Book Review: Ascension, Marc Micciola
Series: The Age of Shadow Saga
Author: Marc Micciola
Ascension is a good debut that thrives on its worldbuilding.
A quick preface. I would like to note that the version of Ascension that I read was the second-to-final version of the novel, so some of my issues may have been addressed.
I've read a lot of debut fantasy novels where the author has clearly put a lot of time and effort into their worldbuilding. But there are few that seem to have crafted a world in the manner of the one built by Marc Micciola. Based on Viking and Norse themes (something I'm looking at myself for my next series) the world of Midstad is wonderfully constructed and feels slightly different from a lot of other stories out there.
As is common with epic fantasy these days the novel includes a large cast of characters from all across the world of Midstad, and for the most part I thought they were all relatively well fleshed out. However, on a more technical note I did at times find that the POV seemed to either hop from head to head (seemingly unintentionally) or was simply a little unclear in its description. Leading to some early-novel confusion around characters. This was less of an issue the deeper into the novel I read as I became more familiar with who was who.
At times I felt as though the writing suffered a bit from the "show not tell" problem, in that a lot of what the characters were feeling/thinking was told to us through lengthy paragraphs of description, rather than showing us through their actions or words.
Scenes of fighting and battle are particularly well written though and I did find myself enticed by the action, eager to see what the outcomes would be and where the fates of characters would end up.
The ending of the novel is strong, and I'm certainly interested in reading the rest of the Saga. So whilst this certainly isn't a perfect novel it is good for a debut and has done its job in making me want to continue reading. If you're a fan of fantasy novels and looking to support indy authors then this is definitely one for you.
Final Rating: 7/10