Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: I’d never exactly wanted a reputation-I’d spent most of my life trying to fade into the background of almost every situation I as in-but apparently, despite my best efforts, secured one for myself. Fortitude Scott-Holy Shit, We’re Glad You’re Not Your Sister.
Humor and horror go hand in hand as our favorite slacker, vegan, socially conscious, almost vampire is back and once again challenging the status quo in between keeping his girlfriend from stealing his car and stopping his psychotic sister from engaging in a murderous free for all. Add in his impending transition and a group of supernaturals who are all looking to him for help as his mother’s health begins to fail and Fort will find that sometimes letting go of the past can bring the future into much sharper focus.
I am a huge fan of Brennan’s noir comedic Generation V series; mostly due to the protagonist-Fortitude Scott. From our introduction to Fort in book one, Generation V, Brennan has allowed her baby vamp to grow at a realistic and comfortable rate as he attempts to maintain his humanity in the face of his transition to full fledged vampire. The youngest of three, Fort is the most modern of his siblings. Socially conscientious, Fort makes a stand anyway he can from his eating habits to his stubbornness in joining the family business. Having learned the hard way that his transition is going forward regardless of what he wants, Fort has made some changes in the way he handles things. Though his innocence is being slowly taken from him; his sincerity and desire to help people is still a driving need in him.
“We live in America, and it’s time for a motherfucking democracy.”
Dark Ascension is a turning point for not only the series but for Fort himself. The Scott family still remains a strong central focus but instead of the usual action fueled main conflict that normally absorbs a large part of the storyline, there are a multitude of smaller more subdued subplots that all serve as foreshadow for the major changes occurring to Fort and his family. Brennan uses this book to address the political aspects of story and transition us into the new arc. Fort has inadvertently become the “go to guy” for those in the Scott territory in need of help. Madeline has let some things slide and the consequences are just becoming known. Fort not only surprises his siblings with his insistence in fixing these issues to benefit everyone, but also those whom have become his allies and friends.
The Scott household is in disarray as Madeline Scott has taken a turn for the worse, prempting the need for some serious changes. The first being to name her successor. Only Madeline refuses to do so and asks instead that all three of the Scott siblings rule together.
“Only with this is there a chance you will all stay together, to gain strength through each other, to advise and guide.”
Chivalry, Prudence, and Fort make a valiant effort to try to work together addressing the various issues that have come to a head concerning events in their territory, but the extreme age and personality differences only do more to highlight the schism that exists between them all. Humor reigns supreme as they discuss the territory and the various requests that are being made-especially concerning a group of succubuses who have moved illegally in the Scott territory for protection. Fort is determined to drag his family into the 21st century while Prudence considers murder an acceptable answer to any problem and Chivalry is still basking in the honeymoon glow of his recent marriage. Their love for one another is evident…it’s just buried under many, many layers of sarcasm, disgust, and disinterest.
“Are we going to be able to take bathroom breaks?”
His relationship with his kitsune girlfriend, Suzume, also weathers some changes when Fort challenges the parameters set and makes some demands of his own. When she does something causes him to question their relationship, he’s quick to confront her and we see the true depth of their feelings for one another. No longer content to be led around by the nose anymore, he wants a commitment from Suzume that goes beyond her “bodyguard” services. This attitude is a far cry from when we first met him. Suzume rises to the challenge and confirms her feelings for Fort, expressing her concern for the chances he’s taking and the path he’s currently going down. She has lived in this world for far longer and knows if Fort doesn’t toughen up and accept who and what he is, he’s only going to get himself hurt.
“I don’t want you to change, Fort, I’m not trying to nag you into not caring…I just don’t want you to end up like a marshmallow Peep in the microwave of the world.”
Per usual, the ending comes at us fast in a shocking domino effect as all the subplots come together to force the Scott family into a position that could bode ill for Fort and his allies in the future. I like the direction Brennan has taken; once again refusing to bend to the norms of this particular genre. My only qualms were I would have enjoyed more time spent on Fort’s transition as it is an important aspect of the series and there was a fair bit of repetition in this installment that was absent from the others. Regardless, Generation V continues to entertain and this reviewer is more than anxious to see where Fort will go from here.
“The future is what we make it.”
Overall Rating: B