Ascend by Amanda Hocking
Book Three of the Trylle series
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Review copy sent by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
What I Liked:
Wowie, what an ending! What a conclusion novel! I have to admit, I'm really pleased with this series. Maybe because I binge-read the series and didn't have time to agonize over cliffhangers or the romance, maybe because I liked this series on the surface and didn't get heavily invested... but I really enjoyed this series!
In this final novel of the Trylle trilogy, Wendy gets married. And eventually, has a coronation. Wendy has a lot of growing up to do, because a wedding, and a coronation, are no joke. She must find a way to stop her cruel father from harming her Trylle power, but she also figure out how to reconcile her feelings for Loki, when she is married to Tove. As the summary states, everything has been leading to this moment.
I feel like this book was short. I think it was about the same length as the previous books, but it went by very quickly. Not very much happened in terms of large events, except for the few big ones (the wedding, the coronation, the attack on the Vittra. The plot isn't super intricate or twisty - it's very straightforward and predictable, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the book.
We don't really figure out how everything is going to work out with Wendy's father until the very end. It seems like Wendy searches for a way to defeat him for the entire book, but doesn't have an aha moment until the climax of the novel. Which is fine, because readers are left wondering what will happen.
The romance. Oh, my heart. The romance is perfect, in my opinion. Lots of things happen, like a stolen kiss, a marriage, an tryst, in that other. But OMG, you really have to read this book to understand. I love that one scene in the book, that one night. It is so spontaneous and Wendy doesn't think at all (or maybe she really does, maybe she had it all figured out) but it is perfect. I had a good feeling about the romance from the beginning.
I found the vacillating romance kind of nice, actually. It wasn't vacillating, really, because from the beginning to the end, it's obvious which guy has held Wendy's attention, from fleeting friendship to love. It's obvious which relationship was an obsession (shiny new guy syndrome), which one was a safe relationship, and which one was a true, deep, meaningful relationship. In my opinion.
Wendy is an interesting character. She acts like a child sometimes, she acts very grown and mature at other times, but honestly, I feel like she's a person that every girl can relate to, on some level? I think I really understood her, when it came to the sense of duty. For sure.
The ending is a bit cookie-cutter perfect, and everything works out so nicely. Honestly, that's fine with me, since I wasn't out to love this series or make it my next favorite thing. I would have liked to see more depth in the series plot, this book's plot, and the ending of this book in general, but that's okay. It's really fun to read these books.
What I Did Not Like:
Something that bothered me was how quickly Wendy let go of her human life? Like, she barely ever thought about the life she spent seventeen years living... that struck me as odd. There are many materialistic things that I know teenagers of today's world would not want to give up, no matter how badly they fit in (or did NOT fit in).
And I already mentioned this above, but I would have liked to see more depth in this book, and series in general. It felt very formulaic, in terms of the series plot. Become a princess, save your kingdom, kill the tyrant. Nothing more was at stake, nothing more to be done. A little cliche, I'm afraid!
Would I Recommend It:
Well, in general, I like this series, so I'd say that if you have this series, or any of the three books in this series, definitely give the series a shot! The series could use some depth, but it's a nice series to binge-read. And of course, if you've read books one and two, definitely read this book! Don't be left hanging!
4 stars. An excellent ending to an interesting series! I think I'm ready to read Frostfire now!
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