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Ascendant
     

Ascendant

4.6 3
by Rebecca Taylor
 

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When I was twelve, my mother disappeared. I was the first person to never find her. I'm sixteen now and she has never been found, alive or dead. I'm not the girl I should have been. When Charlotte Stevens, bright but failing, is sent to stay at her mother's childhood home in Somerset England her life is changed forever. While exploring the lavish family manor, Gaersum

Overview

When I was twelve, my mother disappeared. I was the first person to never find her. I'm sixteen now and she has never been found, alive or dead. I'm not the girl I should have been. When Charlotte Stevens, bright but failing, is sent to stay at her mother's childhood home in Somerset England her life is changed forever. While exploring the lavish family manor, Gaersum Aern, Charlotte discovers a stone puzzle box that contains a pentagram necklace and a note from her mother-clues to her family's strange past and her mother's disappearance. Charlotte must try to solve the puzzle box, decipher her mother's old journals, and figure out who is working to derail her efforts-and why. The family manor contains many secrets and hidden histories, keys to the elegant mystery Charlotte called mom and hopefully, a trail to finding her.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2016-04-25
Taylor's new YA trilogy begins when a teen investigates her mother's disappearance while visiting the family's ancestral home in England. Sixteen-year-old Charlotte Stevens of Venice Beach, California, has just been caught plagiarizing. She downloaded and turned in a college essay for her Richard II assignment in English class. More embarrassing, her father is the bestselling mystery writer Simon Stevens. When the vice principal meets him, however, she finds him falling-down drunk. Simon acknowledges that he and his daughter haven't been doing well since his wife, Elizabeth, vanished four years ago. He decides to dry out in a clinic and sends Charlotte to Somerset, England, to stay with Elizabeth's brother, Nigel. Before meeting her uncle, Charlotte encounters Caleb and Sophie, the teen offspring of Nigel's housekeeper. They help situate her at the sumptuous Gaersum Aern estate, which has an ouroboros carved above the entrance. She also learns that wealthy scion Hayden Wriothesley, cousin to the royal family, has been tasked with her entertainment. Later, while staying in her mother's old bedroom, Charlotte discovers a puzzle box and a diary. Inside the box is a pentagram and cryptic note from her mother, and the diary reveals that Elizabeth had been infatuated with Hayden's father, Emerick, as a girl. Taylor (Tick Tock: Seven Tales of Time, 2016, etc.) unspools a posh, literary mystery. As elements like Shakespeare's true identity and Francis Bacon's lofty ideals enter the fray, Charlotte is torn between the bookish Caleb and the magnetic Hayden, whose Aston Martin "felt like an energy chamber, both exciting and sickening." Taylor's insight into the teen mind is as pointed as it is hilarious; the youngsters often act as though "being sixteen were a disease they needed to hide." As journals are explored and graves are uncovered, the central mystery gains traction. Meanwhile, romance takes full flight, and Taylor's superb characterizations leave readers guessing who's right for Charlotte (until one of them says, "I will be your first...then I'll be your only"). Some truly risqué moments gear this volume toward older readers. An emotionally robust, intellectually vibrant start to a new YA trilogy.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781939173331
Publisher:
Crescent Moon Press
Publication date:
06/14/2013
Pages:
316
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.71(d)

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Ascendant 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing. I sat down and read it in a weekend. It kept me guessing all the way till the end and left me wanting more. The main character, Charlotte, smart and determined to figure out what happened to her mother and willing to go to great lengths to get answers. I recommend highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a great read and a great mystery.
AmandaMarie5187 More than 1 year ago
Before I began reading Ascendant Cover, I was expecting your typical Young Adult paranormal romance. However after reading a couple of chapters I realized that this novel had so much more to it. There is nothing “typical” about this story. I was beyond excited that romance took more of a back seat which allowed me to be sucked into the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the main character’s mother. I found myself trying to piece together the clues and try to guess what would happen next. Most YA paranormal books that I have read in the past have somewhat predictable twists and turns but I was not prepared for some of the things that happened in this book. Author, Rebecca Taylor was successful at keeping me on my toes. Charlotte, the main character of Ascendant is both heartbroken over and obsessed with her mother’s disappearance. But don’t let this fool you. She is smart, sassy, and determined to piece together the clues to find out what happened to her mother. Charlotte delves into some dark and dangerous territory that she has to use her brains and bravery to get out of. As a main character, I felt Charlotte was extremely likeable. I loved her and was rooting for her as the novel progressed. Ascendant’s plot moved quickly enough to keep me on the edge of my seat and wanting more, but not so fast that I was left in the dust, confused. There were only a couple of spots where I feel that the action dragged a bit, but the plot was quick to pick back up again. I found everything about the novel fascinating; from the characters and the dangerous secrets they keep to their motives for keeping them. If you are looking for an exciting and entertaining book to read this Summer I highly recommend Ascendant. Rebecca Taylor’s debut novel is an original, fun, and suspenseful paranormal mystery and it will definitely leave you wanting more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Gem of a Discovery for YA Readers I have just finished reading ASCENDANT by Rebecca Taylor. This is a remarkably well written new novel, and it is focused magnificently directly for its audience...the YA Reader. Charlotte, the young heroine of the novel, is set in a situation in which she is presented the opportunity to unravel a mystery which, understandably, is very personal and has disturbed her. When she was very young, Charlotte's mother disappeared mysteriously. She actually knows very little about her mother, but has created a fictional picture of her. But that still left her hollow and confused about the real person. Through interesting developments, Charlotte begins to locate items which fully explain her mother's disappearance and the characters involved in that disappearance. The reader is lead through each step and pulled easily to the intriguing end of the story.