Leonor has been chosen as one of twelve young astronauts to take part in the Genesis programme. There are six girls and six boys, in two separate bays of a single spaceship, journeying on a one-way trip to Mars. They are also contenders in a televised space speed-dating show, which aims to create the first human colony on the red planet. The astronauts have six minutes each week to find their perfect partner for a lifetime together on Mars. But what seems to be a dream could easily turn into a nightmare.
The first book in a trilogy that has been translated from French, Ascension is full of twists and turns. It is like a sci-fi Love Island and is packed full of interesting ideas, including the secrets that each of the young astronauts hide. The author has created a compelling hero in Leonor, illustrating her insecurities and motivations.
As the first book in the series, there is still a lot unanswered so it will be interesting to see how successfully the story pans out. Some parts of the dialogue feel a bit clunky, with too much exposition, but this might be due to the translation. Ascension is a page-turner that will leave the reader eager to find out what happens next.