Inevitable Ascension by V.K. McAllister

Book Blurb:

If you knew your world would soon be torched to carbon, would you fight to save it? …Or light a match of your own? Violina, a girl polarized by love and loathing, finds herself thrown into a post-apocalyptic world with mankind on the brink of extinction. Discovering the means to travel back in time, she teams up with the ever-optimistic, pun-loving Lux and sets out to prevent the apocalypse from ever happening in the first place. But as her crusade advances, she becomes increasingly disturbed by humanity’s apparent lack of humanity and comes to a frightening realization: To build a new world, she must first tear the old one down. Inevitable Ascension-The twisted jigsaw puzzle of a story with equal parts rapid-fire action, humor and charm. It’s got a host of twists that will literally make your brain explode! Actually not literally, you know, because otherwise that would be really gross.

I received this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.


“You know, I once found a genie who offered me either pinpoint accuracy or a terrific memory, but I don’t recall which one I picked.”- Lux, Inevitable Ascension

Inevitable Ascension is mind-blowing and exhilarating. I am truly having trouble forming an opinion of this book because there is so, so much to process upon finishing the last chapter. I’m both in awe that I didn’t see the ending coming, but I’m also still very much confused about several aspects of the story.

I love a good end of the world story. Especially when they deal with time travel and a select few individuals who carry a superior knowledge of what is going on. So Inevitable Ascension looked just like my cup of tea. But the main reason I wanted to read this book is because of my curiosity of how this husband/wife duo wrote it taking turns and surprising each other with scenes! My husband and I have a writing project that we have been working on for years using that same method, so I wanted to see how this one turned out. It’s very impressive.

But first, I’d like to discuss the characters. I really don’t think I’ve ever read a book in this genre, at least that comes to my mind easily, in which there were only two main characters, and BOTH were female (without a romance plot). That truly boggles my mind when I think about it–that action stories almost always have primarily male main characters, or at least very strong second role male characters–but I absolutely LOVED the dynamic pair of Violina and Lux. They are kick-butt women who get stuff done without hesitation. Lux’s personality is lovable, entertaining, and absolutely terrifying. While Violina is noble, sensible, and also absolutely terrifying. Both Violina and Lux are the definition of “don’t need no man” women and I think these characters alone is what makes Inevitable Ascension stand out from others in its genre.

“If the bows are good enough for you to make that shot, obviously I could hit it blindfolded.” -Violina, Inevitable Ascension

Story line. Whew.

  1. There’s absolutely NO slowing down to take a breath.
  2. Mind-twisting. Mind-boggling. Mind-warping. Mind-blowing. It’s just, all of it.
  3. Hope you like violence, gore, and blood.

When the blurb says that this book is a “twisted jigsaw puzzle of a story”, it’s not freaking kidding. As time-travelling stories typically are, this book can be hard to follow sometimes and it certainly is NOT one that can be sped read through. Every sentence needs to be carefully considered and there are many times that I found myself re-reading with hopes to better understand the current dilemma that Violina and Lux found themselves in. This book is basically just a “hold your breath and hang on tight” type of ride, maybe even close your eyes. If you can read with your eyes closed.

I can’t talk about my feelings of the plot without spoiling it, so, I’m going to have to just leave it at that. It’s a crazy adventure, with a crazy plot, definitely crazy characters, and a really crazy ending–that I’m not so sure I like, but, oh well.

Content wise, this is a decently gory book. There is a LOT of killing, and some pretty gruesome killings at that. The atmosphere and the tone of the book is also pretty dark–which can be expected in an end-of-the-world, steampunk novel–but some of the scenes in this book can leave one queasy if they think too hard on it. I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say that there are many times that Violina and Lux throw away all morals (if they even had any to begin with?) for a desire that is quite selfish–in my opinion. Our characters are definitely less than perfect, but I think they truly do mean well.

This book is void of cursing, which I found–surprising. And you’re not going to encounter any romance of any kind, nor any sexual content–which I also found surprising. This is purely an action novel, so it will appeal to many readers in that regard–especially time-traveling, steampunk fans.

What did confuse me however, is the amount of Bible names, places, and inspiration that seems to have influenced so much of this story. There is clearly a lot of the story still to be discovered in future books, but I never figured out the Biblical connection. I’m unsure if it’s simply used to provide a foundation to the story (which takes place in a futuristic Eden), or if Inevitable Ascension has another goal in mind and intends to provide a clearer connection in future books. Because of that uncertainty, I think many Christian readers may find Inevitable Ascension disturbing in how it uses the Bible inspirations UNLESS, like I said, there is a more redeeming connection and purpose to using the Biblical inspiration in the story.

So, overall, for steampunk, this book was super on-point and I enjoyed every single page. It was riveting, exciting and I truly couldn’t put it down. But in light of the gore and my uncertainty of how the Biblical inspiration was meant to be presented, I will only be giving Inevitable Ascension 4 out of 5 stars, instead of my initial rating of 5 stars.

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