DNFed Book Review: Ascension (The Indigo Project)

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley and Random Occurrence Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

I made it almost 50% through Ascension (The Indigo Project) by Christopher De Sousa before I finally had to just put an end to it. I wanted to like it, I really did! The premise and plot were extremely interesting, well thought out, and unique, but I think the execution just wasn’t quite there.

Katherine Munroe is most definitely not your typical teen and just about the only thing typical are her high school boy problems. She does however have quite the amazing ability to draw and much to her own confusion she accidentally lights things on fire. Even more plaguing are her reoccurring hallucinations, always thinking she is losing it, or so she thought. But then, after a horrific attack on her life resulting in the death of her father, she realizes there is something…more. Anzu, a winged beast of a different sort, and subject of Katherine’s hallucinations, saves her and become’s her guardian.

Bereaved over the loss of her father, she quickly discovers the unthinkable. Her entire township, as she knew, is a secret government experiment. And her father? Well, he was more of a caretaker since her birth. This rogue operation, better known as Project Indigo, is at war with a corrupted race of celestial beings.

In order to save the world and defeat The Corrupted they need the help of Katherine. Through special training and the discovery of her abilities, Katherine and Project Indigo battle the entities set to destroy them while she discovers the truth about her family, her lineage, and her future.

This is a YA sci-fi/fantasy novel but yet it reads like a literary fiction book?! Seriously. I don’t know what the author was trying to prove by writing in such a formal style but it’s a complete mismatch from the storyline itself. I mean, no teenager thinks or talks without using any contractions and only uses formal words. De Sousa is clearly out of his depth here on attempting to bring a teenage character to life. This is an example of what he apparently thinks that teenagers sound like…

Well I can’t think of any person more suited than me, who can provide some kind of grounded insight into her ailing situation, he thought, but last time I offered her my support, she didn’t want it. It really is a curse to be so intelligent a young man, and possessed of such invaluable intuition beyond my years. But I’ve little choice; I must take it in my stride if I’m to help those in need, even if she isn’t really the sort who can handle what must be said. I can’t afford to stray from my duty, even if I think of her as too immature and naive to make any sense of what’s said.

Now really, people. I don’t care how smart these kids are supposed to be, they’re still kids. De Sousa must have been birthed straight as an adult and skipped out on his childhood because he has no idea what normal people sound like. I seriously wish you could all read just the first chapter to see what I mean. Your mind would be blown, I swear!

Also, the world building was one big info dump. I had no idea what was going on the entire time! The prologue is just a big mess! The first few pages describe some epic battle years ago using all of these different names and terms, yet none of it makes sense. It’s almost as if you’re already supposed to know what it all means and this is just a brief reminder. I feel like there must be some obscure prequel novel that De Sousa wrote and thinks he published but the manuscript is actually still just sitting on his nightstand and no one’s ever even seen it.


What I can say is good about this book is the premise. You can tell it’s very detailed and has some really cool ideas. It was honestly the thing that kept me reading for so long. Like Atlantis? Celestial beings? Area 51? Covert government operation? Teens with special powers? It sounds really cool, right?! I just wanted to see where it was going and if the endgame brought it all together in a very clean way. But I think this is only the first book in a planned series and I cannot stick with it for that long. I’d end up banging my head against the wall in mental frustration if I continue on, especially if there’s multiple books.

 Basically, I think the problem with Ascension is this – great premise, BAD execution.

Final Verdict: 1/5 stars

If you or someone you know has read this book and understands what was going on, then please let me know! I also encourage you to read it for yourself and see if you feel differently about it than I do. It’s actually averaging 3 stars on Goodreads so it could just be me.

Hype or Like Friday – April 15th, 2016

Woohoo, it’s Week 2 of this incredibly fun meme and Goodreads book club created by myself, Jill @ Rant and Rave About Books, and Britt @ Geronimo Reads. To join our group and find out more information about what it’s all about, please go to our Goodreads page HERE.


  • Answer the weekly discussion topic.
  • Optional: Discuss your chosen hyped book of the week.
  • Optional: Talk about your progress on the BOTM.

TOPIC OF THE WEEK: Time-Travel and Fictional Worlds

Question 1: If you could travel through time, where would you go? (A particular event in time, decade, etc.)

I’ve got a couple of answers for this question. I’m also going to give book examples and recommendations to go along with these eras in case you’re interested in some classics or historical fiction for these time periods.

Regency Era

I have an obsession with Regency-Era novels, movies, etc. I don’t know why I love it so much but I think it probably started when I read Pride and Prejudice when I was 13 years old.  I think most people are quite familiar with Jane Austen’s novels but there are plenty more that I encourage you to try out. War and Peace and The Count of Monte Cristo are two of the other more popular ones, both of which I absolutely adore. However, a lesser known one but still one of my all-time favorites that you should try reading is William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair. Seriously, this book is fantastic. Then when you finish it, check out the movie version starring Reese Witherspoon as the main protagonist, Becky Sharpe.

1940’s/WWII Era

This probably wasn’t the most fun time in the history of Earth, but I have this strange fascination with WWII. I like the fashion and pop culture of that time period. Maybe it’s the historian in me, but I cannot get enough of historical fiction set in WWII. I love, love, love these types of novels. I’ve only listed a few that I’ve enjoyed over the years but some other ones of note are Schindler’s List, Atonement, and Between Shades of Gray.

Ancient Times – Greek, Roman, Egyptian

I wish I could explain to you how strong my obsession with ancient mythology was when I was younger. I literally had an entire folder filled with all kinds of random information about the different gods/goddesses, myths, etc. for the Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Norse cultures. I can still spout off a bunch of myths and tales from that time, possibly a bit of genealogy if I’m really in the mood. Needless to say, I made an A in my Mythology class in my final semester at TCU. So yeah, I would totally go back and live in that time. These are just a bunch of books on different aspects in that time period. I’ve read them all except for The Song of Achilles which is currently sitting on my TBR shelf at home. If I had to just recommend one of these, it would be any of Colleen McCullough’s Master’s of Rome series. Her writing is insanely amazing! I think there’s like 7 books in the entire series, plus I believe she has another series set in the same time period as well. Her books are pretty hefty though, so just be prepared for that.

Question 2: If you could travel to a fictional place, where would you go?

Please, take me away to Hogwarts! I’ve been waiting for my letter to arrive all of this time and yet I continue to be disappointed!

I guess this will be the closest I ever come to the real thing… Touring the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour in London. Fun Fact: While there this past fall, they were filming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at the same time in the next studio!!


BOTM and Hyped Book of the Week Update

I have yet to start reading our BOTM for April, Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. I know, I know! But I keep putting it off as I’ve got a bunch of others that I need to read first since they’re due back at the library within the next week. I guess I’m also a little leery of starting it because I’ve heard such mixed reviews, the worst consensus being that it’s boring. Guys, I cannot deal with boring books. But I’ll get to it probably by the end of next week.

I didn’t really pick a specific hyped book for this week but I guess they could all count as hyped but I’ll use Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson for this week. This was a great historical fiction about the California Gold Rush with just a little twist of the fantastical. I gave it 4/5 stars. You can read my full review HERE.

My hyped book that I chose for next week is going to be Dorothy Must Die (Book #1) by Danielle Paige. I’m interested in seeing how this one goes. Fingers crossed it’s a fun read because it really sounds entertaining!

Leave a link to your Hype or Like Friday post in the comments or just leave a comment answering this week’s prompt! Have any recommendations for a hyped book that I should read next? See any of my recs that you’re interested in reading?