Monday, June 11, 2012

Ascend - Amanda Hocking

Ascend - A Trylle Novel (Volume 3)
by Amanda Hocking

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.

Read my thoughts on book one - Switched - HERE.
Read my thoughts on book two - Torn - HERE.

This is the third and final book in the troll series that I've found I love to hate.   Surprisingly, I found myself actually liking this one.  HUH????  I know!  I still think the writing leaves much to be desired, and I still didn't give a crap about the trolls or the impending war or any of that, but I found myself intrigued by mystery of which guy she would end up with.

Back in the first book we got to know Finn fairly early on.  Of course Wendy and Finn fell madly in love, but things kept them apart.  Finn was dark and handsome with an incredible sense of duty, and it seemed so obvious throughout the first two books that they would overcome the problems in the end and live happily ever after.

We met Tove in the first book and got to know him better in the second book.  He and Wendy end up in an arranged marriage, something that is 'best for the kingdom.'  While they are friends and do care about each other, neither has romantic feelings for the other.  In fact, Finn secretly mentions to Wendy that Tove is gay.  As the second book goes on, and then through much of the third book, there is no more mention of this and I started to wonder if we'd find out that Tove was not gay after all, that he was just  . . . awkward . . . and that he and Wendy would come to be ok together.

And then there is Loki, who we met in the second book and had been around ever since.  He was from a rival tribe and spent a good chunk of his time in the story as a prisoner, untrusted and hated by Wendy's people.  But as Finn continued to pull away, Loki kept pressing forward to fill his spot.

Tove had pretty much become my favorite character of the whole dang series, and even though I didn't like Wendy much, I was still hoping that somehow those two would end up staying together.  I had liked Finn early on by the third book I was mad at him, much like Wendy was.  He would come around and try to have these meaningful moments with her, but then would always remind her of his duty and how they couldn't be together and would leave her again.  On the other hand, I had not liked Loki in the beginning but had come to like him by the end, even though I thought he was rather pushy with his over-sappiness.


I was a little disappointed when Tove finally admitted to Wendy that he was gay.  I did laugh a bit when HE was the one to call for an end to their marriage.  I'd thought that Little Miss Perfect Wendy would be the one to offer her gag-me heartfelt explanation of why the marriage was a mistake and Tove would come away knocked down once again.  But nope, HE was the one to bring it up to her.  You go, Tove!!!  Even so, it was confusing, and another example of the crap writing, in the end when there had been so many hints about Tove and another character, and yet in the happily ever after wrap-up of things it was very vaguely mentioned that he 'had met someone.'

I was surprised how well the writer did (considering the crap of everything else) in the big confrontation between Finn and Wendy.  By that point I really didn't care for Finn at all anymore and it was obvious where he would end up.  When Wendy laid it out for him, why they couldn't be together, and he still couldn't see the problem . . . even though HE had been saying they couldn't be together all along . . . I was glad she got mad and threw it all back in his face.  And when he finally did realize and admit the problems, it didn't help his case at all.  It wasn't enough to make me think 'Aw, Finn, you poor misunderstood hot guy.'  No, it just made me want to see him leave that much faster.

So it should have been no surprise that Wendy ended up with Loki.  I guess maybe I'd still thought that weakness of the general story would have a last minute realization that Finn and Wendy DID love each other madly and want to work it out.  But nope, Loki had hung in there and been everything Wendy needed, and she did end up with him.  I'm ok with that, even though it did take me quite a while to warm up to Loki.

As for the book in general, I still thought the storytelling was weak and a lot of the wording was horrible, just as in the first two books.  But there was improvement.  It makes me wonder how her books since then have been, even though I have no interest in reading them.  One hugely annoying thing in this one was the dialogue.  Stupid things like Wendy saying to her brother "Will you accompany me?" to the library.  Or things like "There is much to do and so little time to do it," or "I have great need of rest," or whatever.  Really?  Who freakin' talks that way?

And then there were the generally weak things like how they'd plotted and planned and fretted for days (if not weeks) about how to defend themselves against the evil Vittra tribe.  They'd gathered other trolls to help them.  They'd arranged these hugely important training sessions and whatnot.  And then, spur of the moment, changed all the plans, marched into the rival palace within hours, and defeated the king within minutes . . . ending a centuries old war just like that.  Huh, wow.  Maybe Wendy needs to lead her tribe of trolls into the Middle East or something.  Alright, alright, I know it's a book for teens and it's a romantic fantasy so there is no need for all the nasitness of war and reality.  But still . . .

So in the end, no one is laughing more than me at the fact that I hated the first book so much but still felt the need to read the rest of the series.  And no one is more surprised that I actually kinda *liked* this final book!  AND I am curious to see if movies will be made, as I've read online there might be.  But really, overall, I still think this series leaves much to be desired as far as a good read goes.


  1. Thanks for the review. I can't wait to read Ascend. =)

  2. Hello! Thank you for visiting my blog. Happy reading! :)