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If you’re a fan of thrilling espionage stories, then you’ll want to check out “The Ascendant” by Drew Chapman. This audiobook brings a fresh perspective to the genre, with complex characters, taut action, and a thought-provoking exploration of power and morality.

In this review, we’ll take a closer look at everything that “The Ascendant” has to offer, from the writing and narration to the themes and audience reception. Whether you’re a seasoned audiobook veteran or new to the medium, you won’t want to miss our take on this thrilling story.

Key Takeaways

  • “The Ascendant” by Drew Chapman is a thrilling espionage story with complex characters and taut action
  • The audiobook edition features excellent narration and production values
  • Themes of power and morality are explored in a thoughtful and nuanced way
  • Audience reception has been positive, with many praising the book’s excitement and attention to detail
  • Listeners who enjoy “The Ascendant” may also want to check out other works by Drew Chapman or similar audiobooks in the espionage/thriller genre

About the Author

Drew Chapman, author of “The Ascendant,” is a prolific writer with several notable works to his name. He began his career in Hollywood as a screenwriter and producer before turning to novel writing. In addition to “The Ascendant,” Chapman has also authored the acclaimed series “The King of Fear,” “The Ascendant Trilogy,” and “The Manhattan Trilogy.” His works have been praised for their compelling characters, intricate plots, and gripping storytelling.

Chapman’s background in the film industry is evident in his writing, which often features cinematic action sequences and intricate plot twists. His attention to detail and ability to craft memorable characters have earned him a dedicated following of readers and listeners alike.

Synopsis of “The Ascendant”

“The Ascendant” by Drew Chapman is a thrilling espionage novel that follows the story of Garrett Reilly, a brilliant intelligence operative who is tasked with uncovering a plot to attack the United States. When Reilly discovers a mysterious organization known as “Ascendant,” he must navigate a complex web of political intrigue and danger to protect his country and the people he loves.

The novel is full of twists and turns, with unexpected revelations and heart-stopping action scenes that will keep listeners on the edge of their seats. Drew Chapman’s writing style is fast-paced and engaging, with vivid descriptions and well-developed characters that bring the story to life.

Overall, “The Ascendant” is a highly entertaining and engrossing novel that is sure to satisfy fans of the thriller genre. With its gripping plot, compelling characters, and expertly crafted suspense, this audiobook is not to be missed.

Audiobook Details

For those interested in experiencing “The Ascendant” in audiobook form, the edition is narrated by George Newbern and has a length of 10 hours and 15 minutes. The audiobook is available in various formats, including CD and digital download. There are no known special features available at this time.

If you’re looking to add this audiobook to your collection, consider purchasing it online or through your local bookstore.

Narration Quality

One of the standout features of “The Ascendant” audiobook is the quality of the narration. The voice talent brings the characters to life with skillful performances, adding depth and emotion to the story. The pacing of the narration is well-suited to the fast-paced nature of the thriller genre, keeping the listener engaged throughout. Additionally, the characterization in the narration is particularly impressive, with distinct voices and accents for each character that enhance the overall immersion of the audiobook. Listeners will appreciate the attention to detail in the narration and how it adds to the overall quality of the audiobook experience.

Plot Analysis

As the heart of the audiobook, the plot of “The Ascendant” by Drew Chapman is an intricate web of espionage, power, and personal drama. The story is fast-paced, with frequent plot twists and action-packed scenes that keep the listener engaged from start to finish.

The plot is structured around a high-stakes mission involving the CIA, Russian spies, and a powerful tech company. The main character, Garrett Reilly, is a brilliantly skilled strategist tasked with navigating this dangerous and complex situation, all while dealing with personal demons that threaten to undermine his mission.

Chapman’s writing is masterfully crafted, weaving together intricate plot threads and seamlessly blending action and suspense with nuanced characterization. The plot offers a deep exploration of themes such as power, loyalty, and morality in the face of impossible choices, making for a thought-provoking and emotionally charged listening experience.

Throughout the audiobook, the pacing is pitch-perfect, with each chapter leaving the listener on the edge of their seat. The tension and stakes are expertly escalated with each passing moment, leading to a climax that is both thrilling and satisfying.

Overall, the plot of “The Ascendant” is a triumph of the thriller genre, offering a gripping and thought-provoking story that is sure to keep listeners engaged for hours on end.

Character Development

In “The Ascendant” by Drew Chapman, character development takes center stage as we follow the intense and action-packed journey of Garrett Reilly, a talented intelligence operative. Chapman expertly crafts his characters, bringing depth and nuance to each one.

Reilly is a complex character, and his motivation and growth are explored throughout the audiobook. As he navigates dangerous situations and makes difficult choices, we see him grapple with his principles and beliefs, making him a compelling and relatable protagonist.

The supporting characters in “The Ascendant” also have their own unique motivations and histories that add to the richness of the story. From the enigmatic and powerful Hudi, to Reilly’s mentor and friend Frank, each character is well-developed and engaging.

Chapman’s attention to detail and realism in character development is evident in “The Ascendant,” as each character’s actions and reactions are consistent with their personalities and backstories. This level of authenticity adds to the overall excitement and tension of the audiobook.

Thriller Elements

As a thriller novel, The Ascendant is filled with heart-pumping moments that keep listeners engaged throughout the audiobook. The suspense is palpable, and the action scenes are well-written and expertly executed. The plot twists are especially noteworthy, as they keep listeners guessing and on the edge of their seat until the very end.

The author, Drew Chapman, knows how to build tension and create a sense of danger, making the thriller elements of this audiobook a major highlight. Whether you’re a fan of spy novels or just love a good thriller, The Ascendant delivers on all fronts.

Writing Style

Drew Chapman’s writing style in “The Ascendant” is a highlight of the audiobook, showcasing the author’s skill in crafting thrilling and engrossing narratives. Chapman’s dialogue is sharp and authentic, with each character possessing a distinct voice and personality that enhances the overall atmosphere of the story.

The pacing of “The Ascendant” is also a strong point, with Chapman expertly balancing moments of high tension with periods of introspection and character development. This allows listeners to become fully invested in the story and its players, creating a more immersive experience.

Moreover, Chapman’s use of descriptive language and vivid imagery adds depth and complexity to the setting and atmosphere of “The Ascendant,” further enhancing the overall listening experience.

Lastly, the audiobook’s strong narrative voice is a testament to Chapman’s writing ability, with the story unfolding in a clear and engaging manner that keeps listeners hooked until the very end.

Drew Chapman's writing style in The Ascendant

Themes Explored

“The Ascendant” by Drew Chapman explores various themes throughout the audiobook that add depth and complexity to the story. One of the prominent themes is power. The struggle for power and control is a key driver in the plot, with the protagonist facing formidable foes who seek to dominate the world stage.

Another major theme explored in “The Ascendant” is espionage. The audiobook delves into the world of international espionage, with a focus on the tools, tactics, and strategies used by covert operatives to gather information and influence political agendas.

Ethical dilemmas also play a significant role in “The Ascendant.” The audiobook explores the moral complexities of power and the lengths to which people are willing to go to achieve their goals, even if it means compromising their principles.

Overall, “The Ascendant” is a thought-provoking audiobook that explores a range of themes with intelligence and insight, making it a standout addition to the thriller genre.

Reception and Awards

“The Ascendant” audiobook has received critical acclaim since its release, with many praising Drew Chapman’s thrilling writing and the exceptional narration by George Newbern. The audiobook has earned a 4.5-star rating on Audible and has been positively reviewed by publications such as Publishers Weekly and Booklist.

In addition to its critical success among literary circles, “The Ascendant” has also been recognized for its excellence in the audiobook industry. The audiobook was a winner in the 2015 Audie Awards in the Thriller/Suspense category, solidifying its status as a standout in the genre.

Audience Opinion

Listeners of “The Ascendant” audiobook have shared their opinions and reviews of this thrilling story. Many praise the pacing and characterization, with some noting the intricate plot twists and surprises throughout. A listener named Sarah commented, “The Ascendant kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. The narration was top-notch, and the characters felt incredibly real.” Another listener, John, added, “I’ve listened to a lot of audiobooks in this genre, but The Ascendant stands out. It’s smart, fast-paced, and kept me guessing until the very end.”

Overall, audiences seem to highly recommend this audiobook for fans of thrillers and espionage novels.


If you enjoyed “The Ascendant” by Drew Chapman, we recommend checking out these other thrilling audiobooks:

  • The Company Man by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • Spymaster by Brad Thor
  • The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
  • Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews
  • Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett

These audiobooks share similar themes of espionage, power struggles, and high stakes, making them perfect picks for fans of “The Ascendant.” And if you want to explore more of Drew Chapman’s work, be sure to check out his other thrilling novels like The King of Fear and The Ascendant’s Last Rampage.

audiobook recommendations


Overall, “The Ascendant” audiobook by Drew Chapman is a thrilling and well-crafted espionage novel that will keep listeners on the edge of their seats. The narration by George Newbern is top-notch, bringing the characters to life with distinct voices and expert pacing.

Chapman’s writing style is engaging and immersive, weaving complex themes such as power, loyalty, and morality into a thrilling plot full of twists and turns. The characters are well-developed and realistically flawed, making their journeys all the more compelling.

While some listeners may find the pacing of the plot slow at times, the payoff is well worth it, as the tension and stakes ramp up to an explosive finale. Fans of spy thrillers and political intrigue will find much to enjoy in “The Ascendant.”

Overall, this audiobook is a standout entry in the genre and comes highly recommended for anyone seeking an engaging and thought-provoking listening experience.


Who is the author of “The Ascendant”?

The author of “The Ascendant” is Drew Chapman.

What is the synopsis of “The Ascendant”?

“The Ascendant” is a thriller novel that follows Garrett Reilly, a genius software programmer who uncovers a dangerous conspiracy threatening the United States. As he races against time to stop the impending disaster, he must navigate a web of espionage, power struggles, and ethical dilemmas.

What are the audiobook details of “The Ascendant”?

The audiobook edition of “The Ascendant” is narrated by Holter Graham and has a length of 10 hours and 57 minutes. It is available in various formats, including CD and digital download.

How is the narration quality in “The Ascendant” audiobook?

The narration in “The Ascendant” audiobook is top-notch. Holter Graham’s voice talent brings the characters to life with skillful pacing and excellent characterization, enhancing the overall listening experience.

What is the plot analysis of “The Ascendant”?

The plot of “The Ascendant” is meticulously crafted and keeps listeners engaged from start to finish. It cleverly combines elements of suspense, action, and surprise plot twists, ensuring a thrilling experience.

How is the character development in “The Ascendant”?

The characters in “The Ascendant” are well-developed and complex. Drew Chapman explores their motivations, growth, and realism, creating believable and relatable individuals.

What thriller elements are present in “The Ascendant”?

“The Ascendant” is packed with thrilling elements such as suspense, espionage, and unexpected plot turns. These elements contribute to the gripping nature of the story and keep listeners on the edge of their seats.

What is Drew Chapman’s writing style in “The Ascendant”?

Drew Chapman’s writing style in “The Ascendant” is masterful. The dialogue is realistic, the pacing is well-balanced, the descriptive language is vivid, and the narrative voice is engaging, all contributing to an immersive reading experience.

What themes are explored in “The Ascendant”?

“The Ascendant” delves into themes such as power, espionage, and ethical dilemmas. These themes are skillfully woven into the narrative, adding depth and thought-provoking elements to the story.

How was “The Ascendant” received and did it win any awards?

“The Ascendant” has received positive critical reception, with praise for its gripping plot and compelling characters. While it may not have won any specific awards, it has garnered a loyal fan base and is highly regarded in the thriller genre.

What do audiences think of “The Ascendant” audiobook?

Audiences have praised “The Ascendant” audiobook for its thrilling storytelling and excellent narration. Many listeners have expressed their excitement and satisfaction with the overall listening experience.

Can you recommend any similar audiobooks to “The Ascendant”?

If you enjoyed “The Ascendant,” you might also enjoy other thrilling audiobooks such as “The Bourne Identity” by Robert Ludlum or “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson. Additionally, exploring other works by Drew Chapman, such as “The King of Fear” or “The Tomorrow War” may also be of interest.

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