Six girls, six boys.
Each in the two separate bays of a single spaceship. They have six minutes each week to seduce and to make their choices, under the unblinking eye of the on-board cameras. They are the contenders in the Genesis programme, the world's craziest speed-dating show ever, aimed at creating the first human colony on Mars.
Leonor, an 18 year old orphan, is one of the chosen ones. She has signed up for glory. She has signed up for love. She has signed up for a one-way ticket. Even if the dream turns to a nightmare, it is too late for regrets.
Nothing is as it seems on this most ambitious of reality television programmes and each contestant is hiding a secret. For Leonor, it is the scarring from a fire which nearly killed her as a child and which she is desperate to hide from the others. But there are far worse secrets being kept by those in charge of the Genesis Programme who will do anything to protect themselves…
Victor Dixen has sculpted an incredibly well researched, plausible world for his novels. Each idea is carefully laid out and explained, often using diagrams and illustrations to support concepts. As someone who has no idea about the science behind any of these things, it reads convincingly, adding to the reality of the world Dixen has created. For those in the know, there might be more questions or dispute, but to me it reads like a great story! Having heard Victor speak at the South Ken Kids Fest this year, his interest in and knowledge about these things was evident!
The novel is well composed and the chapters are labelled ‘Shot’, ‘Out of Shot’ and ‘Reverse Shot’ depending on the viewpoint of the action. The characters are well developed and intriguing and this range of perspectives allows interesting comparisons and contrasts about motivation and reaction.
‘Ascension’ is a compelling novel, full of unexpected twists and turns and the sequel, ‘Distortion’, continues in the same vein. Dixen’s writing lulls the reader into a false sense of knowing what to expect before turning everything on its head and leaving you stunned. The third book, ‘Collision’ is out early next year and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.
Mixing love story, science fiction, treachery, deception and adventure, the ‘Phobos’ novels are perfect for older readers.
Ascension Victor Dixen
Hot Key Books ISBN: 978-1471406843
Distortion Victor Dixen
Hot Key Books ISBN: 978-1471407062
Collision Victor Dixen
Hot Key Books ISBN: 978-1471407239 (Out April 18th 2019 according to Amazon)