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Dark Ascension: A Generation V Novel by M.L.…
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Dark Ascension: A Generation V Novel

by M.L. Brennan

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Showing 5 of 5
I can't even begin to review this right now. I need to take a few days.
I will say its my quest to push this on everyone so maybe her contract will get picked back up. Holy hell. ( )
  Adilinaria | Aug 11, 2017 |
The series was good that far either I have grown tiered of this series or this book is just extremly boring. ( )
  Frozenfingers | May 24, 2016 |
Several years ago, the Paranormal Fantasy genre experienced a huge boost in popularity, with literally dozens of new titles being released every week. At that rate, it did not take long for the genre to become formulaic, and by now one would expect it to be quite dead, its life drained out of it by the countless imitators feeding from the same template, using the same conventions over and over again. But then, just as one believes the genre to be finally deceased for good, there is a twitching in the presumed corpse when someone comes up with a new and surprising twist and released a novel that breathes fresh life into tired tropes. M. L. Brennan’s debut novel Generation V was such a work, taking what is at heart a fairly simple concept but which enabled her to approach the genre from a new and original angle, opening up a whole new lot of possibilities.

What opens up those new perspectives in M. L. Brennan’s series of novels (of which Dark Ascension is the fourth of a planned six) is their protagonist who is most concisely described (in the author’s own words) as “slacker vampire.” Fortitude Scott, said protagonist and first-person narrator is the youngest member of the most powerful vampire clan in the United States, but he also is a very reluctant vampire, doing his best to distance himself from his family by keeping a vegetarian diet and working menial day jobs. Vampires in Brennan’s world are emphatically un-sparkly but usually ruthless, power-obsessed creatures, while Fortitude is basically a nice, average guy who just wants to live his life in peace and as far away as possible from his predatory family.

Which of course is not working out too well, and the way Fortitude (Fort, for short) is gradually drawn into its family’s power structure and forced to come t terms with his vampiric nature is the main focus of this series. The Scott family bears more than a passing resemblance to a supernatural Mafia clan, and the similarity to The Godfather is not lost on Fort (who used to study film theory) who in Dark Ascension compares himself to Michael Corleone at one point. A large part of the appeal of the series is that Fort is such an immensely likeable character, and M.L. Brennan manages very well to make the reader feel his dilemma, his reluctance to become even vaguely like his openly psychopathic sister and his despair at the inevitability of becoming a full vampire as well as his courage to still remain as human as he can in the face of his gradual transformation.

The world building is also very imaginative and Brennan manages to pull several unexpected twists on familiar supernatural races out of her hat. For her vampires, she apparently researched the behaviour of actual vampiric creatures like vampire bats with some surprising (and, as shown in this volume when Fort finally feeds on his first human, surprisingly hilarious) results. There are elves, fairies, ghouls and witches, none of them quite what one would expect from genre traditions but all with an original (and usually rather nasty twist, and there are kitsunes, most notably Fort’s partner and girlfriend Suzume who is a fascinating character in her own right.

The series manages to move from gritty and gruesome (occasionally even gross) to funny and frolicsome and back again, and to not only keep the reader pulled along with the plot but also emotionally involved; and it has managed to keep its quality and reading enjoyment at a consistently high level from the first installment to this fourth one. It seems to be one of those series which everyone who has read them loves – unfortunately, however, not that many people seem to have read it, and it seems likely that the publisher is going to drop the series and not release any more volumes after this one. Which is a pity; while Dark Ascension does offer some closure, with a lot of things happening that change the world Fort lives in fundamentally, there also are a lot of open questions which one would like to see answered. Not to mention that there aren’t all that many Paranormal Fantasy series of this calibre and it would be sad to see another end prematurely.
  Larou | Aug 18, 2015 |
I don't want to give anything away so I will just say that Fort is getting more involved in the family business and more involved with Suzume. Despite his growing vampire tendencies he manages to keep his human empathy.

Got to love Fort. He is such a bundle of contradictions and conflicting emotions. And you have to love Suze, despite her tricks and casual attitude, she really seems to love Fort. In this book Fort learns more about the family business than he ever wanted to and his inner organizer and common sense emerge, despite himself. That's all I can really say without ruining things. I've heard a rumor that this is the last book. All I can say is Please Ms Brennan, I want some more. ( )
  TheLibraryhag | Aug 15, 2015 |
I make it no secret that Generation V is one of my favorite urban fantasy series right now. I just love these books so much! Even if this latest installment did make me bawl my eyes out.

Normally, I’d be pretty resentful if anyone made me cry, but it’s entirely different when it comes to a book. In that case, it’s liable to earn itself at least an extra half star and a gushy review. What can I say, I just love it when my reading material appeals to my emotions. It’s a sign of good storytelling and character development, and I’m always excited to see what author M.L. Brennan will bring next for our underdog vampire protagonist Fortitude Scott and his partner Suzume Hollis the spunky kitsune.

Every Generation V book is a new surprise, and Dark Ascension might be the biggest and most important one yet. The winds of change are sweeping through Madeline Scott’s territory, and all the supernatural denizens within are bracing themselves for the inevitable outcome of the vampire matriarch’s failing health. Everyone is worried (and rightfully so) what would happen when her daughter, the psychotic and murderous Prudence takes over, but Fort is not about to let his Machiavellian older sister seize all that power without a fight. In the end though, the aging but still terrifyingly shrewd Madeline may be the one to surprise them all.

Dark Ascension follows a path that is very dissimilar to what we saw in the first three installments, and to be honest, to most urban fantasy arcs in general. It’s a very bold move by the author, but for what she’s attempting to do here, it works rather well. Instead of presenting us with a main problem that unifies the entire plot – like a paranormal crime to be solved by the characters over the course of the book, for example – the story is actually made of many different and smaller conflicts. And subsequently, all these conflicts come to together to form the big question: What will be become of Madeline Scott’s territory once she’s gone? The answers will have repercussions for the entire supernatural community, not to mention Madeline’s own children.

Once again, the Scott family dynamics are at the forefront, an element I find fascinating and that I look forward to seeing developed each time a new book comes out. I’m not sure what it says about me that I simply adore the fearsome and bloodthirsty Prudence, but it’s always nice to see her get a bigger role (though not as much as I thought she would). Needless to say, Fort’s more liberal way of thinking combined with his kind heart makes him the antithesis of his cruel, hard-edged sister. But that doesn’t mean they don’t love each other; it’s merely a love that few can understand. To paraphrase Fort, it’s not that Prudence is incapable of showing affection, just that she’s at her most terrifying when she actually tries. Between them in birth order and in ideology is also of course their brother Chivalry, whose moderate stance only leads to more gridlock whenever the siblings try to work together as a team. If anything though, I think this book only raised my regard for Chivalry, who of the three of them seems to be the most invested in honoring their mother’s wishes. I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for the good son.

So where does this leave Fort? Well, on the one hand, I’m really impressed at the amount of growth he’s shown throughout the series, but in some ways he hasn’t changed at all. Despite being on his way to become a full-fledged vampire, Fort still underestimates his own value and puts himself in situations where people take advantage of his kindness. He’s also struggling with a serious case of denial when it comes to what he is, but probably not for much longer. Dark Ascension is a turning point where all sorts of changes are happening, and most of them are in our protagonist. Despite the relative lack of action and intrigue in this novel compared to the previous ones, here is where I saw Fort face his most difficult challenges yet.

Furthermore, there’s just so much delicious foreshadowing. Fort makes some great strides in Dark Ascension, and yet there’s still a piece of me bracing for the other shoe to drop. We’ve been told that he is “different” from his siblings, but what that truly means remains to be seen, and I’m very curious to find out what greater purpose Madeline had in mind for her youngest son when she decided to alter his upbringing. Fort has also spent most of his life trying to avoid the family business, but now it’s given him a new purpose. To what cost, though? Keeping in mind Suze’s analogy of the Peep in a microwave, will Fort’s good intentions end up biting him in the ass? Chivalry’s warning in the end is especially ominous. Fort’s heart may be in the right place, but he’s still going against the grand plan and breaking many promises by acting on his own. Isn’t this how corruption begins? By going against Madeline’s wishes, who’s actually bringing the greatest threat to her vision for the future?

I’m practically bursting with questions and anticipation for the next book. I know I’ve said it before but I’ll happily say it again and again: M.L. Brennan’s Generation V series is simply wonderful, featuring a unique world filled the most incredible and unique paranormal beings you’ll ever meet. Without a doubt, this is one of the most fun, refreshing and addictive urban fantasy series you can find on the shelves right now, with each book bringing a new adventure and plenty of surprises. If you haven’t started yet, run—don’t walk—to your nearest bookstore and pick up the first book. I really can’t wait to see what Fort and Suze will be up to next. ( )
  stefferoo | Jul 27, 2015 |
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Book description
After a lifetime of avoiding his family, Fort has discovered that working for them isn’t half bad—even if his mother, Madeline, is a terrifying, murderous vampire. His newfound career has given him a purpose and a paycheck and has even helped him get his partner, foxy kitsune Suzume, to agree to be his girlfriend. All in all, things are looking up.

Only, just as Fort is getting comfortable managing a supernatural empire that stretches from New Jersey to Ontario, Madeline’s health starts failing, throwing Fort into the middle of an uncomfortable and dangerous battle for succession. His older sister, Prudence, is determined to take over the territory. But Fort isn’t the only one wary of her sociopathic tendencies, and allies, old and new, are turning to him to keep Prudence from gaining power.

Now, as Fort fights against his impending transition into vampire adulthood, he must also battle to keep Prudence from destroying their mother’s kingdom—before she takes him down with it....
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"After a lifetime of avoiding his family, Fort has discovered that working for them isn't half bad--even if his mother, Madeline, is a terrifying, murderous vampire. His newfound career has given him a purpose and a paycheck and has even helped him get his partner, foxy kitsune Suzume, to agree to be his girlfriend. All in all, things are looking up. Only, just as Fort is getting comfortable managing a supernatural empire that stretches from New Jersey to Ontario, Madeline's health starts failing, throwing Fort into the middle of an uncomfortable and dangerous battle for succession. His older sister, Prudence, is determined to take over the territory. But Fort isn't the only one wary of her sociopathic tendencies, and allies, old and new, are turning to him to keep Prudence from gaining power. Now, as Fort fights against his impending transition into vampire adulthood, he must also battle to keep Prudence from destroying their mother's kingdom--before she takes him down with it."--Back cover.… (more)

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