Ascension by Sable Grace
Series: Dark Breed #1
Published by Avon
Published on: April 26th 2011
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Werewolves
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The gates of hell have opened, and one woman will stand in the crossfire as the Dark Breed—vampyre, demons, shape shifters—and mankind fight their last battle for survival.
Kyana is half Vampyre, half Lychen ... and the last of her kind. Determined, dangerous, and damned, she has no love for the mortals who have imprisoned and misused her. But when the Order of Ancients entrusts her with a mission—to find the key that will send the Dark Breed back into Hell for eternity—Kyana has no choice but to accept.
Ascension blends the recent interest in Greek mythological young adult and urban fantasy books with that of your more bread and butter werewolf and vampire supernatural fare.
The world, however, has as always gone to… Well I won’t say it here but let’s just say I spent the first hundred eighty pages of this read just taking note of all the colorful use of fecal matter metaphors. Full of… walking in… a dog rolling in pig…
You will also find a handful of references to the butt. Stick it up your… Have your head in your… Get your head out of your…
I found this vulgarity refreshing. It reinforces the feeling that this world and our main character Kyana are in dire straits. Unfortunately the sheer complexity of much of this world – how it splits into two sections an Above and a Below, how the three Fates are related to your average everyday vampire, who is Zeus in this universe – make it a murky read.
It does stick to its core set-up. Bring Ryker, a demigod born of Ares, and Kyana, a Lychen and vampire, closer together as much as they begrudge and downright hate each other.
But Ryker himself hurts my imagination to think about. He’s referred to as a Surfer Boy yet he is also seen in battles fighting with his bare hands and often getting red-eye enraged. Somehow the peaceful Zen attitude of a surfer does not coincide with the attitude of a warlike god.
And Kyana is often so mean I wonder how any one could stick around to find her warm gooey center, the one that Ryker claims she has. I, for one, think she is terribly vicious and am perfectly okay with that since it gives much of the energy and attitude to this plot.
And nearly everything that this book has going for it is contained in its atmosphere. From the pleasant 80s style cover with its suggestion of lipstick on mirror to the referral of all paranormals in the book as Dark Breeds, it hearkens back to a more stylish time where often all the heroes in the story were inhuman.
This came across as perhaps the toughest thing to believe. Since Kyana, Ryker, and co. are so removed from humanity, they do not know what a fingerprint scanner is and so must enlist the aid of a refugee human to find and operate one for them. As they provide cover for this human in the midst of a horde of zombies, I saw a lot of old smoky blue Halloween movies. As I said, a pleasant experience all in all.