The third and final dramatic installment
in Amanda Hocking's page-turning trilogy.
Wendy Everly can barely remember what it was like to feel like a normal girl. She'd wished for her life to be different but everything is so much more complicated than she'd expected. And she certainly hadn't dreamt she'd be getting married at eighteen to a man she didn't love - all for the sake of duty.
As the big day approaches, Wendy can't stop thinking about two different men - and neither of them are her husband-to-be. Finn - quiet, strong and determined to do what's right, and Loki - dark and seductive, a sworn enemy who once saved her life. With all-out war just days away, Wendy needs to act quickly if she is to save her friends and family. But while her loyalties and duties are to her people, deeper passions are leading her elsewhere.
And as her worlds collide, Wendy must sacrifice everything she loves to save them. But will it be enough?
From the very beginning of Amanda Hocking's bestselling Trylle trilogy, I was hooked on it within a minute of reading and this young adult series had instantly became a favourite of mine. I'm sure many other readers out there will feel the same way as I do when I say it was rather sad to see this series coming to an end. It really was sad for me as a fan of this trilogy - not because I was going to miss the stolen kisses from the characters nor the action-packed scenes that took everything to a whole new level in this beautiful world of Hocking's, but it was because I was left wanting more, more and more!
Keeping the first two books of the series in mind, when it came to reading the third and final installment of ASCEND, a book I couldn't wait to get a copy of, I wouldn't be the first to admit that the progress of this book and the way it was concluded took me by complete and utter surprise. In all honesty here, I didn't see a single thing coming my way - especially in the romance department - and while I didn't necessarily agree with how everything was wrapped up in the end, but regardless of that small factor it was still an enjoyable book with a great ending and what more could you possibly ask for? Still, I preferred the first two books in the series since something - a small something - was missing from this book. That 'big bang' I was hoping and longing for.
For our main heroine, Wendy, as you have read from my previous book reviews and the praise I have for this leading lady of ours, I found her character has finally proven to everyone about what it takes to be the Royal Queen's daughter and the responsibilities she must share in order to be that heir everyone believes she is. While the old Wendy we've seen in the past has been confused, naive, and perhaps a little lost at times, but in this book she has changed but in a good way of course. For example, she took charge for herself in this book, to become a leader for her people and for her kingdom - just like I wanted from her in the beginning - and she pushed through every single struggle that toppled over her no matter the consequences of her actions and the ones of her enemies . . . what can I say . . . she was strong and awesome in this installment. But for those other readers who didn't quite like her as main character . . . I do certainly hope that this book changes your minds because she does end up proving herself worthy and stands for the cause she is trying to win.
As for the romantic love interests from the previous two books, that being our endearing and caring Finn and the smart and seductive Loki, I have to stay these two young fellows right here surprised me. They surprised me a lot actually. For Finn's character, a person I thought would still have some fight left in him, I firmly believed in the beginning that he would have a much larger and a prominent part to play in this storyline and unfortunately for Finn fans such as myself, let's just say you won't get too much from him which I'm sad to say is very, very disappointing. Not to say what happened between him and Wendy was a complete shocker because it wasn't one bit, but on another side of things I just 'kind of' wished he had something more to do in this last book rather than remaining on the sidelines of the action . . . after all, he had so much potential in him and I had really grew to love and care for him. As for Loki's character, he was someone whom really surprised me in ASCEND (in more ways than one I might add). From my other reviews of the books I was more of a Finn fan, however in this book I was ALL FOR LOKI! I know . . . what a big change, right? Throughout the book never once did Loki confuse Wendy's heart - his feelings were all out on the table this time round - and never once did he doubt nor push her to make a decision in who she loves and I ADORED that quality of his. His patience. His love. His kind words. His fight in waiting around for Wendy's heart to turn to him. Oh Loki, you really know how to steal a young woman's heart, don't you? Honestly who is this Finn fellow? I have no clue, really.
Overall, ASCEND was a fantastic and an addictive read that will be forever loved by all, especially if you enjoyed the previous two books in the series, Switched and Torn. While this third and final installment may not have been my ultimate favourite by far, but Amanda Hocking manages to offer up a fantastic conclusion to a series and (I admit) made my heart skip a few little beats whenever Loki and Wendy came onto the page . . . need I say more my dear readers? Trust me here: Grab this book NOW! That's right . . . NOW!
4 1/2 / 5 stars