The Lit Series - Book 2

Fiction - Horror
344 Pages
Reviewed on 06/28/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Mark Anthony is from Western Australia. He lives with his 9 year old son and his husband in the most isolated capital city in the world, Perth. A Cancer nurse by profession, Mark Anthony wrote LIT during the COVID lockdowns of 2020. This has since led to the 5 star reviewed sequel, LIT - ASCENT, with the next book in the series due to arrive before Christmas 2023.

With a passion for macabre stories, terrifying suspense and well rounded characters, Mark Anthony commits to producing unsettling worlds where true evil resides in the recesses of humankind.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Parul Sood for Readers' Favorite

Ascent, the second book in Mark Anthony's Lit trilogy, delves deeper into the intriguing world where humans are plagued by demonic entities known as Leviathans. Building on the foundation set in the first book, Ascent takes readers on a thrilling journey as the boundaries between the nightmare realm and the real world blur. In this installment, protagonists Ellie, Josh, and Sam grapple with their demons while navigating an expanding world with others who share their affliction. As their circle of Conduits grows, they must confront their inner darkness and learn to coexist with the monstrous entities attached to them.

In Ascent, Mark Anthony expertly crafts a story that continuously builds in intensity. The merging of the nightmarish realm with the everyday world generates a sense of looming danger and raises the stakes for the main characters. This suspenseful narrative captivates readers eager to unveil the mysteries hidden in the darkness. Character development is a standout feature in Ascent. The story adopts a character-driven approach, delving into how these unseen sinister forces shape the characters' lives and minds. Ascent introduces new laws and rules within the Lit series, offering a more profound comprehension of the supernatural elements at work. The author's vibrant descriptions and meticulous attention to detail immerse readers in a dark and eerie atmosphere, bringing the world to life. Ascent serves as a gripping continuation of the Lit trilogy, with Mark Anthony skillfully weaving a tale that delves into the complexities of human nature when faced with hidden malevolence.

Rabia Tanveer

Ascent is the second novel in The Lit Series by Mark Anthony. The lives of Sam, Josh, and Ellie were getting more complicated. The shadows were getting more dangerous as the Leviathans became bolder and more powerful. Josh was trying his best to live his life despite being inflicted, Ellie was fighting the dangers surrounding her, and Sam was out for revenge. While the other two were more or less trying to ignore the dangers, Sam was looking for ways to get back at the Leviathans who had destroyed all of their lives. While the three of them struggled, Mike was thriving. He was looking for the ultimate evil, and it might not be long before something far eviler and more terrifying emerged from the shadows. As the Leviathans closed in, a new evil was ready to haunt them and the humans to get what they wanted.

I do not recommend reading Ascent at night, but I highly recommend you read it. It was bone-chilling at times and is the perfect paranormal novel to read over the weekend. It isn’t horror per se; it is more suspense, and I loved that. I felt terrible for Ellie. I felt like she was the one who struggled the most with her predicament. Josh was pretty much trying to ignore it all, but Sam was the one that commands the attention of readers. He was fighting tooth and nail for his freedom and to get revenge for what his life had become. Mika, on the other hand, was lost to the darkness and thrived in it. His arc was the most interesting even though he was the antagonist. Mark Anthony's narrative style was fantastic. The descriptions were realistic, the pace was fast, and the characters were interesting. The imagery blew me away, and the overall feel of the story was fantastic. The world-building was out of this world, and I cannot praise it enough!

K.C. Finn

Ascent is a work of fiction in the paranormal, dark fantasy, and adventure subgenres, and forms the second novel of The Lit Series. The work is best suited to mature adult readers owing to the presence of graphic violence and explicit language throughout. Penned by author Mark Anthony, we pick up the action right where book one left off, with the Circle disbanded and our three central figures reeling from the damage done to them and the horrors and trials of the journey ahead. As Sam begins a dangerous quest for knowledge on the dark forces and Leviathans that cause unspeakable damage to him, Josh, Ellie, and the world beyond, another sinister threat is already brewing in the shadows.

Author Mark Anthony writes with a passion for dark suspense and chilling moments, and that enthusiasm seeps into every atmospheric corner of this action-packed and utterly chilling read. I loved the initial concept of the Leviathans and their need for Conduits, and it can be a hard thing to expand on that and amp up the danger for a mid-trilogy book, but I felt that the new ideas building onto the existing world lore were suitably dangerous and very high stakes indeed. I loved the dialogue work and narrative presentation put into Mika and his dark quest, in stark contrast to characters like Ellie, who are just trying to survive. Overall, fans of an ensemble cast and a sweeping, cinematic paranormal style will be sure to adore Ascent and the Lit Trilogy in general, and I for one, can’t wait to see how it ends.

Sarah Warrior Princess

Ascent, the second book of the Lit trilogy by Mark Anthony, takes us back into the reeling lives of Ellie, Sam and Josh. Josh goes to stay with family and struggles with his frustrations and to contain his Monster Dog. The relationship between Ellie and Josh, and the developing circumstances with Josh's family, were anxiety-provoking and emotive. Josh meets a man who links into the paranormal dark world and adds another mystical layer of depth to the saga.

Sam comes to the forefront in Ascent, embarking on a journey that uncovers the ancient lineage of Conduits and Leviathans and the rules that govern the interactions of the two worlds. Sam's journey reveals some deliciously evil characters and realm of Conduits and Devotees. Mika, a Conduit with a bloodthirsty desire for power, threatens the existence that Sam, Ellie and Josh have built around themselves. Deliberate changes are made in the fabric that weaves the two dimensions together, and there is a crescendo of plot lines racing to meet each other. The levels of complexity in the characters and story line cannot be understated.

In complete justice to the genre, the horror scenes were next-level frightening and impressively creative. I found myself shamefully excited when another torture-filled scene arrived. The combination of psychological thrill and inescapable gore heightened the suspense, and made for such a nail-biting experience. New fears unlocked!

The story exploded into action from every angle, every chapter drew me deeper in and kept me completely riveted, The alignment of vulnerability, desperation, strength and humanity that was thread in Anthony's first book Lit, continued through in Ascent, expanding into unpredictable territory that absolutely complimented the story. Another masterful roller-coaster I have to steady myself from. I cannot wait for the final book of the trilogy.