Dark Ascension by M. L. Brennan

dark-ascension-by-ML-BrennanDark Ascension
by M.L. Brennan
Series: Generation V #4
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Setting: New England–mainly Rhode Island
Published by Roc, 2015
E-book, purchased
308 pages
Grade: A-
Synopsis: After a lifetime of avoiding his family, Fort has discovered that working for them isn’t half bad—even if his mother, Madeline, is a terrifying, murderous vampire. His new found career has given him a purpose and a paycheck and has even helped him get his partner, foxy kitsune Suzume, to agree to be his girlfriend. All in all, things are looking up.

Only, just as Fort is getting comfortable managing a supernatural empire that stretches from New Jersey to Ontario, Madeline’s health starts failing, throwing Fort into the middle of an uncomfortable and dangerous battle for succession. His older sister, Prudence, is determined to take over the territory. But Fort isn’t the only one wary of her sociopathic tendencies, and allies, old and new, are turning to him to keep Prudence from gaining power.

Now, as Fort fights against his impending transition into vampire adulthood, he must also battle to keep Prudence from destroying their mother’s kingdom—before she takes him down with it….

“That’s different,” she noted. “That’s us being our own buddy cop movie, and it’s awesome. I mean, jeez, I got to punch a seal in the face. That was basically a lifetime achievement unlocked right there….”

and

I’d never exactly wanted a reputation–frankly, I’d spent most of my life just trying to fade into the background of almost every situation I was in–but I’d apparently, despite my best efforts, secured one for myself. Fortitude Scott–Holy Shit, We’re Glad You’re Not Your Sister.

Cheers

  • Has quickly become one of my favorite series! One of my most anticipated books this year.
  • The title Dark Ascension hints at the events which happen during this book. That, along with earlier books gives some ideas about what the book is about. I like that anticipation before I even start!
  • I started out savoring the first half of the book and then racing through the second half! Have I mentioned I love this series?
  • I love that Fort tries to stay true to his beliefs even through difficult times and as heads ever closer to vampire adulthood.
  • Fort has to make hard choices and in some cases there just aren’t any “good” choices.
  • I love Fort and Suzume. Great characters and I like how they’ve changed since the first book. Their interactions with each other and their care for each other are highlights in this book.
  • Suzume continues with her kitsune awesomeness!
  • Fort’s brother and sister–Chivalry and Prudence–are interesting characters. Each is a vampire, but they’ve chosen different paths to deal with that.
  • The way Fort’s mother tries to have Prudence, Chivalry and Fort work together is interesting, funny and irritating for the three of them.

Jeers

  • I’m not sure how Fort can realistically hold onto his ideals. But this whole series is about his growth into adulthood. So we’ll see how he handles that.
  • Is there a future for Suzume and Fort?

And a few thoughts . . .

  • So much happens and changes in this book. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
  • I didn’t see anything about when another book will come out in this series–I hope it’s in the next year.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • M. L. Brennan lives in Connecticut with her husband and three cats. Holding a master’s degree in fiction, she teaches basic composition to college students. After spending years writing and publishing short work in other genres, Brennan decided to branch out and write the kind of book that she loved to read, resulting in the Generation V novels (Tainted BloodIron Night, and Generation V).

Reading Challenges

WoW: Dark Ascension by M. L. Brennan

I’m participating in Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine. This gives me a chance to show the books I’m Waiting-on-Wednesdaylooking forward to coming out in the next few months.

Check out Breaking the Spine for more information.

 

Dark Ascension by M. L. Brennan

Series: Generation V #4

Publication Date: August 4, 2015

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Synopsis (from Goodreads): After a lifetime of avoiding his family, Fort has discovered that working for them isn’t half bad—even if his mother, Madeline, is a terrifying, murderous vampire. His newfound career has given him a purpose and a paycheck and has even helped him get his partner, foxy kitsune Suzume, to agree to be his girlfriend. All in all, things are looking up.

Only, just as Fort is getting comfortable managing a supernatural empire that stretches from New Jersey to Ontario, Madeline’s health starts failing, throwing Fort into the middle of an uncomfortable and dangerous battle for succession. His older sister, Prudence, is determined to take over the territory. But Fort isn’t the only one wary of her sociopathic tendencies, and allies, old and new, are turning to him to keep Prudence from gaining power.

Now, as Fort fights against his impending transition into vampire adulthood, he must also battle to keep Prudence from destroying their mother’s kingdom—before she takes him down with it….

……………………………..

Why I want this book:

  • This is one of my most anticipated books of the year.
  • Generation V is one of my favorite urban fantasy series.
  • I want to read more about Suzume, Fort’s kitsune sidekick.
  • Fort is looking more mature on this cover!

Review: Tainted Blood by M. L. Brennan

tainted-bloodTainted Blood
by M. L. Brennan
Series: Generation V #3
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by Roc, 2014
E-book, purchased
318 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: In the third Generation V novel, Fortitude Scott proves that working with family can be deadly…

Former film student Fortitude Scott is finally gainfully employed. Unfortunately, said employment happens to be with a group of sociopathic vampires—his family. And as much as Fort is loath to get too deep into the family business, when his brother, Chivalry, is temporarily unable to run the territory, it’s up to Fort to keep things under control.

So when the leader of a powerful faction of shifters turns up murdered, Fort finds himself tracking down a killer while navigating dangerous rivalries, longtime grudges, and hidden agendas. Even with the help of his foxy kitsune sidekick, Suzume, he’ll need to pull out all the stops to hunt for the paranormal assassin.

But as he calls on fairies, witches, and ghouls for help, he discovers that the problem is much bigger than a single dead werebear. The supernatural community is preparing for a massive shift in power within the Scott family leadership—and Fort has landed right in the middle of the gathering storm.…

From the expression on Sassoon’s face, he not only caught the reference, but was highly offended by it. Again, Suzume’s instincts for antagonization were proving flawless.

and

The situation should’ve been annoyingly reminiscent of a sultan checking out new applicants for the harem, but instead it reminded me very uncomfortably of Discovery Channel footage of a wolf inspecting a deer herd.

Cheers

  • Each book gets better and better.
  • We get lots of Suzume in this book and I love that.
  • We learn more about vampires in this book.
  • These books have a mystery in them, but the paranormal aspects of the book are more important than the mystery.
  • Even the recurring and secondary characters in the book are complex and interesting–Suzume, Prudence, Chivalry. All have motivations for the way they act even Prudence who is very scary and even Chivalry who seems like a “civilized” vampire who loves his wives, but nevertheless slowly kills them.
  • Fort learns more about how vampires live and is appalled by what he learns.
  • The book is often very funny.

Jeers

  • I had an idea who the murderer was, but important details were missing until the last minute. In a mystery that would have irritated me, but as I said above these books aren’t mysteries first and foremost. I did think that someone would have mentioned some of the important facts earlier in the investigation.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I’m so ready for the next book in the series. It should come out in August 2015.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

  • 2014 Goodreads Challenge

Review: Iron Night by M. L. Brennan

Iron Night
Iron Night

 

Iron Night
by M. L. Brennan
Series: Generation V, Book 2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by Roc, 2014
E-book, Purchased
307 pages
Grade: A-
Synopsis: Underachieving film theory graduate and vampire Fortitude Scott may be waiting tables at a snooty restaurant run by a tyrannical chef who hates him, but the other parts of his life finally seem to be stabilizing. He’s learning how to rule the Scott family territory, hanging out more with his shapeshifting friend Suzume Hollis, and has actually found a decent roommate for once.

Until he finds his roommate’s dead body.

The Scott family cover-up machine swings into gear, but Fort is the only person trying to figure out who (or what) actually killed his friend. His hunt for a murderer leads to a creature that scares even his sociopathic family, and puts them all in deadly peril.

Keeping secrets, killing monsters, and still having to make it to work on time? Sometimes being a vampire really sucks.

“With how you were reacting to that glamour, I’ll have to keep an eye on you. Otherwise the next time I see you, you’ll probably have a Doctor Who tramp stamp.”

For one awkward second, I realized that the only way Suzume could possibly look hotter to me was if she had a tattoo of the TARDIS on the middle of her lower back. I was profoundly grateful in that moment that the kitsune were unable to read minds.

and

“When this whole thing is over, I never want to talk about elf genealogy again. The last few days have been like some nightmare biology lesson. Like Attack of Mendel’s Beans set in the Appalachian mountains, crossed with a PBS special on Egyptian pharaohs.”

Cheers

  • This is a fun, new urban fantasy series. I read this second book soon after reading the first book.
  • Again, I like Fortitude a lot. His inner dialogue is very funny. He’s growing more like a vampire which disturbs him. He finds it ever harder to hold on to his humanity and human friends.
  • He’s also learning the “family business” from his brother Chivalry. And Fort learns a few things from his mother about her plans for his life and why she treated him differently than his siblings.
  • Suzume continues to be a great character. I love her snarky humor. I’d like to read more about the kitsune.
  • All the TV and movies mentioned fits well since Fort is a former film student.
  • We learn more about Fort’s family and thus, vampires. Also more about the supernatural community.
  • The vampires in this world are not very nice. I like the ways these vampires are different from other books I’ve read about vampires.
  • This book doesn’t focus so much on the mystery, but on the characters and moving them along on their journey.

Jeers

  •  I’m not sure if this series is known as the American Vampire series or Generation V series. The books carry both titles sometimes.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I’m liking this urban fantasy series so much and looking forward to the next book.
  • I’m so glad book 3 in this series–Tainted–comes out in November 2014.

 

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

  • The Book Bingo Challenge.

Review: Generation V by M. L. Brennan

generation-vGeneration V
by M. L. Brennan
Series: Generation V, Book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by Roc, 2013
E-book, Purchased
312 pages
Grade: B
Synopsis: Reality Bites…Fortitude Scott’s life is a mess. A degree in film theory has left him with zero marketable skills, his job revolves around pouring coffee, his roommate hasn’t paid rent in four months, and he’s also a vampire. Well, sort of. He’s still mostly human.

But when a new vampire comes into his family’s territory and young girls start going missing, Fort can’t ignore his heritage anymore. His mother and his older, stronger siblings think he’s crazy for wanting to get involved. So it’s up to Fort to take action, with the assistance of Suzume Hollis, a dangerous and sexy shape-shifter. Fort is determined to find a way to outsmart the deadly vamp, even if he isn’t quite sure how.

But without having matured into full vampirehood and with Suzume ready to split if things get too risky, Fort’s rescue mission might just kill him.…

“Does a bodyguard really need to know what I’ve thrown out lately?”

She looked surprised. “Of course not.”

“Then why are you looking?”

“Because I’m nosy.”

and

“So make him pay it.”

I stared. She made it sound so simple, as if I’d just been letting it slide this whole time. “How would you suggest I do that?” I asked.

“Threats of violence have always worked very well for me,” Suzume said, completely serious.

I sighed. “And if threats don’t work?”

“Then use violence.” Suzume gave a smothered little laugh. “Jeez, Fort, you seem to like making things more complicated than they really are.”

Likes

  • I haven’t read many vampire books lately. This is a little different take on vampires: for example, it’s not easy to have vampire offspring, but Madeline (Fort’s mother) manages to create three children and each one is different. Fort is her youngest (only in his mid-twenties). Madeline has done things differently with Fort, but she doesn’t tell Fort why he’s different.
  • It’s a fun book to read. Fort is both a fun and funny protagonist. Lots of humor with other characters,too–especially Suzume.
  • Fortitude doesn’t act at all like a vampire. He’s still mostly human, but at some point will complete his change to a full-fledged vampire. He doesn’t want to lose his humanity so he’s trying to stay human as long as possible. He finds being a vegetarian helps stave off his vampire urges a little! His vampire family try to tempt him to eat meat whenever possible.
  • The kitsune are wonderful in this book. Especially Suzume.
  • I like the names of Madeline’s offspring: Prudence, Chivalry and Fortitude!
  • Fort is a wimp in the beginning of the book, but changes a bit by the end of the book partly from Suzume’s help.

Dislikes

  • It’s hard to read about children in danger
  • I don’t like Fort that well at first–especially letting his girlfriend get away with the whole “open relationship” idea even though he doesn’t like it! He’s passive-aggressive about the whole thing. The author does do a good job showing how he begins to changes by the end of the book.
  • I want to know more about the kitsune.

Thoughts

  • I found out about this book from Nathan at Fantasy Review Barn. I’m so glad I did. This is a great start to a new series. I’ve already bought Iron Night the next book in the challenge.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Reading challenges

  • The 2014 New Author Reading Challenge hosted at the Literary Escapism blog.
  • The Book Bingo Challenge.