KatiD's Reviews > Ascension

Ascension by Caris Roane
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Jan 19, 12

bookshelves: a-review-ish

Recipe:

Take 1 band of burly, supernatural brothers, add in one fiesty, superpowered leader, who is almost a diety, AND a human female that has no idea any of this exists. Mix in a dastardly bad guy (his foes call him "Little Peach", which made me snort) who has beautiful minions and is almost as powerful as said superpowered leader. Sprinkle with expensive liquor references, a broody leader of aforementioned supernatural brothers. And what do you get?

If you said the Black Dagger Brotherhood, you'd be wrong. Meet the Warriors of the Blood of Ascension by Caris Roane.

The supernatural set up of the book is this: the world is dimensional, there is Mortal Earth, or the place we all live, and then there is Second Earth. A different dimension where beings with supernatural powers, such as telekinesis, telepathy, and super powers reside. One can get from Mortal Earth to Second Earth by ascending. But you must be called, and answer the call. Once you ascend, you pretty much leave Mortal Earth and everything you knew there and you then reside on Second Earth. There are other dimensions, but they are closed to residents of Mortal Earth and Second Earth. There is also a war brewing on Mortal Earth. The war is between Endelle, the Supreme Ruler of Second Earth, and the most powerful ascendant ever, and Draven Graves, or The Commander, the leader of the death vamps, those who wish to overtake both worlds and rule via dictatorship.

It turns out that Draven identified Alison Wells, a therapist, pretty quickly as a very powerful ascendant. One who could change the tide of the war. Draven has been masquerading as a human with serious issues and has been getting counseling from Alison for more than a year. Alison feels that she really hasn't been able to help Draven, nor connect with him, so she's taken aback when he offers her a job. But Alison's hackles are raised and she turns down the job, which does not make Draven a happy camper.

While this is going on, Endelle gets wind of Alison's existence and possible place in the theater of the war, and dispatches Kerrick, one of the Warriors of the Blood to act as Alison's protector. When Kerrick arrives, Alison has just witnessed an attack by a death vamp on a victim, and is about to be attacked by the death vamp. Kerrick swoops in, does the rescue and the takes Alison's memories, as there are very strict rules about interactions with ascendants prior to their ascension. He does leave her a card though, for the Blood and the Bite, a club where he and the Warriors of the Blood hang out.

For her part, Alison has known that she was different from others almost since birth. She's been able to move things with her mind, teleport to other locations, and now, has just realized that she can actually fold time to change the outcome of things. She's tall (six feet) and kind of a freak. The last man she was with ended up in the hospital after being intimate with her. So, she's lonely and knows she can never have a relationship with a man. But she's compelled to go to the Blood and the Bite, so she dresses up, and off she goes.

Kerrick is at the Blood and the Bite when Alison arrives. He's drinking to try to drown the idea that the breh-hedden might be occurring between he and Alison. The breh-hedden is a mating so complete that the couple is joined by mind, sex and blood. It is considered legend, as no one has had this sort of mating in ages, but Kerrick smelled an overwhelming lavender sent when he was near Alison, and she smelled cardamon when near him. These are both strong indicators of the breh-hedden. Kerrick has sworn to never be with another woman after his wife Helena and his two children were killed because of his role as a Warrior of the Blood. But he cannot deny his attraction to Alison, and is plenty pissed about it, but Endelle has spoken and he must do his duty and protect Alison, a now vital cog in the war, through her ascension.

This sounds like a relatively complicated story, and there is a lot of world building that goes on. It also is a bit derivative of other "band of brothers" stories out there. There's all KINDS of sequel bait going on through the series, in fact, laying the groundwork for couple number two in this book. It's got a weasally bad guy who is both creepy and very dangerous. It's got a female super power with an incredibly foul mouth and an extreme power trip. It's got a hero who answers the phone "Give!" like his a teenage boy who doesn't know better.

It shouldn't work.

And yet, it totally did for me. This is another one of those books that I think has crack sprinkled in it. It's compulsively readable.

I think part of the reason I enjoyed it so much is that the author drew out the sexual tension between the hero and heroine. Even though they were soul mates, they fought it hard, and it took quite sometime for them to get together. I think a healthy dose of sexual tension will improve almost any book. The world itself is a fascinating one of angel type people and vamps, and lots of blood and gore. But the romance is pretty strong, and there is a lot of action. The sex scenes are very, very spicy, as is almost every encounter the hero and heroine had. It adds up to make an entertaining read, one that I enjoyed more than I think I should have. As I said yesterday on Twitter, I'm kind of gobsmacked to have enjoyed the book so much, and feel kind of like a book ho, to have my head turned by a book that is clearly derivative of another series. And yet, it really is compulsively readable.

While I don't have the feeling I had when I read Dark Lover by JR Ward, I found this book to be an enjoyable way to spend a few hours and would recommend it cautiously to those who are yearning for a Black Dagger Brotherhood fix. This is not the exact same thing, but it's pretty close.

Final grade: B-
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