Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ascension (Water, #1)” as Want to Read:
Ascension (Water, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Ascension (Water #1)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  1,095 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Nia, a young mermyd of the Bluefin clan, has had one wish all her life - to be Avatar in her beloved home of Atlantis. To be one of the ten Avatars that rule the undersea city is an honour and a great responsibility. Now at 16, Nia has a chance to see her dream come true ...Ages 13+.
Paperback, 235 pages
Published February 5th 2002 by Avon Books (first published February 1st 2002)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Ascension, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Ascension

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn ChildsOf Poseidon by Anna BanksIngo by Helen DunmoreRising by Holly KellyThe Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen
Best mermaid books
34th out of 218 books — 528 voters
Of Poseidon by Anna BanksForgive My Fins by Tera Lynn ChildsTempest Rising by Tracy DeebsEverblue by Brenda PandosRipple by Mandy Hubbard
YA Mermaid Novels
52nd out of 120 books — 634 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,782)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
It took me two tries to read this book. The first time, it was just so cute and bubbly I nearly puked (I picked it up because I liked the author). The second time I picked it up, I realized what age group it was targeting, and then it didn't bother me as much.

This story has a strange mixture of being incredibly cute and innoscent, then diving into mass murder (no joke). It seemed like its target audience was pretty young, and things felt dumbed down, but then it threw in some darker elements--b
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. The underwater setting was interesting and described vividly. I liked how the background and structure of the mermaid society were included in the story. The author inserted some sea vocabulary without trying too hard to be funny/authentic.

The voice of the main character, Nia, seemed young for a 16-year-old, but not in a annoying way. I liked her a lot.

The book was very short (only 235 pages with a big font), so in the end, I felt like some parts – especially the
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book brought a very creative idea about Atlantis. I've heard everything from merpeople to advanced technology to an alien race, but this is book first introduced me to the idea of all three combined into one where that mythical city was concerned.

The ideas in it were very inventive, but the writing left a little to be desired. The point came across just fine, but it's obvious that this book was geared toward a younger audience. I first read this book when I was eleven or twelve, and even th
Kiera Beddes
Genre: fantasy,
Summary: Nia is a young mermyd from the city of Atlantis. She wants to be chosen as the next Avatar (the mermyd companion to the Farworlder prince). Farworlders are a squid-like alien with magical powers who unite with a mermyd and together with ten other companions they help rule Atlantean society. Nia is upset when her clan chooses another representative to participate in the Trials that will determine the next Avatar. As Nia does some digging, she finds that Atlantis is not th
Sixteen-year-old Nia loves her home, the beautiful and peaceful underwater city of Atlantis. And her greatest wish is to be one of the ten Avatars that rule the city alongside the ancient alien race known as the Farworlders. Now that one of the Avatars and his Farworlder companion are retiring from the Council, Nia finally has the chance for her dream to come true. When another from her clan, the Bluefins, is selected to compete for the honor instead, Nia is devastated. How could her untalented ...more
I was weary when I noticed this book had big print, a large amount of space between lines, and 200 pages. However, from the first pages this book draws you in. There are plenty of secrets that everyone is keeping from our main character that aren't easy to figure out. So you keep reading and reading and reading, feeling for the main character's plight and wanting to know what's going on. When all is revealed it's a bit of a shock, which is great. This book had more surprises and turns than some ...more
Sarah Anne
Water Book One Ascension By Kara Dalkey

Her destiny will soon be revealed. . .

The sea is the birthplace of legends.

Nia, a young Mermyd of the Bluefin clan, has had one wish all her life, to be an Avatar in her beloved home of Atlantis. The ten Avatars Rule the beautiful and peaceful undersea city alongside the ancient Farworlders, whose magic keeps their world alive. To be an Avatar is an honor and a great responsibility, and Nia dreams of taking her place among the noble ten.

Now, at sixt
Allyse Near
This isn't really a review but I read this book YEARS ago and I have been looking for it ever since. Believe it or not, Google failed me everytime, even when my search tags included 'mermaid' 'she's already got legs', 'some sort of competition thing?' 'squids as rulers' 'baby squid has telepathy', (view spoiler)... Anyway, I just stumbled across it now! Think I'll see if the library can get it in, and if these specifics are as ...specific... as I remember.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I love mermaid stories and folklore. But alas, the last few novels I've read were only okay, at best. But I just finished the first installment of this series, and I simply love it! Of course, my favorite part is that our mermaid heroine lives in Atlantis. ;-) The author slowly unwinds a nicely woven, well thought out history for Nia and her mer-people. Nothing is as it seems, and we all know what happens to our fair city in most stories...

I'm anxious to read the next two books! If you're looki
To be honest, I almost didn't read this book. The first couple chapters were very poorly written and sounded like a bad teen high school drama with mermaids thrown in. However, due to excellent reviews for this book on GoodReads, I decided to keep going, and I'm very glad I did.

The few issues I have with this book:

1.) A couple of the plot twists were not very surprising at all.

2.) The author seemed a bit unclear about what sort of audience for which this book is meant. I think that's what caused
Laurel Bradshaw
This was just what the doctor ordered to provide a lighter diversion alongside Wolf Hall. I am not regretting spending actual money on the ebook. The intended audience is probably preteen - I would say ages 10-13. But I'm an adult and enjoyed it. The author has created a (mostly) believable underwater world (Atlantis, after it sank). The mermyds are very humanlike - some, like Nia, even have legs instead of tails - and they can breathe out of water. Nia is a spunky, likeable heroine. Some review ...more
Fantasy Literature
Water: Ascension is the first in Kara Dalkey's trilogy concerning sixteen-year old Nia, a mermyd of a prominent clan in the undersea realm of Atlantis. The City is ruled by squid-like Farworlders, and their Avatars — mermyds that undergo a special bonding ritual that allows them to communicate with the Farworlders and govern Atlantis wisely. To be an Avatar is the highest honour a mermyd can achieve, and it is Nia's dream. She believes she has a good chance at winning the position against other ...more
Nia is a young mermyd, supremely qualified to become an Avatar of the city of Atlantis, and awaiting the day when she is chosen to compete in the trials to become an Avatar. When her less qualified cousin is chosen to represent the Bluefin clan in the trials, she begins to unravel the dark secrets kept by her family and the Avatars of Atlantis.

Though I haven't read much in the way of mermaid fantasy, I did enjoy the unique twists on their civilization that seem like they would make the mermyds o
Nick Fitzgerald
It was much better when I read it in high school. Now, I didn't find the story as interesting as I remembered but I guess I just wanted to revisit the story.
Jodi Ralston
I found Ascension at a library sale room, and its cover attracted me. Very nice. As pretty as the cover is, the imagination in this work matches it. The author puts her own twist on mermaids, adding in a touch of science fiction, as in aliens. Great idea. That was the strongest part of the novel, but it created the work's greatest weakness. Because there is so much to explain, about a third of the novel is pure infodump. However, the originality of the world-building is what makes me overlook th ...more
An interesting tale that leads to a pre-Arthurian time and what girl doesn't love a fun mermaid story? :)
Ascension was a great introduction to the Water Trilogy. Kara Dalkey's undersea world of mermaids, aliens, and Atlanteans was fully developed, lacking nothing. I loved the writing, and Dalkey perfectly captures Nia's uneasy feeling that her treasured underwater world is but an illusion. The final scenes of the book are filled with twists, turns, and very unexpected surprises. If you love mermaids, definitely check out this unique spin. This would also be a great introduction into high fantasy. I ...more
The library classified this as YA, but I almost think that without the romance subplot it would be better suited to middle grades. (Largely by how quickly I breezed through it). This is a part of a trilogy, but this particular book ended about the time the story just started to get interesting. The world building was excellent, which is largely what kept me reading, along with characterization. I'm hoping there will be more plot with the sequels, but honestly, I think this would've better served ...more
Strongly believe that I will have a different opinion of this book than I did 8 years ago. Strongly believe it will be a diminished one. But I have to know....

Ok, finished. Definitely wasn't as enthralled as I was the first time I read it, but it got better as it went along. The ending is so cliffhanger, I'm rather disappointed that the rest of the series isn't from the same point of view.

Overall, it's a well thought out book about a hidden book. Dalkey takes what could be a very cliche idea an
awesome can't wait to read book 2
Oliver Urban
It started out cute, enjoyable, nothing special . . . and then everyone died. I fucking kid you not. Like, maybe all of three characters survived, and two of them were villains. I loved the setting,you could tell a lot of world building went into Atlantis, and the way it was done was really enjoyable. I loved the school system that was described for the collages, and I loved the avatar competition.

Hoping the second book will be this enjoyable.
So, I pretty much love these books. I bought the first one years ago when I was about 12, and I've easily read it about 4 times since then.
I just finished re-reading this today and while I could vaguely remember the twist, I couldnt remember who was involved, what exactly happened etc., so it was exciting ALL OVER AGAIN!
I've only recently managed to track down the third book, and am excited to see how the series ends!
Quick, easy, fun read.
Josephine Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
I liked it well enough when I read it. I remember being very shocked when the 'villian's plan' was set in motion. It created stark contrast to the relative placidity of their entire existence... I also know I never trusted those strange manitee like creatures. I loved the portrayal of Mermyd's out of water, very well done.

I don't know if I am inclined to finish this series.
It has taken me eight years to finally track down a decent copy of this book (I won the 3rd book in this series from a summer reading program, but lost it in a move before I could read it)! Boy am I glad I finally managed it!!! I really, really loved this book. Niniane (what a cool name), aka Nia, is probably one of my favorite characters ever!
Gorgo Mage
THESE TRILOGY books are SOO GOOD. kinda cheezy yes, but hey what is wrong with that. its kina a mermaid thing but it plays into a bit of camalot and that whole story. Mostly a scifi with a touch of romance. weird but SOOOO GOOD. ive read them at least three times. but whatever you do, do not read the back of the books because they sound so stupid.
Elizabeth Lawson
Aug 14, 2007 Elizabeth Lawson rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Young Adolescents
I liked this book because it was a different idea of fantasy as mermaids are not easily written convincingly. Creating a new Atlantis, Kara Dalkey introduces a new character named Nia who is both a convincing mermyd and young adolescent. The ending requires you to read the two other books in this trilogy.
This is a lovely, and very different type of mermaid story. She builds a very real underwater world, with engaging characters. The whole trilogy builds to a surprising ending, and I recommend you read all three. They are short and quick reads.
This was written before the YA Dystopian genre really took off, and I was surprised to see how much dystopian has calcified into a form. I kept being startled by who was helpful and who wasn't, who had ulterior motors and what they were.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 92 93 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Antara (Antara, #1)
  • The Secret of the Emerald Sea
  • In Great Waters
  • The Forbidden Sea
  • Merrow
  • Selina Penaluna
  • Siren's Call (Dark Tides, #1)
  • Mermaid Tales from Around the World
  • Sirena
  • Mermaid's Song
  • Fins
  • Between the Land and the Sea (Marina's Tales, #1)
  • Tidal Whispers
  • Beyond the Sea (Beyond the Sea, #1)
  • Seven Tears Into the Sea
  • The Mermaid's Pendant
  • Teenage Mermaid
  • Selkie Girl
Kara Mia Dalkey is an American author of young adult fiction and historical fantasy. She was born in Los Angeles and has lived in Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Colorado, and Seattle. Much of her fiction is set in the Heian period of Japan.

She was married to author John Barnes; they divorced in 2001. She is a member of the Pre-Joycean Fellowship and of the Scribblies. She is a graduate of the Fashion In
More about Kara Dalkey...
Reunion (Water, #2) Transformation (Water, #3) Little Sister (Mitsuko, #1) The Nightingale The Heavenward Path (Mitsuko, #2)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »