PLOT: 4/5

For all the science-fiction readers out there, author Sadhna Shanker, through her latest book Ascendance, brings to you a world where the whole setting is foreign and the population segregation bizarre.

Set in a location in outer space, the men and women form the antagonistic species that inhabit this planet called Elone in complete isolation from one other. Here, the planet’s name seems to be a play of word ~Elone~ that is, being alone in an electronically powered system.

And, that is actually what the book is based on – a World where there is a boundary between men and women that hinders free interaction between the two sexes. It is a place where men and women do not need each other for copulation and reproduction. These species lives separately and are ignorant of each other’s existence. Thus, Divergence or Variation from the dominant social structure is one of the matters worked on the book.

This system is threatened when a woman is believed to be taken by Men on the other side of the Fence. The base of Ascendance is based on who has done this crime and if it will lead to a devastation parallel to the one Earth faced several years ago.

Initially, I was unable to understand the situation, which changed gradually as Maya’s story proceeded. One mistake I do not want other readers to commit like me is to go through the book without looking at the glossary in the end section of the book. So, I request all the interested readers to please consult the glossary if you find a word or concept alien to you.

Let me tell you that on this planet “taken” means death and “creation” is birth or a newborn. I found these use of terminologies like the Fence, Zac or Nex or even numberings like “Chronicle – ii, Page nz23” as well as the utilisation of the “Tag” intriguing that contributes to the sense of being in an alternate world order. Although I must add that I can see the way our World is going towards the way a Tag works.

About the characters, other than that of Maya and Aryan, no other characters showcase unique attributes whose absence was much felt. Also, although the storyline gripped me right from the beginning as the author presented the Women’s world, I missed a better insight into the domain of the Men.

Ascendance relies more on philosophical evaluation rather than action-packed occasions. It has a whodunit factor that answered to the thirst for mystery in me but the book encourages more on perceiving the world and its subject, where you can’t help but compare Elone to our Earth sooner than later.

Mostly, I find Sci-fis to be based on time travels, extra-terrestrial monster attacks or maybe alien invasion. So, I was curious as to how the author promulgates her unique concept. I liked the premise of Ascendance as well as the cover and overall build of the book. The buttery touch of the covers is an added bonus in the whole package.

According to the author, Ascendance is not a tale of the dystopian world order but represents a perceived possibility of the future of the people of Earth. The readers have to read and decide how far that statement is true.

Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of “Ascendance” using the link below.