Sunday, May 29, 2011
Review: Ascension by Sable Grace
The gates of hell have opened, and one woman will stand in the crossfire as the Dark Breed—vampyre, demons, shape shifters—and mankind fight their last battle for survival.
Kyana is half Vampyre, half Lychen . . . and the last of her kind. Determined, dangerous, and damned, she has no love for the mortals who have imprisoned and misused her. But when the Order of Ancients entrusts her with a mission—to find the key that will send the Dark Breed back into Hell for eternity—Kyana has no choice but to accept.
She is furious to learn her assignment comes with an escort . . . Ryker, a demigod and fierce warrior who long ago found a way under her skin and stayed there. In a shaky alliance, they discover an ancient cult with dangerous motive and a god who seeks to destroy all others. And as Kyana begins to feel the heat that threatens to bind her to Ryker, she knows she has to resist. For it could only mean the undoing of them both . . .
As with most Urban Fantasy novels the worldbuilding is crucial to the story, especially with a new series, and it can be easy to get buried in the information overload that comes at the beginning of the book. I did feel a bit overwhelmed at the start but I attribute that more to my switch from PNR to UF than anything else, although it is something to be aware of. The combination of paranormal with Greek mythology is well done and not anything that has been done a zillion times before, maybe inspired by a love of Dark Hunters, but not quite in that realm...yet. After all, this is a new author so who knows how the Dark Breed series will expand in the future and with this sort of top notch worldbuilding the possibilities are endless. I'm interested in finding out.
I did have a bit of a disconnect with the heroine for most of the book because she isn't all that likeable. She prefers to go it alone, doesn't play well with others, and has a terrible view of humanity and the need to save it. I thought maybe she was like Riley Jensen (half vamp/half wolf) warring with her dual nature but she's just too pissy and does not seem all that fun loving. Her inability to be monogamous didn't stem from embracing one half of her soul over another, it was a means to protect herself and a way to project the tough as nails attitude. If not for her relationship with Haven and Geoffrey I'm not sure I would have believed her capable of having real feelings for Ryker at all.
And I did like Ryker a lot! He is the best sort of alpha male character because he blends the tough attitude with a generous and thoughtful heart. Ryker doesn't waste time beating his chest and demanding compliance from Kyana, but he knows what he wants and will accept nothing less. His backstory as a demigod is fascinating and adds another detailed layer to the story. Although Kyana's rejection hangup wore thin at times, I was glad to see that they finally got the timing right and were able to work through their past misconceptions.
I'd give this debut a solid B for worldbuilding and plot development, with maybe a C+ for creating compelling characters (say that 5 times fast) that I was able to connect with. The ending had a few shockers but you'll get no spoilers here. I guess you'll just have to wait, just like me, for book 2.
Visit the Sable Grace website for more information.
*Reviewed by Anna Dougherty for Bite Club.
*I got this book from NetGalley for review purposes.