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Title: Every Sky A Grave
Series: The Ascendance #1
Author: Jay Posey
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
From Skybound.com & Me
Far in the future, human beings have seeded themselves amongst the stars. Since decoding the language of the universe 8,000 years ago, they have reached the very edges of their known galaxy and built a near-utopia across thousands of worlds, united and ruled by a powerful organization known as the Ascendance. The peaceful stability of their society relies solely on their use of this Deep Language of the cosmos.
But this knowledge is a valuable secret, and a holy order of monastics known as the First House are tasked with monitoring its use and “correcting” humanity’s further development. Elyth is one such mendicant, trained as a planetary assassin, capable of infiltrating and ultimately destroying worlds that have been corrupted, using nothing more than her words.
To this end, Elyth is sent to the world Qel in response to the appearance of a forbidden strain of the Deep Language that was supposed to have died out with its founder over seven hundred years prior. What she finds on the backwater planetoid will put her abilities to the test and challenge what she knows of the Deep Language, the First House, and the very nature of the universe.
Elyth can’t kill Qel due to the work of a man known simply as eth ammuin. So her first task is to find and kill him. She fails. Then she finds out that the Great House given the responsibility of dealing with technology is using eth ammuin to gain the knowledge of the Deep Language. So now she has to rescue him. Then she finds out that the planet is under interdict and is going to be destroyed so she and eth ammuin team up. They save the planet, Elyth realizes how shallow the First House’s knowledge really is and decides to go her own way.
I went into this book with some huge reservations. Posey had abandoned writing his Outriders series in favor of starting this. I also didn’t realize this was a start of a new series and thought it was a standalone. It works well as a standalone but it isn’t. I have to ask myself, why should I trust him to finish this series when he’s already shown he’s more than willing to stop writing a series just because he feels like it?
On the other hand, this is the same author who wrote the Legends of the Duskwalker trilogy that absolutely blew me away.
Unfortunately, my reservations held more true than my cautious optimism. There was nothing “wrong” with this book but it was slow and I felt like I was reading about a space ninja experiencing satori for the first time. I’ll get into that in the next paragraph. While I was reading this I kept having flashbacks to Way-Farer and not in a good way. Way-Farer was good rousing fun that has kept me entertained several times and every time I simply tear through it. This? This was not rousing fun. It was plodding and I didn’t tear through anything. In fact, the 300 pages felt at least double that, if not a bit more. The philosophizing that was interesting but shallow in Way-Farer here is explored in depth and in all seriousness, like Posey felt he had some message to convey. It was ludicrous.
That exploring of transcendentalism’ish and satori and eastern thought wouldn’t necessarily been a bad thing but the first thing after the book is done, in the author’s afterward, is him thanking Jesus. Eastern thought and Christianity are utterly opposed at the basic level. While people continue to try to meld them in various ways, the only way it works is if you butcher what the Bible teaches about the very nature of God Himself and Jesus. It’s not that I’m opposed to Christians writing about things they don’t believe in, but the studied seriousness that Posey gave in this book, while proclaiming Christ, was disturbing.
I realize I’ve been pretty harsh and yet still given this 3 stars. I did enjoy reading the story, with all the issues mentioned continually impinging on me and I didn’t think it was bad writing at all. It just wasn’t up to the level of story telling that I fell in love with in Legends of the Duskwalker.
I think I’ll be passing on any more of these Ascendance books and wait and hope that Posey eventually goes back and finishes up the Outriders. I can wait, I’ve got plenty of books in my tbr.