Hidden deep within the figures tracking the ups and downs of the stock market lies a terrifying truth: America is under attack. Our government…our economy…our very way of life are in the crosshairs of a ruthless enemy…and no one knows. Except Garrett Reilly. He has a knack for numbers. He sees patterns no one else can. His gift has made him a rising star on Wall Street. But when he notices that two hundred billion dollars' worth of U.S. Treasury bonds are being sold off at a terrifying rate, his gift makes him the most wanted man alive.
The U.S. military wants him for his extraordinary abilities. They need someone to lead a crack squad of rogue soldiers to act as the last line of defense in a war that could mean the end of everything America holds dear. And everyone else? They just want him dead.
In this explosive debut novel, ranging from the offices of Wall Street to the casinos of Vegas to the back roads of the Chinese countryside, Drew Chapman introduces listeners to a new kind of action hero: One uniquely skilled to fight a new kind of war.
©2014 Drew Chapman (P)2013 Simon & Schuster
Avid audible listener for over 10 years.
I was slightly hesitant since it was new and had no reviews,but it was actually not bad. It starts a little slow but picks up the pace as you get into book. The story revolves about someone who can pick out patterns in large amounts of data. It also questions how much we rely on media to filter our information. It's not great literature by any means but is quite entertaining.
So hooked by audio that I have to read books aloud. *If my reviews help, please let me know.
[Chose this after reading an Audible Editor's review.] Drew Chapman is a TV writer turned author, and this debut book reads like a political/cyber/financial thriller that could almost be extrapolated from our current headlines: cyber espionage, high finance and international terrorism, the virtual world colliding with the real world. Chapman refrains from using the esoteric lexicon of computers and finances, writing a book that appeals to those of us that are not computer geeks or financial wizards.
In the author's own words, Ascendant antagonist Garrett Reilly is "me, a bunch of years and many bong hits ago...Deeply patriotic and at the same time prone to spasms of anti-Americanism." Garrett Diego Reilly is a 'half Mexican, half Irish surfer from Long Beach' with a boulder-sized chip on his shoulder against the US military, which he blames for the death of his brother in Iraq. Cocky, irreverent, and fast-living, he drops out of Yale and becomes a successful Wall Street bonds trader. He also is a wiz with numbers and computers-- a beautiful mind that sees patterns and predictions in those numbers. When he notices that hundreds of billions of U.S. Treasury Bonds are being sold off and thousands of properties are being dumped for fractions of their worth, he knows this is big -- he is about to become unimaginably wealthy. When the US nuclear plant control programs are invaded by a virus that he connects to China -- he knows this is bigger than just fortuitous economic panic.
The US government has also seen a pattern, an ominous global gauntlet throw-down, and sends Army Captain Alexis Truffant to recruit the government-hating wunderkind Reilly to head up a secret military project, *Ascendant*. But it takes more than Capt. Truffant's curves and seduction to erase the grudge harbored by Reilly (even when he has half-heartedly signed on, he is still irascible enough to pick a fight with a bar full of marines).
As you'd expect, there is domestic opposition high in the ranks to handing the military forces over to a 26 yr old hot shot with no regard for military status or international protocols, armed insurgents protecting their foreign interests, and a parallel story involving a Chinese woman leading an uprising against government corruption in China...all in stark contrast to Reilly and his computer gaming geeks downing Red Bulls and junk food while they launch their unorthodox counter attack. Chapman ties the whole circus together neatly.
Chapman gives a strong debut, a novel along the lines of - but not yet on the level of - Clancy, Ludlum, or Child. But, I couldn't help compare to another strong espionage thriller debut from Jason Matthews (Red Sparrow), and that had me knocking off some stars. There's a lot of suspending logic and some clichéd characters (right out of a TV plot), a few times the story slackened and my mind wandered, but Chapman has created a charismatic quasi-hero that you can't help but like in spite of himself. Word is that though Chapman has already written half of the sequel to Ascendant, he has sold the rights to 20th Century Fox TV...so, we just may be tuning in to a series about the *new breed* of Joshua/Gecko/Snowden warriors. A basic, fun, entertaining thriller fix I recommend. This is an author that I think will just get better with each book.
The story leaves several questions open ended, leading me to believe that there might be a sequel. If there isn't one, I would still rate this one four-stars. Yes, it's far-fetched, but who cares? I was hooked from the beginning. The narrator helps -- he is perfect as the voice of the numbers genius who reluctantly finds himself heading an army stealth operation. (If there IS a sequel, I will be buying it.)
A few must reads: Mr. Mercedes, Narrows Gate, Cop Town, Bomb Proof, Wayfaring Stranger, The Son (Nesbo), Dept Q series...
This is the story of a somewhat immature and troubled young savant. He's a brilliant financial analyst with a genius for discovering patterns in the financial and political realms. The story opens with his discovery of an unprecedented series of financial attacks on the American economy.
The story moves fast with a great storyline and unforgettable characters. George Newbern is brilliant with a variety of distinct and believable voices.
Like Bombproof, this is a great suspense novel that I could not put down.
An easy 5 Stars all the way!
I'd say equal.
I almost never listen to thrillers. This is not because I don't love exciting page turners, but because they inevitably glorify sexism, materialism, and blind patriotism. Not so The Ascendent. In Drew Chapman’s debut novel, hero Garret Reilly, deftly subverts the thriller genre and saves the world all at once.
The undercurrent of fear in the book involves not the usual foreign terrorists or Nazi officers, but more contemporary concerns. It deals with the sorts of things that can happen when civil rights are set aside in the name of national security, the havoc a hacker could wreak on our economy through manipulation of our banking and energy systems, and the desperate lives led by factory workers in developing nations who make our modern day life in America so comfortable
Like all fine thrillers, The Ascendent is fast paced, keeps you on the edge of your seat, makes you laugh in a few places, and treats you to a touch of romance. But, with its surprising new hero, it manages to do more. It breaths new life and vitality into what had become, despite lots of car chases, shoot-outs, and bombings, a stodgy and predictable genre.
He doesn't over do the performance. It's pitch perfect.
I love books!
First time author, debut novel by the author I believe although he's done plenty of writing in the world of television. The story pits the USA versus China in a present day actin thriller where all of the latest and greatest technology available is brought to bear. The protagonist is brought into the story to use all of this technology and his knack for finding patterns to try and stem the tide from a Chinese threat using these same tools. It was action packed enough to keep you interested and make you wonder if this type of warfare might really be fought. Maybe it already is. I enjoyed the listen enough that I will give the next book in the series a try whenever it comes out.
A story that young adults will love...... adults, not so much.
Probably won't as they are written for young adults.
Enjoying one good listen after the next!
The Ascendant is a fun, engaging story. It will muddle your brain with the possibility that through manipulation of breaking news and the stock market our government or that of any nation could wage a technological war that could undo the economic, political and social foundations of a nation.
That part of the story was enthralling and kept me listening. The other part of the story -- the person they chose to undertake this technological war (Garrett) was far less so. Would the US government employ an undisciplined 26 year old with a brain for identifying patterns -- and a taste for violence and drug use -- as the leader of an international technology war wielding power over the US military? Unlikely and a real stretch in this story. Moreover, it was hard to acquire any empathy for Garrett -- because he was such a bad boy.
Overall, this was a fun listen. Just prepare for quite a lot of believable technological content and a big lot of unbelievable "life of Garrett."
Two dimensional characters, action scenes even more ridiculous than The DaVinci code.
No, I like cyber thrillers when they are realistic.
No. He did a good job with lousy material
No way anyone could suspend disbelief of this plot.
This is an enjoyable read that has good pacing. It takes three-quarters of the book to set the stage for a very rapid conclusion. However, it is obvious this is the start of a series the way the build-up establishes the backstory and how the book ends. Some of the plot points are a little bit of a stretch but this is a geopolitical thriller, not literature, a "popcorn movie" if you will.
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