PJV Quickie: Since I inherently have trust issues with the country of China, thanks in part to Fox News, Red Dawn and the fact that they’ve tried to hack my gmail account four different times – this book was a thriller! I now have very serious trust issues because of Mr. Chapman…because the book just made sense. This could happen and because it was so realistic it was even more thrilling. Not to mention the great characters which interacted in quirky and unpredictable ways.

Review:  THE ASCENDANT by Drew Chapman is the series starter about an interesting character by the name of Garrett Reilly. Think Tony Stark meets Jack Ryan. Garrett Reilly is a self-absorbed Wall Street broker. By watching the market he notices that a large crash is in the works and it seems to be engineered by China. Being self-absorbed he decides to report to his boss on how they can make the crash of the U.S. dollar work for them. When word of his knowledge leaks out to the government they decide to employ him to figure out what is going on with China. China happens to be positioning themselves for war with the U.S., but not with boots on the ground…they are waging a cyber war. And the U.S. wants to figure out why and figure out how to stop them. They think Garrett is their man to do this.

Garrett Reilly’s tasks make him think outside the box.  He assembles a rag-tag group of thinkers to help him figure this out and together they perform some unorthodox battles against the Chinese.

THE ASCENDANT was interesting and unique and I really enjoyed reading about Garrett Reilly. It wasn’t your usual espionage/war novel and the different take and plotting made it a good listen/read.

There were times when I thought it was silly, instead of thrilling, when the plot threads were just so far out there, but those were few and far between. It was this great big topic, war, China, war… and then video games. You know what I mean? Chapman took chances and most of the time they worked. When they didn’t work – it was mostly revolving around the romance in the story. It seemed to be a side-thought on the part of the author. Write a romance into the story because it needs to have one to sell more books. I expected a little bit more.

Narration: Narration was done by George Newbern and he did a great job. He made the audiobook very enjoyable and captured Reilly’s voice perfectly. I look forward to more books from George Newbern.

Recommendations: For fans of espionage thrillers, you should really enjoy.