Steven E. Wilson is the author of Winter in Kandahar, Benjamin Franklin Award for 2004 in the category "Best New Voice in Fiction."
Ascent from Darknessby Steven E. Wilson
An international thriller of espionage, war, and love, interwoven with profound, world-changing events. Reluctant CIA operative Stone Waverly travels a shadowy trail from Odessa to Cologne to Amsterdam to Damascus, as agents with terror links evade an international dragnet. Everyone is suspect and nothing is as it seems, in a land where Islamic extremists determined… See more details below
An international thriller of espionage, war, and love, interwoven with profound, world-changing events. Reluctant CIA operative Stone Waverly travels a shadowy trail from Odessa to Cologne to Amsterdam to Damascus, as agents with terror links evade an international dragnet. Everyone is suspect and nothing is as it seems, in a land where Islamic extremists determined to plunge civilization into darkness battle with special forces, Kurds, and Arabs intent on restoring hope to a world gone mad.
- H-G Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.80(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
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After reading Winter in Kandahar, I couldn't wait to order Ascent from Darkness, though I don't typically order until they come out in paperback. This book brought home the enormous difficulties of the Iraqi war, coupled with several interestingly deep romances throughout the book. I love the way Dr. Wilson weaves his tale with rich descriptions of his characters I finished the book in record time, feeling as though I had known each of 'his' people myself.
This is a truly great novel immersed in the current day Middle East that is highly entertaining but also informative. The book was honored this summer (2007) at both the New York Book Festival and the Hollywood Book Festival. Placed primarily in current day Iraq and Syria at the beginning of the Iraq War, it is a multi-layered novel with three primary stories--reluctant CIA operative Stone Waverly torn between his family and love for his country, Special Forces soldiers Tommy Waters and Billy Bates dropped deep behind enemy lines near Najaf at the onset of hostilities, and long-suffering Kurdish peasants Tenya and Jalal--that in many ways encapsulates the challenges and triumphs faced in the Iraqi conflict. Beginning with the Anfel gassing campaign in 1988 to punish the Kurds for supposed collusion with Iran during the Iran-Iraq war, the story fast forwards to the period just before and after the US led invasion of Iraq. The chapters tend to be short and focused. There are many underlying themes here...what it's like to be a CIA operative or soldier and having to leave your family behind for years at a time to defend your country, the dangers lurking in nuclear- and bio-terrorism (I hope the terrorists don't get any ideas from the finale of the novel), the plight of the Kurdish people in Northern Iraq, and the ongoing struggle between the Arab Sunni and Shia populations in Iraq. It is a wonderful story, even better than Winter in Kandahar (which I loved), in my opinion. You will love it!
I just got a review copy of this great new novel. If Merchant Ivory were to produce a movie about self-actualization and finding true love, while living through the horrors and confusion of a civil war . . . If Oliver Stone were to have free rein in capturing the nuances of espionage, duplicity, and combat among enemies as well as friends . . . And, if Steven E. Wilson's latest novel, Ascent from Darkness, were to win the attention of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences . . . the thought-provoking book would garner the attention of Hollywood and Washington, DC, alike. In his second published work of fiction, Wilson continues to entice adventure-thriller fans to step into the exciting world of CIA agent Stone Waverly 'Waverly was a main character in Wilson's first novel, Winter in Kandahar'. Stone is now seduced by the CIA director's confidence that Waverly is the only agent he can count on to unravel a scheme that resulted in the breach of a Ukrainian nuclear plant and theft of weapon-grade plutonium. As Ascent from Darkness encourages readers to dive into the culture of countries long at war, Stone's job description evolves, grows, and mutates while the story moves through Damascus and war-torn Kirkuk, Najaf and Baghdad. Fans of Wilson's creative endeavors know, however, that one subplot will not suffice. In Ascent from Darkness, the characters experience the joy of finding new love, the pain of losing loved ones, and the feelings of ambiguity that surface when humans question the worth of wars. It is these three scenarios that lure Wilson's fans to contemplate what choices they would make when confronted with choosing among country, religion, and family.
I'm not sure why this never made much of a splash. Probably no marketing budget in a bad economy. But I loved this novel. It occurs at the beginning of the war in Iraq and has three different stories that converge at the end for a gripping finale. For those of you who read Winter in Kandahar by Steven E. Wilson, Stone Waverly becomes the protagonist. I loved it!