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The Ascension Machine
The Ascension Machine

The Ascension Machine

Justice Academy


308 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB

Trade Paper, $16.95 (US $16.95) (CA $22.95)

Publication Date: September 2020

ISBN 9781951122089

Rights: WOR

Artemesia Publishing, LLC (Sep 2020)
Shadow Dragon Press


eBook Editions Available

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Price: $16.95


If he is to succeed, or even survive, Grey must decide who he is, and does he want to be a superhero?

For many, college is where they find out who they truly are. At the Justice Academy, a college for superheroes from species across the galaxy, the question of identity is even more important. For teenage grifter Grey, things are further complicated because his identity belongs to someone else. Grey lived a life drifting aimlessly between the space stations of the galaxy running petty scams to get by, self-sufficient and alone. But at the Academy he finds friends, and a place where perhaps he can belong, if only it wasn’t all based on a lie. Grey’s life impersonating Mirabor Gravane is made more difficult, when Gravane’s mother sends her “son” on a mission to a world gripped by organised crime. Grey recruits fellow students for the mission, and it takes the biggest of lies to save the day: he must convince the local crime families that he is their equal and set a trap for them. When the real Mirabor Gravane is kidnapped, Grey must confess all to his friends.


"What begins as a short-term space con spirals into a galaxywide adventure. While hustling a few credits for his next meal, an unnamed 17-year-old narrator is offered a deal: briefly impersonate Mirabor Gravane so he can live free of his famous family’s restrictive expectations. Newly dubbed Grey, the narrator arrives planetside at Justice Academy and embarks on a curriculum of superhero classes, gathering a motley crew of multispecies friends: Seventhirtyfour, a four-armed Brontom; Pilvi, a human plant expert; tech genius Gadget Dude; reptilian Dez; and winged Avrim. Trust, friendship, and having a place to belong are discussed even as Grey hides the truth of his identity from his new friends. During convoluted, risky missions, what makes a superhero truly a hero: powers, technology or just the right knowledge for the situation? The skills Grey brings as a charismatic human who lacks superpowers but excels at strategic thinking are depicted plainly and directly. One major reveal will likely be spotted by readers well in advance and only Grey, Seventhirtyfour, and Pilvi receive much character development; action sequences, mysterious capers, and somewhat cinematic battles take the forefront. The human characters seem to be white by default; the rest of the main cast is alien. An entertaining and action-packed journey that will appeal to Marvel and DC comics fans." —Kirkus Reviews

"The Ascension Machine is a fun and very enjoyable book. Edwards clearly had fun writing it. The characters are engaging, the story doesn’t get too bogged down in jargon or plot, and it’s just a fun read that leaves you with a smile on your face." —Alex C. Telander, Manhattan Book Review

Author Biography

Rob Edwards is a British born writer and podcaster, currently living in Finland. He was brought up on classic sci fi and comic books, JRR Tolkien, and games. His podcast, StorycastRob, features readings from his short stories and extracts from longer works. His stories can also be found in anthologies from Inklings Press, the Sci-fi Roundtable, the superhero anthology Somebody, Save Me!, and in the Word Count Podcast.