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The Ascendant: A Garrett Reilly Thriller [Kindle Edition]

Drew Chapman
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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 readers to a new kind of action hero: one uniquely skilled to fight a new kind of war.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Bond analyst Garrett Reilly’s photographic memory and reflexive ability to identify patterns are the secrets behind his ability to score impressive profits, and when he spots a massive off-loading of U.S. Treasury bonds by Chinese interests, he’s expecting impending riches and congratulations from his mentor, Avery Bernstein. But Bernstein fears impending economic devastation and immediately contacts the Treasury Department. The next morning Garrett narrowly survives an explosion in front of his office. He’s rescued by a covert Defense Intelligence Agency whose leaders share Garrett’s theory that China is launching a new, invisible war against the U.S., and the group needs him to identify hidden patterns of attack and strategize a counteroffensive. Teamed with a political scientist, a linguist, and a military expert, Garrett quickly pinpoints fresh attacks on weapons production, electrical grids, and technology infrastructure. But competing interests in the highest levels of government won’t tolerate this threat to traditional warfare, and they want the DIA’s secret weapon, Garrett, killed. Chapman’s novel is The Hunt for Red October meets Hackers, complete with a host of unforgettable characters. Chapman skillfully renders complex technology and political ideology accessible, smoothly folding it into the narrative. Refreshingly, Chinese and American cultures are evenhandedly explored through parallel story arcs where protagonists on both sides are pitted against government factions. This debut is a must-read for international-thriller fans and makes a great pairing with A. X. Ahmad’s The Caretaker (2013). --Christine Tran


“Like his intriguing protagonist Garrett Reilly, author Drew Chapman possesses startling skills and this first novel just blows the doors off. The Ascendant is a rollicking, globe-hopping, timely and prescient page-turner—a Twenty-First Century thriller that once begun refuses to yield or loosen its grip on the reader. A stunning debut.” (C.J. Box, New York Times bestselling author of Breaking Point)

“Political thriller? International thriller? Financial thriller? Whatever you call it, The Ascendant is smart, edgy, fast-paced storytelling at its best. Its unlikely hero, Garrett Reilly, reminded me of a young Jack Reacher as a tech-savvy bond analyst. Drew Chapman is a debut novelist to watch.” (Alafair Burke, bestselling author of If You Were Here)

“From its first page, The Ascendant pulls you into a compellingly suspenseful story, and delivers it at a break-neck pace. Drew Chapman demonstrates the assured hand of an author on his twentieth novel, not his first. I couldn’t put it down!” (Alex Grecian, New York Times bestselling author of The Yard)

"Fans of Homeland and 24 will love The Ascendant--a rocket of a thriller that's fresh and cool and totally real." (Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Paranoia and Buried Secrets)

"Chapman's novel is The Hunt for Red October meets Hackers...a must-read for international-thriller fans." (Booklist (Starred Review))

“Reilly’s reluctance to help fight off these attacks adds to the edginess of this page-turner that seems frighteningly realistic as Chapman uncovers new parameters for how war might be waged in our brave new world.” (American Way Magazine)

Product Details

  • File Size: 2382 KB
  • Print Length: 401 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1476725888
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (January 7, 2014)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,089 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read Thriller October 17, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Ascendant is the smartest, timeliest and most riveting thriller I have had the pleasure of reading in recent memory. It features a flawed, yet winning, protagonist in bad-boy, financial-wizard Garrett Reilly and a sophisticated plot involving cyber warfare between the U.S. and China. Fans of espionage fiction will be impressed by Drew Chapman's knowledge of international diplomacy and the U.S. defense and intelligence community, which he uses to inject enough realism to keep the novel honest and believable.

Mr. Chapman's background as a screenwriter also shines through. Action scenes leap off the page, dialogue is witty, and the story never drags. Best of all, you never seem to know which characters Reilly should trust or believe, most notably the enigmatic Hans Metternich. There's even a compelling romantic subplot between Reilly and Army intelligence officer, Alexis Truffant, woven seamlessly into the fabric of the story.

This thriller has my strongest recommendation, and I look forward to the sequel or series.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I love a good thriller, and picked this book up because it promised something a little different within the genre. What a great surprise, as it was much better than I expected.

Garret Reilly is a self-absorbed Wall Street hot shot, possessed of a rare gift of identifying patterns that have served him well in global investing. He identifies a particularly large sell-of of investments and notifies his firm about the implications, which brings him to the (eventual) attention of the U.S. government, which recruits him for a new type of war the world has never seen before.

The Ascendant is an intelligent, creative, and fascinating look at what war might look like in the future (or sooner). The main character is pretty well fleshed out, as a self-centered jerk who nevertheless cares to do the right thing if motivated properly. There are numerous twists and turns, and it seems all too plausible.

I can't tell you enough how much I enjoyed this debut novel by Drew Chapman. Go out and get it!

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars War without guns January 7, 2014
By plane
Format:Kindle Edition
A novel about a war between the United States and China with no shots fired and battles fought with psychology, financial manipulation and computer hacking. Very similar to what seems to be actually happening right now. It is Drew Chapman's first book and one that mesmerizes the reader immediately with the back and forth secret movements by both the US and China. Garrett Reilly is a 26 year old bond trader with a New York brokerage house and the most successful trader in town. He has a photographic memory for numbers and the ability to sense patterns in them, to rank them and to make money for himself and his firm by working this ability to come out ahead of other buyers and sellers in trading. His ability allows him to sense a sudden enormous selloff in US Treasury bonds to the tune of billions of dollars, and he is aware that following this trend can make him very rich.
His astute following of the Treasury market and taking advantage of it causes the US government to become interested in him. He is visited by army Captain Alexis Truffant who advises that Garrett has stumbled upon the initial attack of a covert war started by China. He is asked to begin working for the government to help thwart the attack, and plan action against the enemy. It helps that Captain Truffant is quite beautiful and a romantic interest develops between the two. Garrett is placed in charge of a group tasked with challenging the Chinese and developing a response that does not involve military action but played out the same way as the attacks. Manipulation of markets, hacking of computer data, and psychological warfare that does not involve weapons. And oh, yes bringing China to it's knees.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is a fun read and roaring adventure. The oft-stated military maxim that "Generals prepare for the last war," is true on many levels, and the latest level that makes previous war preparation obsolete is cyber-war. The Abrams tank is based, in part, on the miserable performance on the WWII Sherman tank against the likes of German Panther and Tiger tanks. It stomped the Russian-made T-72Ms in 1990 in Iraq, but that's a long time ago and the Iraqis were fighting the war they had fought against the Iranians in the 80's where neither side had full air superiority as the Coalition forces had in the First Gulf War. Now that so much of modern warfare depends on digital communications, the side with the ability to knock out the other side's cyber capacity is more likely to win.

The problem is that the "networktivity" of cyber communications and control is so massive that it is vulnerable at many points. Drones, connected via satellite are flown by a pilot in a shed in Nevada and can target the enemy on the other side of the world. If that network is disrupted, the drone ceases to be a weapon as effectively as it were shot out of the sky by an anti-aircraft battery. In fact, a whole formation of drones can cease to be a war-assest with a single strike against the computer center controlling them. However, the weapon is not a missile or bomb; it is a piece of computer code.

Garrett Reilly is the nerd-hero of this story. After a cyber attack knocks out power grids in several cities, the Pentagon convinces the President that he needs--under military control--a cyber-warrior. Garrett is recruited, given the rank of major and given a team to carry out a cyber-payback and warning to the Chinese.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, But Frightening in the Potential for It's Premise Being...
What is frightening about "The Ascendant" is that all the scenarios are possible and even, eventually, probable. Read more
Published 3 days ago by delicateflower152
5.0 out of 5 stars Good engrossing, seemingly real, story
Really good story. It's one of those genius books where someone has a rare (unlikely) talent.

The story was fast paced and had surprisingly little "come-one now"... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Packrat
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ascendant is a fast-paced narrative and an easy read. I have to...
The Ascendant is a fast-paced narrative and an easy read. I have to say I devoured this book. The best part- a plot that unfolds with enough twists to keep you guessing until the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lisa Mahoney
I picked this book up at my local library after reading the flyleaf. Starting reading it at 1AM last night. Finished reading at 7AM (with a break for coffee and a nap). Read more
Published 1 month ago by H. James Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars great product!
Outstanding service, great product!!
Published 1 month ago by johnrpv
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read!
Published 1 month ago by Dave Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars A genuine page turner.
Chapman had me from page 1. Couldn't stop til I could see how or if my new friend Garret would save the world.
Published 1 month ago by Larry
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
Loved this book great characters great story line just a very enjoyable read.And by the end it looks like they get him back for a sequel .
Published 1 month ago by mikelalib
3.0 out of 5 stars Pros and cons
There are pros and cons to this book. The backbone idea to the story is becoming a cliche, gang of misfit geniuses, brilliant, lacking social skills or otherwise handicapped... Read more
Published 3 months ago by MarshallTown
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for first time published author.
Great thriller from beginning to end.
Published 3 months ago by Gregory L. Basso
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More About the Author

Drew Chapman was born and raised in New York City. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in History. His early work history included: newspaper reporter, bartender, bike messenger, knish vendor at Yankee Stadium, and bootleg T-shirt salesman at Madison Square Garden. He wrote his first novel in fourth grade. It remains unpublished.

After college Drew moved to Los Angeles and began working in film production. He got an agent and took a position as staff writer for Disney Animation. He has since written on projects for studios including Disney, Fox, Universal, Warner Brothers and Sony. He wrote and directed a feature film, Stand Off, with Dennis Haysbert and Robert Sean Leonard.

He also works extensively in television. He has sold pilots to ABC, Fox, ABC Family, and Sony TV. Drew recently wrote and produced an eight-part limited-series for ABC called The Assets. A cold-war thriller based on a true story, the first episode airs at 10 p.m., January 2, 2014.

His novel, The Ascendant, will be released by Simon & Schuster on January 7, 2014. Drew is currently writing the sequel.

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