The Ascension Series Book Two
by Heather Letto
After a narrow escape from the city of Impervious, Fran’s heart aches for the ones she left behind. Will her brother ever connect the dots? And, what about Pete? Could he, along with the remaining Rebels, have survived the Council’s violent oppression?
As Fran ponders the fate of her friends, an even more disturbing revelation drops into her world—the knowledge that she, along with anyone who had lived underground remains implanted with the sinister presence of the Council. A fate rendering her powerless to save.
Yet one with pure blood, untouched by the Council’s defiling, lives among them. Could he be the new lifeline of hope? Is salvation of the city worth risking the life of this one-and-only?
This is the second book in a series, but since I didn't read the first one, I started with the missing background information. And that did make a difference. The first pages rush through several names, and without the story up to that point, the importance of these characters was unclear. It wasn't too hard to get a general handle on what was going on, so in that respect, I could gain some footing. Still, I'd recommend hitting the first book before diving into this one.
We find 'Wolf' (the young girl) one week after her escape from the underground, controlled society. She's getting to know her parents and adapting very well to her new found freedom in nature and the 'outside'. These first pages were slow, letting Wolf suck in the new world around her. If I had read the first book and taken this one up directly afterwards, I'm sure it would have had a different effect. On it's own, it was slow moving, but at soon as this first 'phase' is through, the book picks up pace and I really got caught up in the story.
Wolf is an wonderfully driven character. She has a good sense of what's going on around her, and although impulsive, is often spot-on in her judgments and can take fairly good care of herself. It was easy to dive into her thoughts and cheer her on as she took on things when others failed to take action.
The plot, once it gets going, is fast-paced and seasoned with just the right amount of action. There were several unexpected twists and turns, and I definitely couldn't wait to see what happened next. The danger hangs like a threatening fog and although tends not to really become vivid, keeps the tension high. There were moments, which I wondered how they were going to escape alive. There's also a tiny touch of romance, but this is tucked away nicely on the sidelines, keeping the plot on center stage.
As to the scenes, the descriptions pull in and immerse the reader into this strange world. The forest is so clear, I could taste the vegetation and moist air around Wolf. And the darkness in the underground tunnels pushed in, bringing the claustrophobic feeling to life.
Summed up, I can recommend this to YA Dystopian fans. It's a short read at 198 pages and shouldn't be attacked without hitting book one first. It's a little light on the visual action, offering more of a hanging tension (at least in book 2), but that didn't make it any less tense. I enjoyed it to the very last page.