Saturday, June 28, 2014

Review: The Ascendant by Drew Chapman

I won The Ascendant a while ago through a Goodreads Giveaway and had been meaning to read it for so long. I have finished and loved every page of this novel. Drew Chapman is quite a writer and for The Ascendant to be a debut, not one page reads as one.

Garret Reilly is a numbers whiz. He sees patterns in numbers, people, life, everything. His ability to make sense of what seems totally random is the reason the government wants him on their team. Reilly, working as a bond analyst, notices that billions of dollars worth of U.S. Treasury bonds are being sold. The flooding of this money will cause economic ruin making the U.S. dollar virtually worthless. 

After discovering this anomaly, Reilly's life is turned upside-down. He's whisked away by the government because they believe he may be able to win a silent war against China. No one is supposed to know about this war and it all seems to be happening underground. China is slowly chipping away at the U.S. economy and that is where Reilly steps in to head a secret group named Ascendant.

The Ascendant leaves no room for the reader to ever get bored. Sometimes with financial thrillers there's a tendency to become mundane while all the financial mumbo-jumbo gets dumbed down for people like me who can't make heads or tails of any of it. Chapman does not do that with this novel. He keeps The Ascendant moving forward at such an alarming rate, I can't even describe.

Although the novel moves forward well, Chapman does not allow character development to be sacrificed. Every character seems real and full of depth. Especially Garrett Reilly. From the beginning it's clear he has a chip on his shoulder. As the novel progresses, there is real growth and development on his part. 

There is another storyline, which readers aren't quite sure how it's related to Reilly's story, that was just as paramount. Hu Mei is leading a revolt against the Chinese government, demanding rights for the people and a true reformation of China. Hu Mei is quite badass. 

Above all, I don't think I have anything bad to say about The Ascendant. I loved it and I wish I'd read it sooner. Since it's clear Reilly's story isn't over, I look forward to the next installment featuring Garrett Reilly. Drew Chapman, I am officially a fan!   ****

Copy provided by Simon & Schuster via a Goodreads Giveaway

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