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Review: Ascension

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Title:Ascension

Author:Michelle Bryan

Series: Book 2

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩

*Note:Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for approving me for this ARC in exchange for an honest review! If you haven’t already checked it out, I also reviewed the first book here.

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Synopsis

In the continuation of the New Bloods Series, Tara’s training is put into overdrive as the rebels prepare her for her battle with the Prezedant. But there are some who question her commitment to the cause. Just as she starts to get comfortable in Sanctuary danger creeps up on them again, driving her and her friends closer to the Prezedant… maybe too close. Closer than ever now, Tara is willing to put it all on the line to save Ben, but doing so may cost her more than she thinks.

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Favorite Characters

Mack really pushed Tara in this book. He provided her with some serious doses of reality that she desperately needed. I liked that he knew where he stood and he was willing to do what he needed to do in order to motivate Tara.

We get to see Jax again in this book, although things are definitely changing between him and Tara. Still, I gotta love Jax’s dedication to her. No matter what goes down he’s got her back.

And of course, we got our headstrong, stubborn, mule turd Tara. She’s still not completely comfortable in her own skin, but she’s getting there. Her commitment to the cause definitely solidifies in this book which was so necessary. It was getting tiresome hearing about all her self-doubt constantly. It was good finally seeing her have some confidence in herself.

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Favorite Scenes

► We get to know some more of the horrors that make up this Post-Shift world, the horrors that the Prezedant allows/commits.

Others hold their own young’uns tighter, the relief that it ain’t their own childre up for sale clearly written on their faces. But they don’t say or do nuthin’ about it. Too terrified to take a stand.

► Tara is still at times a little bit in denial about her personal feelings towards people who aren’t her “kin” and about her abilities, but she’s starting to explore them more now.

So I do what I always do when I don’t want to face something: I push it away. Bury it. Push it out of my mind. If I don’t think about it no more, then it cain’t hurt me. I’m becoming real good at doing that. 

► We start getting a little bit more romance in the book. Not enough to overwhelm it and take from the main story but just enough to keep things interesting~

He’s dirty, sweaty, and looks like he ain’t slept in days. To me he never looked so good.

► Haha, I love Jax’s sassiness ❤

“Sorry,” I mutter. 

I can feel his body shake with his quiet laughter as he flexes his hand. “It’s okay. Glad to be of assistance. I didn’t really need that hand anways… other than for feeding myself. And dressing myself. Shooting. Hunting. Harvesting maybe… useless stuff really. 

I choose not to respond to his sarcasm.

► Again, Tara has been pretty single-minded in her motivations until now. I’m glad we have people confronting her about it in this book and that she can start to face her fears to fight for something beyond her circle.

“Maybe for once, you should look beyond the length of Ben’s shadow and consider helping others than just yourself. Mack has every right to question your commitment ’cause, come to think of it I do too.” 

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Review

Wow, this book really kicked things up a notch! In the sequel to Awaken, Tara finds herself struggling to find where she stands in this war against the Prezedant. While she pledges her loyalty to the rebels, not all of them are convinced. Mack pushes her to think about more than just her circle from Rivercross and start to see the larger picture–to see how the Prezedant’s power affects everyone.

In the meantime, Jax makes a reappearance and starts to awaken new feelings in Tara that she’s not too sure what to do with. Especially when she can’t even tell if they’re real for him as well or not. Compared to the last book there are more hints of romance in this one, but there was a good balance between that and the main story.

Overall the pacing was very good in this book, I think probably a little more than in the last one. The story definitely moved along and there was a sense of growing tension as events brought Tara closer to the Prezedant.

We also had the opportunity to learn more about Tara’s past regarding her parents. The way the book ended especially, however, was kinda surprising in that I want to know more. Ahhh! I just want to know how Tara’s powers are going to evolve now that she’s really serious about fighting the Prezedant, and how meeting some new characters are going to change things for her and her group.

I recommend this book if you like dystopian novels and fantasy or sci-fi because it’s almost got a little bit of those in it as well when it comes to the new bloods. Can’t wait to see where Bryan takes this in the next novel.

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