The Ascension Machine
The Ascension Machine by Rob Edwards is kind of the ideal science fiction novel for any fans of the genre. Told in the first person, we know very little about who our protagonist is, but we know the type of person he is, as the book opens with him playing a trick on someone to make a little money to pay for his next meal, but soon gets caught and readers get a thrilling chase which he barely manages to get away from. But the author does a great job of giving a feel for the world with lots of simple details that give shape to everything but doesn’t slow the story down with lengthy complicated made-up words and terminology, though each alien race does have a simple-to-read name that makes it easy to distinguish them, which cannot be said for many other sci-fi novels.
Our narrator, who eventually calls himself Grey, is offered a proposition: to pretend to be Mirabor Gravane, a rich, spoiled brat, board a ship, and attend a school for a little while, and in return, will be paid an inordinate sum of money. Grey thinks it’s a deal that is too good to pass up, but also knows there must be a trap involved because this isn’t his first rodeo. He plays his part well, bluffing until he learns where he is truly headed: the Justice Academy. He joins others to begin training to become . . . a superhero. Not what he necessarily bargained for, but Grey is a grifter and knows how to fake his way through anything. He soon makes new friends and begins settling in until he has a meeting with a relation of his friend named Veritas, who is a teacher at the academy because her special power happens to be that those who talk with her cannot lie.
Grey makes it through by the skin of his teeth, as readers get to enjoy some interesting class names, such as “Introduction to Grapnel Maintenance,” “Jetpack Basics,” and “Superheroics: A History,” to name a few. But then Gravane’s mother calls, and Grey stumbles through a conversation that convinces her enough and gets him on a trip to Bantus, and Grey knows there is more to this than Mirabor’s mother is letting on and gets his friends to come along with him, which is good because it’s time for them all to be superheroes.
The Ascension Machine is a fun and very enjoyable book. Edwards clearly had fun writing it. The characters are engaging, the story doesn’t get too bogged down in jargon or plot, and it’s just a fun read that leaves you with a smile on your face.
This page was created by an City Book Review staff member.
|Page Count||308 pages|
|Publisher||Shadow Dragon Press|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|