I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Del Rey on June 30th 2015
Buy on Amazon, B&N, iBooks, GooglePlay, Kobo, BAM, Book Depository
For fans of Jim Butcher and Kevin Hearne comes an exhilarating new urban fantasy series featuring monster-slayer""Dave Hooper and his magical splitting maul.
"Kids, there are no monsters under the bed. They're in the front yard."
As a hardworking monster-slayer, Dave Hooper tries not to bring his work home with him. But nowadays it's hard to keep them separate. Email, cellphones, empath daemons, they never let a guy rest.
The Horde has been raising hell and leveling cities from New York to Los Angeles, keeping Dave and his fellow monster-killer, Russian spy Karin Varatschevsky, very busy. But when the legions of hell invade the small seaside town his boys call home, Dave has to make a call. Save the world? Or save his family?
Not as easy a choice as you'd think, since Dave's ex-wife expects to be saved too. And there's no convincing her that the supersexy Russian spy isn't his girlfriend. She's just his sidekick--and an assassin.
It took me awhile to get through book three of the Dave Hooper trilogy. I’ve never been much for military fiction so I think that perhaps the amount of fighting scenes in Ascendance might have slowed me down. It’s not that Ascendance wasn’t very good or that I disliked it, in fact I still loved it, but I found the beginning fighting scenes that take up a good 40% of the book were unnecessary for someone reading this series for the wit, sarcasm and fantasy elements. Birmingham is extremely well written and his action sequences are believable and inspiring.
I struggled mostly because it wasn’t relevant to my interests. It doesn’t mean I didn’t appreciate the skillful writing or masterful plot development.
However, once we return to the main story line everything went along much quicker. There are more mysteries revealed! Mysteries that have me salivating for book four. Karin Varatschevsky is a Russian spy and fellow Champion who makes Dave look like the bumbling idiot he is. She also has some really neat powers that Dave doesn’t have that come in handy during the battle of New York. The chemistry between these two is refreshingly not romantic (or sexual) and Karen’s constant disdain for Dave is amusing. Best of all, Douchebag Dave is no longer in the picture and we get Good ol’ Dave back. No more over the top man whoring or self-congratulations from Dave! Instead, we start to see Dave’s character grow into his new role as human Champion..sort of..he still kind of sucks at it.
There is a crafty Lord of the Rings reference, lots of action, blood and huge plot developments that only make Dave vs The Monsters all the more legendary. A main character might die tragically and some fantastic character development may be on the horizon.
I think the majority of the satire is focused on our Monst’r element – Compt‘n ur Threshrend. He’s becoming a whole new creature who is becoming less Threshrend and more human by the minute. It’s interesting to see how Compt’n’s story is proceeding from low level lackey to Procounsul who is simultaneously developing a forbidden lust for a human creature (much to his chagrin) and a rise in disrespect for his lead Monster. Will Compt’n inevitably defect or take over the Monsters? Meanwhile, Guyuk has discovered the timeless beer-and-pork rinds meal combination. Seriously, he loves them.
The series of Dave vs The Monsters has been opened up to a confirmed fourth book to be published at a later date. The world of The Dave will continue to develop with another potential twelve heroes to make their entrance in the coming novels. I cannot wait for book four..I love where Birmingham is going with Dave and the wider world building he’s developed in Ascendance. So, never fear fellow Dave readers, this is not the end of this amazing series!
This book will appeal to committed fantasy readers and action lovers. Almost as amazing as the first book of this series Dave vs The Monsters: Emergence, Ascendance is a strong tale of human strength, an apocalyptic situation and a brand new set of fantastical creatures from the lower realm. A must read for those who enjoy the rise of the under dog, strong female leads and tons of gory action.