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ARC Review: Ascend (#3)

The following review contains

my thoughts in a few sentences: Torn may have been a lovely improvement in the series, but it's got nothing on Ascend. With this final installment came the realization that I was in love with this series and all it has to offer, from characters who range from cocky and vulnerable, sweet and insolent, and have grown so much, to a fascinatingly thought-out world to intense plot ties that span the entire series and hardly cease to entertain and excite. However, Ascend's biggest appeal is the all-sweetness-and-heat romance with a blinding flash of the forbidden intensifying the blushing hues of true love. Ascend is definitely my favorite in the series, an unforgettable finale—the brilliant story I was waiting for Hocking to deliver me.

hooking first lines: "I had my back to the room as I stared out the window.It was a trick I'd learned from my mother to make me seem more in control."

St. Martin's Griffin • Requested • Paranormal Romance • 4/24/12 • $6.74

Ascend (#3) by Amanda Hocking

Wendy Everly is facing an impossible choice. The only way to save the Trylle from their deadliest enemy is by sacrificing herself. If she doesn’t surrender to the Vittra, her people will be thrust into a brutal war against an unbeatable foe. But how can Wendy leave all her friends behind…even if it’s the only way to save them?

The stakes have never been higher, because her kingdom isn’t the only thing she stands to lose. After falling for both Finn and Loki, she’s about to make the ultimate choice…who to love forever. One guy has finally proven to be the love of her life—and now all their lives might be coming to an end.

Everything has been leading to this moment. The future of her entire world rests in her hands—if she’s ready to fight for it.
Have you noticed that most paranormal romances have something to do with a war? And that sends me into book lovers heaven! It's why I adore paranormal romance books so much, and the fact that Ascend by Amanda Hocking has dilemmas which transcend the mostly political war that has been raging for the past two books and has entered into physical attacks and magic battling and sword fights sent me into delirious adoration, allowing for minimal word usage and mostly consisted of me relying on sounds of pleasure to express my happiness over this book to whoever would listen to my nonstop streams of praise. Then, Hocking subtly and swiftly ensnares us with exquisite character growth, tender moments, and an outcome that is more than just doable but is deeply appreciated.

All my favorite characters have returned for a third time, but they are no longer cooling their heels and inviting their enemy's devastation, finally able and willing to fight back. The situation is bleak and if hope was the sun then they are shrouded in darkness born of an eclipse. Yet they are ready to BRING IT, especially Wendy, who has been a constant struggle in Switched, an example of gradual growth in Torn, but flourishes into a woman I can admire in Ascend. She is more inclined to take risks for her kingdom, escape her comfort zones and do what must be done in the name of the greater good. She has grown to care about her origins, all of them, and although she is tortured by her sacrifices and mistakes, she does not collapse under regret and wallow in self-pity, she does not shirk her responsibilities, nor does she give under the pressure raining down on her with the force behind a shower of boulders. She has the potential to become a great ruler, a compassionate one who will undoubtedly practice a more modernized and humane outlook on outdated customs and laws.

And among the characters who join her fight for freedom of fear and for peace are mostly friends, people who have, time and again, proven themselves loyal and honest and brave, despite the clashing of their attitudes, the scuffles caused by colliding personalities and conflicting interests. Willa, Tove, Matt, Rhys, and Duncan (and even, regrettably, Finn *grumbles*) remain a loyal team to our resident teen monarch, forever at her disposal as both allies in conflict and friends in both joy and despair. At their core, in everything they believe and say, they care for Wendy deeply and would be there for her always. Even so, it is Loki who attracts the spotlight with his cocky charm, sexy strength, and complete commitment to our admirable heroine, heating our skin with his blazing embraces and tenderizing the quick-beating organ in our chests with his well-buried vulnerability and masked kindness.

While the resolution could be deemed predictable and somewhat anti-climactic, it is impossible to care with those lovely, happy series of moments written in Ascend's final pages, helping us to a preview of the future lives of the endearing characters Hocking has created. With an ending that can't disappoint, delight and joy blind-sided me for days and lured me back to Ascend's pages with repeated success.

Rating: Perfect Bed Partner

The following quotes may be a little spoilery:
"So, where'd you get the suit?"
"Believe it or not, that lovely friend of yours, Willa," Loki said. "She brought me a whole slew of clothes last night. When I asked her why she was being so generous, she said it was out of fear that I would run around naked."
I smiled. "That does sound like something you would do. Why are you wearing all black, though? Didn't you know you were going to a wedding?"
"On the contrary," he said, doing his best to look unhappy. "I'm in mourning over the wedding."
"Oh, because it's too late?" I asked.
"No, Wendy, it's never too late." His voice was light, but his eyes were solemn. (76)
"You can have me for tonight, though." I gave him a small smile, and he lifted his head so his eyes met mine. "That's all I can give you."
"I don't want only one night. I want all the nights. I want all of you, forever." (191)
Be sure to check out my other non-spoiler reviews of the others books in the Trylle series:

Looking for books with a similar feel, try checking out the following:

Want to read more written by Amanda Hocking? Add these to your TBR piles:

Got something specific in mind? Dare I believe I might NOT have covered something you wish to know? If so, let me know down in the comments section. Don't be shy!


Jennifer Messerschmidt said...

awwww  "I don't want only one night. I want all the nights. I want all of you, forever."  That's one of my all time favorite Loki quotes! SWOON!

Celine @ Forget-Me-Not said...

I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK! GAH, I am still waiting on my review copy but SUPER DUPER EXCITED TO READ IT. Your review, the rating you gave the book, the quotes = PERFECT.
Awesome review, Asher! So glad you enjoyed it! ♥

PS: Can't wait for Wake too! The cover is gorgeous. The whole Trylle trilogy's covers + Wake cover = PRETTY! ♥ 

Asher_Knight said...

 *swoon* LOKI. Loki is very well one of the top loves of my life. ;)

Asher_Knight said...

 I HOPE YOU LOVE IT, CELINE. It was definitely my favorite in the whole thing and I thought the quotes might entice a few skeptics. Loki is just... *swoon* so fabulous!

I KNOW!!! St. Martin's really did a spectacular job with her covers!

Michelle Chew said...

Oh gosh! I haven't even read Torn yet! But at least I'm starting it now. Yes, now! I like the quotes! <3

Liz. R said...

Ahh I need to start this series! You're making me so excited about it. I have the first one on Kindle and I'm really looking forward to starting it now! Also, loved the quotes you picked at the end :). Great review, thank you :).

Asher_Knight said...

Torn, I noticed, has hit a lot of high notes with a lot of people, so I hope you enjoy it. I really liked Torn, but Ascend is definitely my favorite and I JUST CAN'T WAIT for how you'll react :D YAY. I love sharing quotes!

Asher_Knight said...

 YOU'VE BEEN SAYING THAT FOR AGES. Read it already, darn it! The first one didn't hit home, but two and three are definitely worth reading. GIVE IT A GO. and soon! <3

Michelle Chew said...

I've finished reading it! I like it! <3

Asher_Knight said...

 That is FABULOUS news. I hope you like Ascend EVEN more!

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