Evil Hogwarts for the win.
What I needed before Christmas, in lockdown, in the UK, was some distraction. I needed taking somewhere else, being surprised by a story and then put down again wanting.
I got all of that from Ascend and more. On the surface, this is a fantasy realism coming of age tale about two teenagers attending a supernatural college. Think Evil Hogwarts. However, the writer has clearly set us up to trip over our own expectations if we’ve got any. And she does it to us again and again in the book. By the end, I felt like I was on some kind of crazy ghost train roller coaster with all the thrills, spectacle and surprise that would entail, and LM Gose was determined not to let us off till she’d good and finished with us. I’ve read books that try to achieve that before and sometimes it feels like being bossed about for two weeks. This book always considers that too, it felt more like being grabbed onto the dancefloor by a hot mystery partner and whirled round the floor for an hour, then being left gasping for breath and looking for a bottle of water.
And you can feel in the story by the end that ‘surely there has to be a sequel’. Well just your luck there is. I’m off to read it now! Great book, 5*. PLA.
“it felt… like being grabbed onto the dancefloor by a hot mystery partner and whirled round the floor for an hour”