16 December 2013

Ascend

Author: Amanda Hocking
Series: Trylle #3
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Verdict: Buy

The final book in the Trylle trilogy, I have a bit of mix feelings about Ascend.  On one hand, Wendy is not as annoying as she was at the beginning of the series when we are first introduced to her in Switched.  It is not necessarily that she has grown or matured in any way, but more of the fact that she is not stumbling around between her human family and her magical life anymore.  In addition, the Finn issue has effectively been resolved, so there is no back and forth and back and forth of her pining over him and being depressed when he chooses his duty to his kingdom over her.

The story lines progress well in the finale, apart from the climax and the resolution with her father.  This part I found a huge letdown.  Hocking builds the need to solve the conflict with the Vittra starting almost in Switched, but definitely from the early stages of Torn.  The resolution to the issue of defeating her father is so swift and over so quickly that it is almost a complete letdown after the entire Ascend novel has built to the moment.  For an analogy, imagine a huge balloon you have been inflating for two hours, and then someone comes over with a needle and bursts it right as you are ready to tie it off.  That is how I felt with the end of the novel.

Besides the ending for the fight with the Vittra, however, I did enjoy the novel.  I still don't feel that I ever really connected with Wendy's character - or any of them for that matter - but it was a fun, light quick read.  Loki continued to dazzle me, and I cannot put into words why I love his character so much, but he really helps turn the series around and make it credible.  Perhaps because he is the one character in the entire series that doesn't seem so one dimensional.

After I read Hocking's Watersong trilogy, I was so disappointed with the writing and the storytelling that I decided to reread this series (that I had purchased after reading the series twice previously) for fear that I had built it up in my head to be much better than it actually is.  And while she is no master storyteller or literary genius (and never will be), this series is a fun young adult series for even the casual reader to enjoy for a weekend.  It is not deep or impactful by any means, but it is a series you can enjoy over again.

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