Friday, May 19, 2017

ASP of ascension - BR Myers

Author                        BR Myers
Publication Date      16 May 2017 
Genre                         Young Adult Mythology 
                                    Mystery Romance 

Nefertari “Terry” Hughes has three rules for surviving high school:

#1 Don’t attract attention.
#2 Don’t get involved.
#3 Don’t make trouble.

A year after the accident that left her crippled and took her mother’s life, sixteen-year-old Terry just wants to keep her head down and survive her new high school. When she catches the eye of cute basketball star Zach — who happens to be the boyfriend of mean girl Allison — all hopes of flying under the radar are gone.

She is thrust even further in the spotlight when Fraser, the editor of the school newspaper, learns Mr. Hughes is the renowned archaeologist overseeing the new Egyptian display at the museum, which is rumoured to include Cleopatra’s sarcophagus. Fraser’s research leads to the fifty-year-old mystery of a girl who vanished while on a school trip to to the museum along with an artifact that may be Cleopatra’s asp.

When Mr. Hughes falls into a coma and his co-worker claims it’s the curse of Cleopatra, the stakes become too high for Terry to ignore. Terry must work with Fraser and her new candy loving friend Maude to find out what happened fifty years ago in hopes of saving her father before time runs out.

Rated T - Teen 13 and up: May contain violence, crude humour, suggestive themes and/or strong language.

ASP of ascension is a fascinating rendition of Cleopatra and the curse associated with her asp. It focuses on the trials and tribulations of students' lives in High School. 

Nefertari who prefers to be called Terry is a sixteen year old trying to adjust to her new school. She has spent most of her life travelling with her archaeologist parents until the fatal accident where she lost her mother and she herself sustained severe injuries. 

After the discovery of their last excavation, Terry's father has been invited to organise an exhibition in a small town. The results of her injuries have left her with lack of confidence and she is trying hard to stay "invisible". Her father being a famous archaeologist makes it even harder as her history classes just happens to have Cleopatra as the next project. 

She teams up with Maude, a colourful character and Zach the basketball star. They are both impressed at her knowledge of the subject and Zach finds himself drawn to her. The problem? His girlfriend, Allison is the nasty queen bee and a bully. When she focuses on a target, she comes up with the worse possible methods of humiliation! 

Fraser, the school journalist approaches her for a scoop on the rumoured Cleopatra's discovery and here begins the most unexpected investigations. They are faced with an unsolved fifty years old case of a student's disappearance. The more they delve in, the more mysteries are uncovered. Terry is tasked to find the asp which is not a priority until her father goes into an inexplicable coma. She is led to believe that finding the asp is the answer to his recovery. It's a dangerous task. 

Fraser and Maude get involved in her quest and what they uncover can't be ignored. Somehow what happened fifty years ago could be linked to the present situation. This leads to a beautiful friendship between the three of them. Zach doesn't hide his attraction for Terry and when she discovers that he too, faces his own struggles, she is more than supportive. 

The plot is very well orchestrated. It's very difficult to know who are friends or enemies. It's amazing at how far some would go for the greed of power. The bullies take extreme delight in demeaning their victims. The unravelling of the mysteries is intriguing and fascinating. The characters are plausible. Overall, it's a well paced and compelling mythological and historical story with a supernatural twist, romance, rivalry, jealousy, cruelty and danger. This young adult novel would appeal to readers of all ages. 

I was kindly issued with an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley and the views expressed are my personal opinion. 

Always in the mood for a good scare, B.R. Myers spent most of her teen years behind the covers of Lois Duncan, Ray Bradbury, and Stephen King. Her YA contemporary coming of age novel, GIRL ON THE RUN, was chosen by the Canadian Children's Book Centre as a BEST BOOK for TEENS for 2016. 

When she's not putting her characters in awkward situations, she works as a registered nurse. A member of the Writer's Federation of Nova Scotia, she lives in Halifax with her husband and two children—and there is still a stack of books on her bedside table.

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