The Ascendant Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Ascendant

A Wall Street broker becomes the most important person in America when he uncovers a Chinese plot to destroy America. Garrett Reilly isn't just a smart Wall Street broker, he's a man who sees numbers and patterns no one else can see. When he spots a series of secretive transactions that could cripple the Stock Market, he traces them to China. His discovery helps set in motion events that will come close to crippling the world economy. As it turns out, this Wall Street manipulation isn't the only economic event the Chinese seem to be triggering. They're selling off assets at a loss to create panics in real estate and art and hackers are creating havoc at all levels of the U.S. economy.
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General Kline has worried about the scenario for years and has been looking for someone to put together a secretive task force that could win an upcoming cyber war. He thinks Reilly is the perfect man, but Reilly resists until his mentor is killed in a mysterious explosion. Reilly is difficult to work with and can be a jerk. But he quickly assembles a small team of hackers and economic experts and they begin making moves they hope will distract the Chinese. Reilly realizes that China is doing this out of fear, but he's not sure of the cause. It turns out that, unknown to the rest of the world, a protest movement in China began by a widow nicknamed "The Tiger" is gaining strength. Chinese leaders need a war to distract the population from this movement.

And China has a pretty good chance of winning. Five years ago they kidnapped the world's leading weapons maker and his family off the streets of Washington D.C. They've been holding the family hostage in North Korea while Dad is forced to develop a new line of weapons at a secret base in China.

Reilly discovers the plot and while he and his team try and stop the Chinese cyberwar, the President authorizes a rescue for the family. Once they've been saved, a team is dispatched to the Chinese base to destroy the weapons and retrieve the father. After a fierce battle they manage to do so and before China can retaliate, they're facing a bigger problem: Reilly and his team have made a contact with "The Tiger" and they use their talents to introduce her to all of China. That sparks off a near civil war and forces China to stop their attacks and focus on the future. Reilly and his team are safe, but odds are they'll be needed in the future to battle some upcoming challenge.
Best part of story, including ending: It was a really clever plot and it made the classic "cyber war with China" really seem believable. I love the many twists and turns and this was a book that I didn't have figured out until the very end.

Best scene in story: The best scene of the book was the one in which the normally gruff and rude Garrett Riley mourned the death of his mentor and arguably the only real friend he had in the world. It showed a different side of Reilly, although he's never going to be the touchy-feely kind of guy.

Opinion about the main character: I loved everything about Garrett Riley. He's rude and calling him a jerk puts the best spin on his behavior. But for all of his arrogance and drive, he also has compassion and a connection to his team.

The review of this Book prepared by Rick Ellis a Level 4 Yellow-Headed Blackbird scholar

Chapter Analysis of The Ascendant

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 30%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 10%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   near future Spying/Terrorism Thriller    -   Yes Cloak & Dagger Plotlets:    -   computer crime Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Who's the terrorist enemy here?    -   Chinese! Search for technology?    -   computers

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   business executive Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Mid-Atlantic states Asia/Pacific    -   Yes Asian country:    -   China

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Drew Chapman Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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