I am blessed–or cursed–with the ability to see the colour of peoples’ souls, something I dare not reveal. Keeping my secret hidden has kept me safe. Until now.
Now I am afraid that I can no longer hide from the evil in our society. Our laws are intended–or so I have always believed–to protect us from sinfulness and chaos. But my friend, Sarah, is pregnant and unmarried. Her child will be taken from her at birth and she will be forced into a life of shame. Time is slipping away. I must discover where the father of her child is and why he’s disappeared.
But will the answers I find save, or destroy our society? Will they save, or destroy Sarah?
I’m torn between doing the right thing and the wrong thing. The trouble is that I don’t know which is which.
I settle for the truth. It’s all I have.
My Review ~ 4 and a half stars
Thought-Provoking Dystopian Novel
This is the first book that I have read by the author and I found it both page-turning and thought-provoking, which played on my emotions. I enjoy dystopian novels and in Ascension Carmen Capuano has written a worthy heroine in Jessica, as she delves into her own abilities and unearths some sordid truths about the society she lives in.
Written in the first person POV, the narrative has an immediacy about it that pulled me into the story, as Jessica gives her all to solve the mystery of the whereabouts of the man who fathered Sarah’s unborn child. The consequences for an unmarried woman giving birth in the dystopian society of Ascension have grave and life changing impications for both mother and baby, implications which are especially brutal for the mother.
It has a number of themes which have resonance for me – the control of society through the rule of doctrine and law; the treatment and control of women in a patriarchal society, particularly their sexual freedoms (or rather lack of); whether we are born good or evil and whether we have any choice in what we become. We are also left to ponder whether or not we should tolerate some evil is to exist for the greater good to prevail.
The main character’s ability to sense the colour of people’s souls is key to the plot. Jessica has hitherto kept this a secret, but in order to help her friend Sarah, she will have to learn to use and exploit it to its full potential, a potential she has yet to explore. This could put her at grave risk as her path exposes truths about the society she lives in.
I won’t reveal anything about the intracacies of the plot as it would spoil the read, but I will say that I enjoyed it immensely. It will appeal to readers of dystopian novels, particularly those who enjoy coming of age stories.
Reviewed by Tina Williams
Please note, a copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.
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Great review, Tina. Ascension sounds like an intriguing read, and so unique. I can imagine it being made into a movie.