ARC, book review

The Ascending (Zola Flash: Book 3) by T. Marie Alexander

The Ascending (Zola Flash, #3)

4 Stars

Publisher: 

Date of publication: August 13th, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance

Series: Zola Flash

Zola Flash – Book 1 (review here)

The Forgotten – Book 2 (review here)

The Ascending – Book 3

Where you can find The Ascending: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads): 

Escaping to Earth changed Zola’s life forever. She found happiness on a foreign planet. And she found truths from an unlikely ally.

Zola has never wanted to claim her throne…

Until now.

Because now, the people of her planet need her.

And she’s tired of running.

It won’t be easy taking on an old and controlling group of power-hungry dictators, though. And she’s going to need all the help she can get to claim her crown and prove the Court has been wrongly guiding the galaxy for centuries. 

Zola was once an innocent marred by war.

This time, though, she’s not so innocent anymore.

My review:

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I wasn’t too sure what to expect when I started reading The Ascending. I knew that big things were going to happen. It was the when and where that got me sucked into reading it. I couldn’t put this book down. I read it within 1 1/2 days. I couldn’t help but not care for Zola, Pin, Zin, and Florix. The author did a fantastic job of taking already fleshed out characters and adding more depth to them. She also did a great job of throwing in some small twists in the plot that took me by surprise.

The Ascending takes place shortly after the events of The Forgotten. Zola is getting ready to take her throne back from the Court, a group of dictators that have ruled Vitcian, and the galaxy, for centuries. But she is prepared to fight them. She is not the same girl who stumbled upon her destiny. She has seen war. She has killed people and she is willing to do whatever it takes for her people. But can she do it? Can she take on the Court and win? Or will she be another victim in the Court’s schemes?

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Zola is one of my favorite characters in this book. While she didn’t want to be queen, she still did it because it was the right thing. She dealt with all the drama that surrounded her with amazing maturity. She became a woman who was ready to do what it took to free her people from a dictatorship. I was bothered by her lack of connection with Florix. But, looking back, I could understand why she kept her distance from her. I mean, Florix did try to kill her on Talan’s orders.

Pin drove me freaking nuts the entire book. He was still blowing hot and cold with Zola. There were scenes where I was ready to reach through my Kindle and shake him. Talk about frustrating. Other than that, I liked him. He was loyal to Zola and was willing to fight the Court to help her gain her throne.

Florix was a great addition to the book. The author did a great job at having me question her loyalty to Zola. I wish that more background was given about her younger years. Her training, how she met Talan, how she dealt when her bond was severed with Zola. I am hoping that the author considers writing a spin-off book about her. I know that I would be very interested.

I thought that the science fiction angle of the book was great. I do wish that more insight was given into the portals/ships/other lifeforms. But everything that the author did explain was fantastic!!! The fantasy angle was fantastic also.

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The romance angle of the book was great, even though I wanted to punch Pin. I didn’t doubt that he loved her but man, he needed to show it more often. Like I said above, he blew hot and cold with Zola. One minute, he loved her. The next, he was back to being her protector and having walls up. It drove me crazy because that’s not how it was supposed to work.

The author did have a couple of twists in the plot that I didn’t see coming. Also, there are a couple of main characters that leave/get killed off. At least one of those I was surprised at.

I will say that this book can be bloody. The author didn’t hold back on the battle scenes. Which is awesome because you don’t see many YA books that embrace violence. Most of them are sunshine and rainbows. Not this one!!!

The end of The Ascending was great. The author wrapped up all the storylines in a way that satisfied me. The only one that wasn’t resolved was the storyline about Rhea. I am hoping that there is a book coming out of it because I want to know what is going to happen.

Now onto why I rated The Ascending 4 stars. I enjoyed the book. It was a fitting end for the series. I connected with the characters. Why it didn’t make 5 stars? Well, I didn’t like how Pin treated Zola for most of the book. The Rhea storyline was left unfinished. I felt that some of the battle scenes were a little too violent for a YA book. But, like I said at the beginning of this paragraph, I enjoyed the book.

What I liked about The Ascending:

A) I enjoyed the story

B) The book was a fitting end for the series

C) I connected with the characters

What I disliked about The Ascending:

A) How Pin treated Zola

B) The Rhea storyline being left unfinished

C) Some of the battle scenes were a little too violent for a YA book.

I would give The Ascending an Older Teen rating. There is sex (but it is not explicit). There is violence. There is no language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread The Ascending. I would also recommend it to family and friends.

I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review The Ascending.

All opinions stated in this review of The Ascending are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

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