Hannah Rials’s trilogy “Ascension” is a stunning debut novel for this young author. She started writing the book when she was twelve years old. The book is intended for a YA audience but adults will enjoy this paranormal romance novel as well. The story is plot driven with rich and deeply complex characters and relationships. Rials skillfully navigates between the life of the human and Deuxsang, a hybrid of human and vampire.
This novel begins the coming-of-age story of Cheyenne Lane. According to Cheyenne, the Ascension ceremony is only the single most important thing that ever happens to a Deuzsang. Life is supposed to be perfect after her Ascension ceremony, but it turns out awakening her vampire half only complicates things, especially knowing no matter what a Deuzsang can never expose their true identity to humans. Burdened with a patronizing family and constant surveillance by the Vampire Council, Cheyenne welcomes a chance to spend her summer vacation in New Orleans with her sister and husband. But Cheyenne quickly realizes that she can't escape her problems, no matter where she goes. Her world is turned upside down when she falls for a witch named Eli. The confliction of her romantic choice plagues Cheyenne throughout the story realizing the dangerous consequences that lie ahead. Her life is further complicated when she finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy devised by those she trusted and loved.
One of Rials’s strength lies in the characters she has created that are young half-vampires and witches who are transitioning between childhood and adulthood. They need to discover both how to live in the world as who they are but remain cognizant of the complicated politics of their peoples and consequences of the choices. As the story line develops readers will become attached to the characters and want to follow them though to the next two books.
Another strength by the author is her ability to tap into the vampire culture popularity with her audience. The notion of eternal youth and beauty is a compelling thought to teenagers as after age eighteen, a Deuxsang aging process slows down. In addition to the element of superpowers, forbidden relationships and desire for true love add to making this an alluring story.
Rials did not overlook the need for lighter moments throughout the story. She skillfully interjects a touch of humor in several scenes which depict a Deuzsang's constant need to consume fresh blood. Cheyenne is quoted as saying "The Council Vampires don’t trust us at all, so they deliver four gallons of blood per person per month. They come after we’re all asleep, and when we wake up each morning, there’s a box of fresh blood waiting for us. It’s like Santa Claus, only creepier."
“Ascension" is a page turner. I guarantee along the way you will become Cheyenne’s cheerleader as she faces many obstacles hoping to find true happiness in both worlds.A Maryville,TN native and current college student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Hannah began writing her first novel at age twelve. Eight years later, the result is her new YA novel Ascension, a modern day teenage romance filled with “double-blooded” vampires and revenge-seeking witches. When not spending time with her family and playing with her beloved Corgis, Buddy and Noel, Hannah leads a creative group, crafts and cultivates her writing skills. Connect with Hannah on Facebook, Twitter and via her website
If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.
William Arthur Ward
Congratulations Hannah on the success of your first novel.