The Ascendant, by Drew Chapman
When we wake up in the morning and see ourselves in the mirror, how many of us can look ourselves in the eye and tell ourselves that we are truly, undoubtedly, being used to the fullest of our potential? Garrett Reilly, the protagonist, would probably say that to himself at the start of the book, but he would be mistaken. Garrett works on Wall Street as, usually, a very high bond analyst that likes to get into bar fights and generally get under other peoples skin. To be fair to Garrett though, the boy is brilliant, it’s just we see that at the start of the book Garrett is a young boy who is through and through just looking to make some money. So when Garrett brings evidence to his boss that two hundred billion dollars of US treasury is being leaked onto the stock market, Garrett thinks the best thing to do would be short the dollar on the market, and to get ready to make a fortune. Garrett’s boss, Avery, who was also Garrett’s former Yale college professor, takes the moral high ground and contacts the U.S. Treasury with this development. When they find out about this development naturally Avery has to tell them that his young prodigy was the one to discover the pattern in the stock market, which leads to the Government trying to recruit Garrett Reilly to work for them and find out what is going on with this leak of US treasury.
Through and through I’ll say that this book is a thriller. The only thing I would say is that most of the scenes we see in thrillers with epic fire fights breaking out, or a bomb that’s going to go off, is replaced with a more realistic and modern type of fire fight, and that’s cyber warfare. We see very early that someone, or some organization, from China is waging cyber warfare on the U.S. The reason isn’t clear, but I think it is a more realistic way to fight between the western superpower, the U.S, and the rising superpower of the east, China. I did think one of the more interesting parts of this book was all the background information that you get about the China’s past, and how it came to become a communist party, and then how it became the machine it is today. I personally, as I’m sure many others, don’t know much about China, so it was interesting to learn some facts about the country that is so closely tied to us, but is still so different.
I’ll say that the readers that will enjoy this type of book will be the one’s that love technology and the thought of cyber warfare, who aren’t sure how much to trust any government, that see homeland security as a bunch of thugs, who like a touch of romance, and those who enjoy a classic hero’s journey type of story. I think every book has an audience, and if a underground war between China and the U.S., that seems to want to break out into a full fledged hot war, sounds like a book you’ll enjoy, definitely pick up the hard cover for twenty bucks, or the kindle edition for a low eight dollars.