The God of War Returns

The Ascension is both a sequel and a prequel. It’s the follow-up to last year’s Super Human novel, and provides (some) history pertaining to the author’s Quantum Prophecy trilogy. In other words, it’s a book for existing readers and not the kind of thing you would pick up on a whim at your friendly neighborhood bookstore.

But despite it’s awkward continuity, the novel is not an impenetrable mess. Quite the contrary. There’s some tidy recapping (a snappy one-paragraph synopsis of the first novel is provided on page 55, and that’s all you really need), and each of the teen superheroes is smartly reintroduced to the reader. If you’re new to the Super Human/Quantum Prophecy universe, you will undoubtedly miss out on the big picture. That’s unavoidable. The author, however, has worked overtime to accommodate newbies. And he’s delivered a nice chunk of story that will assuredly please everyone.

Because of a time-traveling hiccup, Krodin has returned. “We didn’t defeat him,” says a dejected super teen. And he’s right. All they did was get rid of him for a brief moment. Five thousand years ago Krodin was the undisputed king of the world. Now he’s been teleported to the 21st century. And guess what? He’s still suffering from megalomaniacal fever.

First, he turns Alaska into a radioactive wasteland. Second, he murders every super human he can find. And third, he convinces the President that terrorists are responsible for all the devastating carnage. It doesn’t take long for the Fifth King and his Praetorian pals to put the United States in lockdown. Next up: the rest of the world.

Like all nut jobs, Krodin has a unique perspective in life. What he’s doing, he explains, is beyond evil. “I am a force of nature. You can’t blame a hurricane for destroying a village, or a flood for wiping out crops.”

And that, without spoiling too much, gives the surviving super kids an idea. How do you defeat a hurricane or a flood? If Krodin is a one-man weapon of worldly destruction, somebody needs to find a weapon of otherworldly destruction to defeat him. And sure enough, somebody does. Once again old man Krodin gets whomped. The final twist is cleverly apropos for someone with the title “God of War” on his five-millennia-old resume.

[The Ascension: A Super Human Clash / By Michael Carroll / First Printing: June 2011 / ISBN: 9780399256240]

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