Phoenix Island

The judge told Carl that one day he’d have to decide exactly what kind of person he would become. But on Phoenix Island, the choice will be made for him.

A champion boxer with a sharp hook and a short temper, sixteen-year-old Carl Freeman has been shuffled from foster home to foster home. He can’t seem to stay out of trouble—using his fists to defend weaker classmates from bullies. His latest incident sends his opponent to the emergency room, and now the court is sending Carl to the worst place on earth: Phoenix Island.

Classified as a “terminal facility,” it’s the end of the line for delinquents who have no home, no family, and no future. Located somewhere far off the coast of the United States—and immune to its laws—the island is a grueling Spartan-style boot camp run by sadistic drill sergeants who show no mercy to their young, orphan trainees. Sentenced to stay until his eighteenth birthday, Carl plans to play by the rules, so he makes friends with his wisecracking bunkmate, Ross, and a mysterious gray-eyed girl named Octavia. But he makes enemies, too, and after a few rough scrapes, he earns himself the nickname “Hollywood” as well as a string of punishments, including a brutal night in the “sweatbox.” But that’s nothing compared to what awaits him in the “Chop Shop”—a secret government lab where Carl is given something he never dreamed of.

A new life. . . .

A new body. A new brain.

Gifts from the fatherly Old Man, who wants to transform Carl into something he’s not sure he wants to become.

For this is no ordinary government project. Phoenix Island is ground zero for the future of combat intelligence.

And for Carl, it’s just the beginning. . . .


“Dixon’s page-turner will keep readers of all ages enthralled. A fast-paced, exciting novel with the promise of future installments.”
Kirkus Reviews

“…the pacing and smooth prose will have suspense fans waiting for the next book, as well as the upcoming CBS adaptation, Intelligence.”
Publishers Weekly

“You could describe Phoenix Island as Lord of the Flies meets Wolverine and Cool Hand Luke. But at the racing heart of this compelling, action-packed novel is something too rare in modern fiction: a tribute to the indomitable human spirit that challenges the mob and chooses values over expediency. Read it.”
—F. Paul Wilson, creator of Repairman Jack

“Fast-paced and thoroughly engrossing—I could not put it down!”
—Lissa Price, international bestselling author of Starters

“Filled with both menace and heart, Phoenix Island stands out in all the right ways.”
—Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series

Phoenix Island is one of those rare books that stays with you. I couldn’t stop thinking about it long after I had read it. I loved the characters, the action, and the world. I am excited and proud to have had the opportunity to adapt this story for television and look forward to what the very talented John Dixon has in store for us next.”
—Tripp Vinson, Executive Producer of Intelligence and Journey to the Center of the Earth

“Imagine Holes crossed with The Hunger Games crossed with Lord of the Flies and ‘The Most Dangerous Game’, and you still wouldn’t begin to grasp the power and ingenuity of Phoenix Island. John Dixon has taken all these fantastic themes and made them current, real, and superbly suspenseful, as well as unpredictable and frightening. Welcome to the next big thing. Phoenix Island will blow you away.”
—Mark Sullivan, New York Times bestselling author of Rogue and coauthor of Private Games (with James Patterson)

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