Today for “Readers Write,” I’m welcoming guest reviewer Miki of the Lecture toute une Aventurereview site, who’s sharing a review of Ascension, the first in Caris Roane’s World of Ascension series. This is one of those longer series (book six came out in December) that I missed out on but has been on my radar forever. It sounds like something I need to read!
Read on for Miki’s review and a chance to win this book (or a later one in the series) or your choice of another book featured on the blog this week.
ABOUT ASCENSION: Alison Wells is no ordinary woman. Born with supernatural powers, she can never make love to a man without putting him in grave danger. But when her special vision reveals a glorious muscled man soaring overhead on mighty wings, she feels an overwhelming attraction she cannot resist—even as he tells her: “I have come for you. Your blood belongs to me.”…Kerrick is a vampire and a warrior who has fought his hunger for a woman’s love for the past two hundred years. As a Guardian of Ascension, he is sworn to protect Alison from the death vamp armies who crave her blood and her power. But Kerrick has cravings of his own—a forbidden longing to open his heart and veins to Alison. To share his blood…satisfy his thirst…and seal their fates forever. Ascension is the first in Caris Roane’s paranormal romance series that Romantic Times calls “a series with epic potential.
A Scene I’d Read Twice: One of my favorite scenes takes place in chapter 6. Alison doesn’t remember Kerrick or anything about the world of ascension since he erased her memories but she found the card to the club he left and she went. I loved to see her discovering how the men are acting and getting so feminist about it. At the same time, it’s the first time Kerrick let the “breh-hidden”—the mating call ritual—take control of him. He acts like a hunter tracking his prey and like a Neanderthal with her, to his comrades’ surprise. He loses it completely and the room suffer the consequences.
I Didn’t Quite Buy: There is only one little detail that bothered me. Alison is loved by her family, who know of her powers, but she never tried to find others like her even though she felt alone and so different. Seeing her power, she could have tried to find genuine people with the same kind of powers as her and she could have done it without revealing who and what she is, so no real risk…strange.
The World: Ascension is the name of another dimension, between several others. It looks like our earth but has a more natural environment. The inhabitants are vampires but at first they were human from our earth with some kind of surpernatural powers. They received a call to ascend and if they answered it and managed their ascension, they got the Vampires features: fangs, but also wings. Those dimensions are separated and only ascenders know the existence of the other worlds
However, the second earth is not at peace. Some vampires got addicted to dying blood and rejoined the ranks of Commander Darian, who tries to get the power. Those addicted got a bluish skin and attractive looks, and are called death vampires. The protector of second earth is Endelle and she administrates everything with her militia and the warriors of blood—a few selected big warriors able to fight again the death vampires in one-on-one fight.
The Characters: Kerrick is an honorable fighter. However, he has already lost so much that millennia of fighting has worn him down. He took vows to never take a wife again because he couldn’t bear to make a target of her and lose her like the past two. Loyal, he keeps going for his brothers in arms and Endelle despite the guilt that crushes him as soon as the fight is finished. When he starts to feel the effects of the mating ritual, he wants to fight it so he can keep control and stay true to his vows. When he sees Alison’s power, he is troubled and starts to hope.
Alison has always felt different from the others. Since birth she demonstrated special powers and while her family has always been protective and supporting she feels alone. Since an accident with her boyfriend, she doesn’t trust herself anymore in a relationship so she is trying to resign herself to the fact she will stay alone while she is envying her sister’s marriage and children. As a therapist, she wants to help others using her powers, but it has become insufficient so she decided to sell her office and start something new. When she meets Kerrick, she is surprised but immediately trusts him. Learning some creatures are after her is frightening but it’s nothing in comparison to what she feels on meeting someone who has power like her. Attracted, she will fight against her fears to become what she is destined to be even if she doesn’t know what it is yet. Endelle is the big boss of the world of Ascension and Kerrick’s superior; she is a little psycho after millennia of high responsibilities and loves strange clothes.
The Warriors of Blood, like Kerrick, are all loyal and suffering from the years of fighting without reprieve and stability. Of all origin, they all have different personalities and answer to Thorne, their leader, and Endelle. Their rank is important on Ascension but at the same time they are quite isolated because of their mission. A deep friendship and trust unites them despite some hardship; the exception is Marcus, who prefers to stay on Earth to avoid Kerrick who he thought responsible for the death of his sister, Kerrick’s wife. Still, when called he come back, he is loyal like all of them.
General Thoughts: I didn’t dare to hope for such a rich but accessible world in the first book, but without waiting Caris Roane drew me in and I couldn’t close the book. The idea of winged vampires was a new one for me and I admit the first time I saw the cover I thought it was about angels. However, vampires in black leather kilt are really sexy ^^. I also love that at the beginning of each chapter we get a small proverb or citation from an important character from Ascension; it gave me a new perspective for the chapter and a better understanding of the universe.
Thanks, Miki! Have any of you read this series? I love the idea of winged vampires who’ve ascended. Sort of a vampire-angel mashup. Leave a comment and share your thoughts on this series.
For Readers Write Giveaways: commenters on each review and guest post get an entry into a weekly Readers Write pool. At the end of the week, good old random.org will pick one to win his or her choice of the books in the Readers Write pool (or the first book in a series if a later series book is reviewed). Or one of the titles from the Book Horde (tab at the top of the page).
Interested in doing a guest review for Preternatura and telling us about a book you love? Email me and let me know. Reviews should be in a speculative fiction genre, and will include a link back to your website or blog.