I’ve been eagerly anticipating As She Ascends ever since I read (and reread) Before She Ignites, the story of a girl wrongfully imprisoned when she discovers a terrible secret and brings it up with the wrong people and how she grows after everything she experiences. As She Ascends picks up right where the first book left off, following Mira Minkoba after she and her friends escape from the Pit and go off in search of answers to their many questions and solutions to the problems they face. It’s up to Mira to figure out where she’s going to go from her, what she’s willing to stand for and just how far she’ll go in order to make things right.
Before I get into my feelings about what happens in the book, as well as the characters, I’ll admit that it took a little while to get used to the breakneck pace of this sequel. Where Before She Ignites was slower, with a journey that was more internalized than action-packed for main character Mira, As She Ascends is the opposite. It’s back-to-back-to-back high intensity situations for Mira and company as they find their way (or forge a path where there appears to be none). While I’m not opposed to the speed with which Meadows employs these twists and turns (and in fact, it had me turning pages really quickly), it’s definitely a jarring change.
Still, I really enjoyed As She Ascends. The first book of the series really honed in on Mira’s journey of personal growth, and her personal journey is also woven into this sequel. But this book also broadens the world, revealing new information about the Fallen Isles, external threats and the other characters. It also manages to touch on a variety of themes - the use (or misuse) of power, basic human rights, the importance of (and variety) of the choices people can make and how everything may not always be so black and white, and the significance of using what you’ve been given to make a difference no matter how big the fight. I’m always suitably impressed by the sheer variety of reactions I walk away with after finishing one of Meadows’ books, and this one was no exception.
But, as always,it was the characters that really drew me into As She Ascends. I’ve said this to quite a few people, but I adore Mira Minkoba. I’ve loved her since the first time I ever met her, and that adoration has only continued to grow as I’ve watched her continue to be shaped by the circumstances she finds herself facing. She’s not perfect, but she has her heart in the right place and she has qualities that I find both admirable and relatable. I also enjoyed the fact that this novel gives us a lot more of Aaru, including a glimpse into his own past, as well as the rest of the gang - Hristo, Ilina, Chenda, Gerel - being around for a lot more of the story (though I’m biased and would have enjoyed seeing even more of them all).
While As She Ascends definitely has a solid ending, there is still so much that needs to happen before Mira’s story can finally draw to a close. I’m both relieved that there’s a third, sad that I have to wait so long and terrified that something heartbreaking will happen to the characters I’ve come to adore so much. (With Jodi’s track record of breaking my heart with her books, I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens but it doesn’t mean I want that for myself. Or maybe I do since I keep on reading them…) I’m really eager to see how things play out in the final installment of this series, and will just be here rooting for Mira (and for my chosen ship in this story, which is not the main ship but one that I really, really, really want to happen) until the time I get to read the rest of her story.
- Hardcover: 560 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins - US (24 September 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062469436
- ISBN-13: 978-0062469434
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 4.2 x 21 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 544 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 181,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)