Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Review: Ascend by Amanda Hocking

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Amanda Hocking
Series: Trylle Trilogy, #3
Release date: April 24th, 2012
by St. Martin’s Press

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Wendy Everly is facing an impossible choice. The only way to save the Trylle from their deadliest enemy is by sacrificing herself.  If she doesn’t surrender to the Vittra, her people will be thrust into a brutal war against an unbeatable foe.  But how can Wendy leave all her friends behind…even if it’s the only way to save them?

The stakes have never been higher, because her kingdom isn’t the only thing she stands to lose. After falling for both Finn and Loki, she’s about to make the ultimate choice…who to love forever. One guy has finally proven to be the love of her life—and now all their lives might be coming to an end. 

Everything has been leading to this moment.  The future of her entire world rests in her hands—if she’s ready to fight for it.

*A copy was provided by St. Martin’s Press for review purposes*

This is it. The queen is dying. The king wants her kingdom. He will do anything to get it. Only Wendy stands in the way.

The final book in the Trylle Trilogy has great character development and an excellent romance. I was, however, a bit underwhelmed by the ending. We’ll get to that. First, the characters. Wendy can be a bit dramatic. She will jump to decisions in a heartbeat and that kind of annoyed me at first. It’s like she doesn’t stop to think before she acts. I guess I should be used to her by now but it irritated me more in this one. I think she may have been a bit too confident by her almost-queen status. But since she is almost the queen, she shouldn’t make rash decisions. She seemed to do as she pleased without listening to advice thrown at her. So I did get a bit frustrated with her decisions. However, she still has her awesome sense of humor that had me giggling a few times. Next to her, we have the whole gang of side characters that I grew to admire from the first book. I loved Tove especially in this one, but we didn’t delve much deeper into any of them except for Loki.

Loki is the character I was the most fond of. He is an absolutely great addition to the series. Mysterious and sincere – he’s a really strong character with a lot of heart. The romance he shares with Wendy is intense and honest. It’s not only Loki that’s been grasping at Wendy’s heart, though. Finn has never left it, but she’s trying to move on. I actually quite enjoyed the way the love triangle played out in this series. It didn’t turn out the way I thought it would, and that was a pleasant surprise. It made it much less cliché with real emotional consequences.

This series as a whole is not incredibly action packed. It’s more about the characters and the ominous upcoming battle. This battle that finally arrives, to me, was a bit underwhelming. Having waited 2 previous books for this epic showdown, then getting it over with without much effort, not to mention a bit too perfectly, felt anticlimactic. It’s very much the happily ever after ending. It wasn’t bad, but I expected more emotion, more negative repercussions I guess; giving it more weight to make it memorable. Maybe I’m just a masochist. *shrugs* Regardless, I wouldn’t say I was disappointed with the ending, I just wasn’t wowed by it.

This whole series is definitely fun. I loved learning about the complex world of Trylle and Vittra. It’s highly original. I also had a great time getting to know the numerous characters inside it. It reads a lot like a mild fantasy novel that I’d recommend for paranormal fans who are looking for something different and creative.  

3 Hot Espressos
The Trylle Trilogy:

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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20 Responses to “Review: Ascend by Amanda Hocking”

  1. Rie Conley

    I think the emotion that sums up my feeling of the ending of this series was A) grieving that it was over. B) content that it ended the way it did.

  2. Amy

    I love Loki!! Anyways. I really did enjoy this series. I read it last year on my nook. I don’t really remember it too much though. Great review as always chick!!

  3. Danny

    Hm, sounds like the “promised epic promised” battle in Breaking Dawn which was a total let down! It’s a little sad that the ending was such an underwhelming experience for you. I read the first one and liked it – I found it fresh and unique! I still have to read Torn, but despite your small dissapointed I am looking forward reading this series!! She is one talented chick:-))

  4. Jenny

    It’s a little disappointing that the epic showdown isn’t quite as epic as you were hoping! Overall though it sounds like a great series, and I like that you called it mild fantasy – I’m not a huge fantasy person but I think I would enjoy a mild version of it. Thanks for the review Giselle!

  5. Mimi Valentine

    LOKI!! <3 I feel head-over-heels in love with him after reading Torn so I can't wait to read more of his sincereness and mysteriousness! 😉 Especially now that you described the relationship and end as surprising and not cliche! I'm crossing my fingers for Loki, but I never know what could happen! x)

    Amazing review, Giselle! I’m so glad it comes out today — I can’t wait to read it!! 🙂 <3

  6. Jennifer | Book Den

    I can’t believe the entire series has been re-released already. That was fast, no? This sounds a lot like the end of Twilight to me. The build up to an epic battle that wasn’t… I still hope to read these at some point.

  7. Christy D

    I’m going to kill your comment box. Let me try this again. Ugh, it was too long. I’ll give you the gist of what I wrote the 1st time:

    Love Loki.

    Agree about ending.

    I really like the trilogy.

  8. Lexie

    Awesome review! 😀 I’m glad you enjoyed this one, although I definitely understand being a bit “meh” on the ending. I think that’s a concern whenever a book or series builds up to one huge climax–it has to be REALLY FREAKING GOOD to live up to all of that, and unless it just blows your socks off, it’s a bit underwhelming.

    Still, I like the premise of this series, so I think I’ll give it a try, disappointing battle scenes or no. 😀

  9. Missie, The Unread Reader

    I can’t believe I have yet to read anything by Amanda Hocking. That seems like such a book foul. This series is one I’ve been interested in for a while now. Glad to know as a whole, you thought it was pretty good.

  10. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Oh, sad! I like a truly epic battle, especially when it’s something you’ve been looking forward to for a couple of books. I still need to start this series, though. Want to read it!

    On another note, I like your “March Reviews” cover display on the sidebar–that’s really cool.

  11. Sam

    I definitely agree that the direction the love triangle took was much less cliche than what we always see in YA book…But I have to say, I’m not a huge fan of Loki! Still I mostly enjoyed this book. Great review Giselle! 🙂

  12. Taneika

    Oh, I still can’t believe I haven’t read these yet! I have Switched so really, there is no excuse for me not to have read at least one of them yet haha! Excellent review 🙂

  13. Book Sake

    I was wondering how this series would hold up over time. I’m not certain that it’s enough to get me to start the series now. Maybe I’m getting pickier and pickier in my limited time!

    – Jessica @ Book Sake