This is one of my older reviews. It has perhaps the second most clever title for one of my Amazon reviews. I called it "Wherein I give Ascending the Thumbs Down" which is only clever if you read the book where each chapter title is like "Wherein I...[whatever]". At the end it says [the money] because Amazon doesn't like you to list specific prices.
Ascending by James Alan Gardner
January 15, 2002
For starters, the narrator, Oar, is really annoying to read for 350+ pages. Her childish prose would be acceptable for a chapter or two, but a whole book becomes tiresome.
The book never excited me, but there was a decent pay-off at the end with sufficient action to not be a complete let-down. However, that ending was completely rushed. That was a negative, but at the same time, I wouldn't want to read a 500-page by Oar, it would probably be too tedious to finish.
This is my least-favorite of Gardner's books besides "Commitment Hour" which is more of a spin-off. I was really disappointed because "Hunted" was an awesome book that I literally couldn't put down, but "Ascending" didn't come close to filling its shoes. In my opinion, this is in part because Gardner has pumped out one of these books a year since 1997, he should probably take a year off to refresh his perspective a little. Unfortunately, at the end the mysterious Pollisand remarks that he'll see Festina & Oar real soon, which can only mean that next winter another adventure will be on the shelves. Let's all hope it's better.
I said this recently about, "Shadow of the Hegemon" by Orson Scott Card, but it bears repeating. If you're a fan of the Ramos series, read "Ascending" just so you don't get lost, but rent it from the library, buy it used, or borrow it from a friend, because it isn't worth [the money].
Tomorrow is another Box Office Blitz!