This week is a fun urban fantasy, Ascention, by Hannah Rials. I was provided with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Cheyenne Lane is a 17 year old Deuxsang (half human/half vampire) growing up in rural Virginia. With a strained family relationship due to a particularly traumatic Ascension ceremony when she was 13 (think puberty for half vampires- where one embraces the vampire side and merges the human and vampire nature within themselves), Cheyenne agrees to spend a summer with her married older sister in the city of New Orleans. Befriending a local Deuxang, Ann, she is inexplicably drawn into a circle of friends which include the devilishly handsome Eli, who just so happens to be a witch (forbidden romance brewing here folks). Cheyenne and her group stumble upon some startling secrets within the Deuxsang community, dangerous ones.
I'm just gonna go ahead and put this out there, I am obsessed with this book. Urban fantasy's have a special little place in my heart and this underground world of witches and Deuxsang have found a home with me. And can we talk about how the author, Hannah Rials is still in college?! I mean, the most meaningful thing I had accomplished by my 20th birthday was being able to do a keg stand for 22 seconds straight.... I kid I kid....but seriously, that's pretty inspiring.
Ok let's get down to business here. I enjoyed the unique take versus a more a traditional "vampire" VA book. The societal and class system within the vampire and Deuxsang community was unique and serves as a neat source of conflict for the book as a whole. Cheyenne is a pretty rad character and a major ass kicker which I love, girl can pack a punch! I like that she's tough and can stand up for herself but at the same time shows a vulnerable side. She struggles with the uncertainty of knowing who you are and how you fit into the world around you which is something I think we have all dealt with at one time or another. I hope we learn more about the witchy side of things with the next book as I really enjoy Eli's character and it seems like there is much to explore given the breadcrumbs tossed our way about his backstory. Lilith seems like she is shaping up to be a formidable foe and knowing what a bad ass Cheyenne can be, I am pretty pumped to see them face off at some point. As far as the setting, NoLa was the perfect backdrop for this story. I'm a huge fan of the city myself, and felt Rials captured the feel and the essence of the city to a tee. I could see Cheyenne and Eli in my minds eye wandering up to Mothers for a po'boy (then consequently salivating for said po'boy), or exploring the crumbling cemeteries. The writing was on point and kept me engaged from page one, flowing seamlessly throughout the book. Hannah Rials has definitly found a fan in this bookworm, and I am anxiously awaiting book two!
See y'all next week!