Customer Reviews: Ascend: A Trylle Novel
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on January 18, 2011
I enjoyed reading this book and would probably have given it 5 stars had I not been a little disappointed with certain choices that were made by Wendy. I do think that the author could have made the book a little longer and included more characters that we saw in the previous books. You really don't see Rhys or Rhiannon in this book whatsoever. Rhys appears at the end in the wrap-up but that's about it. While they weren't crucial characters I think their complete absence was still odd. I was surprised at how big a role Loki plays in this last book. I feel like he just randomly appeared in the 2nd book (not literally randomly) and had some crazy, kind of obnoxious flirty love thing going for Wendy but he was never really explained. We were told his history and whatnot but he never really seemed to have any real purpose. I was hoping in the third book the author would explain exactly why he was so important and go into a little more character development for him but she didn't.


Reading a couple comments the author wrote regarding this book, she stated that while she could see this book being compared to the Princess Diaries, she didn't see the connection with Twilight. Really? Because in both cases you have a lovesick teenage girl who starts off weak and vulnerable but eventually becomes some super powerful being that saves the world (vampire world, troll world...whatever). The love Wendy had for Finn also screamed Bella/Edward to me. PLUS what about when Wendy realized that putting herself in danger made Finn rescue her so she could see him again? Umm...? That also screams Bella/Edward...when almost an entire book was dedicated to Bella doing stupid things just to see Edward in her thoughts. This could all be accidental of course, but that doesn't mean you can deny the connection.

Well, here's my theory to why Wendy ended up with Loki instead of Finn. Because the author wanted a twist, a twist that would make this unpredictable, original and NOT like Twilight. All this ended up doing though was making Wendy end up with a Jacob instead of an Edward. Here's the problem with this though. A twist in a book is good, a twist keeps the readers interested...but you need to be in control of the twist. In this case, the author lost control of her book because of what she chose to use as a twist. It's too big of a twist and it tells her readers that her lead heroine is fickle and what you DON'T want is for the readers to suddenly lose a little respect for the lead character. This COULD have been done though, this twist COULD have worked, had she spent more time developing Loki's character. Instead, she didn't bother really making the reader fall in love with Loki (the way they did with Finn) and just threw Loki and Wendy together anyhow and tried to force her readers to accept it. If she had spent more than a portion of the 3rd book really pushing for Loki, I think the readers would have accepted the transition much easier. Also...if she had spent more than a portion of the 3rd book destroying Wendy and Finn's relationship, that would have been easier to accept as well. In the end though, the author lost control over how her readers felt about the characters....and that's never what you want, especially in the last book of a series.

So here's my wrap-up of Wendy from book 3: some girl with a crush (because calling it love would be an insult to the word) on the first cute guy she sees from Trylle. Now I see why she was attracted to Finn in the first place. In the first book, he was that super tough guy who wasn't afraid of the Vittra who tried to kidnap her. Also he was crazy about her and was her hero who always showed up at the right time to save her. He almost lost his life just trying to protect her...and of course because their love was forbidden, it made her want him even more. Of course, once all that died down a bit, she needed something more from him. Since all of a sudden, he wasn't able to prove his love for her by throwing his life away to save her...she needed him to constantly let her know how he felt, instead of just accepting that he did love her. Then along comes Loki, a cocky guy who is constantly saying inappropriate things about how much he wants her, and teasing her about how much she wants him, and that's exactly what she needs. Someone who never stops telling her how awesome she is. THEN she sees the scars that Loki got on her behalf and that seals the deal. Wendy's love goes to whatever guy shows that he's willing to die for her AND who constantly tells her how much he wants her. In the end, she's just an insecure girl who will follow the first guy that obsesses over her.

I think Finn was right about her. Her love must not mean much.

I started off this review giving the book 4 it only has 3 stars. Guess I didn't realize how disappointed in I was in just how weak of a character Wendy was.
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on January 19, 2011
Contains Spoilers! Updated.

I'm not really sure what to say. I got hooked on the my blood approves series and decided to try this series out. I enjoyed Ms. Hocking's writing so I downloaded all three Trylle books. I wish had stopped at the second book. I feel utterly disappointed and wish could return this book. Finn was built up as THE love interest, and then he is shoved aside for a sleezy secondary character (Loki). I kept reading hoping that for a Finn/Wendy ending and now, as a reader, I feel complete unsatisfied. Now I'm a little nervous about a fifth book fo My Blood Approves.....I understand not wanting to be predictable, but this twist just destroyed this whole series for me.

Ms. Hocking is a great writer and she knows how to tell a good story. But I don't think I will be recommending the Trylle Trilogy to anyone. Well maybe the first two books. Somebody in another review said that this what it would be like if Bella chose Jacob instead of Edward in Twilight. I disagree...this is what it would be like if Bella chose Mike Newton instead of Edward and Jacob. It makes no sense whatsoever.
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on January 21, 2011
While I enjoyed the 1st two books in this series and think A. Hocking to be a very talented writer, I was disappointed in this third book. I think she was trying too hard to be clever and not fall victim to cliches. Especially since she started to build up the mulitple lovers thing (aka S. Meyer ) and wanted to break the mold so-to-say. Though I commend her for her bravery, there is a reason Meyer (and others like her) have found so much success; When an author sets up a character like Finn and strengthens the love and devotion two people feel towards each other-it rips at the heart of readers to have that love lost and replaced by a character (Loki), that is less developed, with devotion that is not well explained, and a love that seems to be based in convenience and physical neediness. The ending seemed rushed with the development of real feelings between Loki and weird it almost seems like a different author wrote the last half of the 3rd book and their job was to tie up the loose ends. Not a bad read all around but if you have your heart set on Finn and Wendy, don't read this book-just imagine your own ending. It will be better than the real one.
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on June 17, 2011
This book was bad for two main reasons: (1) I respect the fact that the author took the initiative and successfully self-published, but there were so many typos and grammatical errors that they detracted from the actual story. On multiple occasions, I had to reread sentences and restructure them in order to make out what she was trying to say. (2) By the time you're finished reading this, you will really dislike and not respect the main character and even worse, you really won't care what happens in the story.


So not to repeat what the numerous other reviewers have said, but the blatant attempt at putting in a "twist" in the hopes of originality basically severed any connection that the reader had with the characters or the story. Obviously, the author has the right to do whatever she wants with her characters and the story, but at least take the time to make it believable for your readers. I can accept that Wendy essentially fell out of love with Finn as quickly as she claimed to have fallen in love with him. Hey, who hasn't read "Forever" by Jude Blume. Young love, especially first, doesn't always last forever. The problem here, however, is that Wendy supposedly ends things with Finn because in her eyes, he refused to fight for her. She felt betrayed that she would give up the entire kingdom for him, when he wouldn't do the same for her. This leads to the obvious conclusion that she's young, immature and irrational because she is either unwilling or unable to see that Finn, forced with an extremely difficult choice, is making the decision that he thinks is not only best for Wendy and will keep her safe, but will also protect thousands, almost a million lives - at the expense of his own happiness. In her teenager state, she just wants the boy she likes to want her at any cost, even the deaths of those she is in line to serve and protect. And that's okay, because she's a teenager. But then we are expected to believe that she has matured and grown (which the author repeatedly tells us through the voice of Wendy's brother, Matt), to the point where she is making battle strategies and has completely altered her vocabulary and speaking cadences so she no longer sounds like a teenager but like she has been ruling for decades. And this is where the story gets ridiculous and the reader becomes disinterested. Wendy has either matured or she has not. If she truly had matured, she would have understood Finn's decision and would not have placed the blame of their failed attempt at a relationship on his supposed failure to fight for her. If she has not matured, then that's fine - go ahead and lose your virginity to some sleezy guy, with whom the reader has absolutely no connection, and claim you have fallen in love with him. But it can't be both. The author, however, takes both and runs with it. Because Wendy is just that - she's an irrational teenager who is fickle with her heart, and she is also a wise leader who declares war and takes decisive action. Um...okay.

Most importantly, Wendy's decision to sleep with Loki, while married to a husband who basically sacrificed his entire future just to protect her, is so out of line with her character. It was just a few weeks earlier that she had refused to have one night with Finn, so are we expected to believe that suddenly she decided it was okay to just randomly have sex while her husband was ill in the next room? This makes the reader lose all respect for Wendy and furthermore, renders it almost impossible to identify with her or the poor choices she makes. The fact that Loki is so unlikeable (he has no qualms about hitting on a married woman, lied to her, and held her prisoner at one point) makes it even harder to care for Wendy.

Finally, and this is probably the worst, there are absolutely no repercussions for Wendy's infidelity. Instead, she gets a guilt-free out, with Tove requesting an annulment and she never even has the decency to tell her husband that she cheated on him. She then has the audacity to blame Finn for their failed attempt at a relationship, when all he has done throughout the entire book has been to risk his life to protect her. She just appears selfish. Even worse, Loki's character, which is extremely underdeveloped, simply indulge her need for constant attention and affirmations of love and this is apparently the sole reason why Wendy falls in love with him. For all you moms out there picking out books for your daughters, be warned that Wendy is not the type of heroine I would want impressionable young girls looking up to.

I have read a lot of bad books before, and I won't say this was the worst ever, but it was really bad. You finish it having no respect for Wendy or Loki and feeling bad for Tove and Finn. Would not recommend at all.
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on April 2, 2011
Spoilers contained -

For 2 1/2 books, Hocking told us that the most important person to Wendy, the person that she loved and lived for, was Finn. Then at the halfway mark suddenly Wendy's all about Loki, and that's who she ends up with???? Seriously????

This was my first time reading Hocking, based on all the buzz, and I'm so, so, so disappointed. I'm sure it was supposed to be some great twist to make it not predictable or whatever, but I was rooting for Finn. I went through three books WAITING for it to be Finn. Finn was the story. They had social class clashes. Wendy would have to change the whole system to be with him. But marrying Loki, a fellow noble and "prince," where's the conflict? What's the challenge?

Finn was honorable and good and moral and decent. Loki was none of those things (instead he's the sort of guy who would sleep with a married woman). Finn was the hero in this story, and I'm glad that at least he called Wendy out on her fickleness (as she'd spent the last 2 1/2 books being totally in love with him) and I hated when he gave them his "blessing."

Wendy and Finn were the story. Loki was nothing more than an add-on at the end that completely and totally undid everything up to that point.

Which was too bad, because it really was a great story until then.
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on January 19, 2011
I stumbled on this series when I began using my Kindle-the books were cheap so I thought I would give them a try. The first book kind of hooked me, once I got over the troll idea. The second book was okay too; I was surprised to find myself awaiting the third installment. But, I was disappointed with this book. I realize Wendy matured, which was a good thing, but she seemed to be too different from the character she was in the first two books. I don't want to give the ending away, but really, Finn was the love interest from the beginning of the series so why drop him? I mean, if we are supposed to believe she fell in love with someone else and disengage ourselves from the main male character then Hocking should have given us a reason to-meaning Finn should have somehow disappointed us as readers like he wasn't there for Wendy or had an affair or something. For two books we viewed him as "the one" and then suddenly in the middle of the final book, for no reason really, Wendy isn't in love with him, which made her seem shallow and fickle. I found myself disliking Wendy ( I really didn't like her much to begin with but by the second book she was getting better) after this book. I felt that this book splashed cold water in my face and made me say "why was I reading about trolls." It seems like the author just threw in a plot twist to not be predictable without thinking how this would effect the overall impression of the series. So many better ways the series could have ended.
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on February 20, 2011
I love a love story and was sucked into this series from the start. I thought the way Amanda Hocking kept us on the edge of our seat through the first two books with Finn and Wendys romeo/juliet forbidden love thing, made me want to tear through the 3rd book so I could see there happy ending. I now feel ill. Why on earth would you start the series with a passionate love between two characters and continue it through two whole books, just to have it shattered when she ends up with someone else? Yes I like Loki, but lets face it..... why the build up with Finn? She became queen and we all knew she would. So i kept finding myself thinking she would change everything so she could be with Finn. Nope. Her character seems fickle and her love life very immature even though her decision making for the kindom seems mature. Her character became so confusing and my heart is completely broken for Finn. Wouldnt even start the series.
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on February 6, 2011
I agree with most of the other reviewers. I was desperately looking forward to seeing how Wendy and Finn were going to be reunited. But to find Wendy marry another man, then refuse Finn just to later accept Loki in almost the exact same scenario was stupid. Wendy became a tease and the book ended being a supreme disappointment.
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on January 15, 2011
*Spoiler Alert* Do not read this if you do not want to know specific details of the plot.

If you are a fan of Finn and Wendy, you will hate this book; on the other hand, if you want Wendy to end up with a totally random, secondary character, I'm sure you'll find the book worth your time.

I loved the first two books of the series and waited anxiously for Ascend; I was such a fan of Finn and Wendy and hoped that Amanda (the author) would put them together. I downloaded the book the moment it was released and went to the end immediately; I always read the end of books because if I don't like how it ends, I won't read the book. I was so mad that Amanda put Wendy with Loki and not Finn that I was shaking. I couldn't talk to people about it because I was so upset. I am an avid reader and become emotionally invested in characters; I feel like I was completely let down by an author that I really enjoyed. To set up a star-crossed lovers theme in the first book of a trilogy, then end it with some other love interest that was never fully developed is extremely frustrating. I refuse to read Ascend because it is pointless. Why would I care about what happens to Wendy when she betrays the person I was set up to root for from the beginning? Amanda is able to write, so I'm sure the book is worthy of reading if you don't mind Finn and Wendy not ending up together (and can handle Loki and Wendy ending up together--again, really? Where did that even come from?). I'm so frustrated and heartbroken because of this book. In my mind, the one saving grace is that I only had to pay $2.99 for the tremendous let down this book provides.

Sorry Amanda, but this was just a meaningless and confusing decision, and I'm not sure if I trust reading other series from you after such a betrayal.
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on July 10, 2011
I just finished the Trylle Trilogy. Overall, I liked it. There were POV errors, odd word choices at times, occasional poor grammar in dialogue that didn't fit with the character's typical speech ("Tell me where she's at."), and numerous instances of characters smiling, nodding, sighing, winking and laughing dialogue--esp. in book #3-- but the story was good and the plot moved.

There is a fair amount of back story mentioned in book #2 and even some in book #3. The books could possibly stand alone, but they are best read in order, as they each tell part of a bigger story.

**Plot Spoiler**
One thing was a big disappointment. It was the reason I gave the third book 1 star instead of three. Hocking switches heroes midway through the series. I mean, I like the second one, but she doesn't spend time developing Wendy's feelings for him like she did with the first, and, as a result, her choice of who she ends up with is a little hard to believe and accept. According to the way things were initially set up, I expected a different outcome. I WANTED a different outcome. The second 'hero' should have died protecting her and she should have ended up with the first. Instead, she kicked him to the curb. His only crime? Doing the noble thing, following the rules of his society and doing the right thing for her and their kingdom.

Note to parents: there is a love scene, occurring out of wedlock, that is carried through to its conclusion in the last book, but it is brief and not terribly graphic.
**End of spoiler**

These stories are interesting and entertaining, and it's obvious Hocking has some talent. Despite the 'rules of fiction' errors and the odd twist with the hero(es), this trilogy managed to keep this 40-something mother of three reading all the way to the end. I finished all three books in less than a week.
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