Book Review – Ascension by Victor Dixen

ascensionSix girls, six boys. Each in the two separate bays of a single spaceship. They have six minutes each week to seduce and to make their choices, under the unblinking eye of the on-board cameras. They are the contenders in the Genesis programme, the world’s craziest speed-dating show ever, aimed at creating the first human colony on Mars.

Leonor, an 18 year old orphan, is one of the chosen ones.

She has signed up for glory.
She has signed up for love.
She has signed up for a one-way ticket.
Even if the dream turns to a nightmare, it is too late for regrets.


gold_star-svggold_star-svggold_star-svggold_star-svg  4/5 Stars

I received this book from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. I also happened to win a signed final copy on insta, which is the version I read, but this did not affect my review.

This book is both epic genius and completely bonkers! I love the whole concept of blind date meets big brother meets spaceship. While I’m not a romance story person, this isn’t really one (as much as it is all about the relationships). I like how it’s darker than it seems at first glance, and how we get a POV on earth to balance out what Leonor knows. The bonkers part is mostly just because it is so focussed on the relationships, when they’re almost not the point of the story. And also blind date is always a bonkers concept ;). I do love it though.

I mostly like all the girls, and Leonor is a decent main character. I was sort of hoping for a little more between her and Kris though – that would have sent the show on a tumble! 😂 that aside, I also wanted slightly more from their friendship.

The story is quite more-ish, and I was definitely keen to find out what happens as it went along! And I really love the concept of the US selling of NASA for profit and someone taking it on and turning it into a giant reality tv machine. It really is genius.

My main niggle is how the contestants view themselves, and allow others to guide how they think of themselves (like anything Serena thinks about them off air) – and this seems so especially true for Leonor, and to a degree Tao, though we see less of him so it’s harder to know what he’s thinking. It feels incredibly ableist for them to be so ashamed. That said, Leonor has her reasons, and while I don’t agree I can see how a young girl may come to view things that way. I just felt that this particular thing didn’t feel very realistic. Even if she hated it (and OMG trying to discuss this without spoilers is hard, so I’m marking for mild spoilers), I don’t feel all the adults would treat her like they did.

And that I think tumbles into my next point – all the characters could be very abrupt and changeable. This sometimes made it hard to connect with them or what was going on.

That all said, I completely love how it ended! And I’m definitely keen to read what happens next! And to find out more about the characters – what do they decide and do previous decisions hold, so we find out more about Liz and her strategy, do we find out who Serena used? So many good questions!

3 thoughts on “Book Review – Ascension by Victor Dixen

  1. I had a *lot* of feelings about this book. On the one hand, I think it’s quite a fun story, but I got bugged by how it stayed focussed on the romance when I felt like it could have moved into being so much more. Too many The Selection vibes for my taste!

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