museum dedicated to the fascistic and communistic regimes that operated from the building.
In the cellar of the Terror Haza are the old cells used to imprison and torture inmates. D.M. Cain crawled inside a very low cell and shut the door, casting herself into total darkness.
She says it was terrifying and claustrophobic...and she only lasted five minutes in there!
Above: The original cover design from the first edition of The Phoenix Project.
Connect online with D.M. Cain
Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/XevZH
D.M. Cain Biography
D.M. Cain is a dystopian and fantasy author working for US publisher Booktrope. She has released three novels: The Phoenix Project - a psychological thriller set in a dystopian future, Soren – a middle-grade fantasy, and A Chronicle of Chaos – the first in a dark fantasy series. She is currently working on the next novel in the series, 'The Shield of Soren', and a novella to accompany it.
D.M. Cain is also a member of the International Thriller Writers and is one of the creators and administrators of the online author group #Awethors. Her short story ‘The End’ was published in Awethology Dark – an anthology by the #Awethors.
Cain lives in Leicestershire, UK, with her husband and young son, and spends her time reading, writing and reviewing books, playing RPGs and listening to symphonic metal.