Book Review | Ascension by Oliver Harris

Title: Ascension

Author: Oliver Harris

Publisher: Little Brown

Release Date: 1st July 2021

Source: NetGalley
Ascension: the most remote island in the world...

Elliot Kane: former spy, trying to leave the world of espionage behind.
Kathryn Taylor: a stalled career in MI6, running the South Atlantic desk.
Rory Bannatyne: covert technical specialist. Dead, apparently of suicide.

Three friends from a mission many years ago reconnect when one of them dies on Ascension Island. Rory Bannatyne had been tasked with tapping a new transatlantic data cable, but a day before he was due to return home he is found hanged. When Kathryn Taylor begs Kane to go over and investigate, he can't say no, but it's an uneasy reintroduction to the intelligence game.

Ascension is a curious legacy of England's imperial past. Only employees and their families are allowed to live there. It's home to several highly-classified government projects, a British and American military base, and forty dead volcanic cones. Entirely isolated from the world, the disappearance of a young girl at the same time as Rory's death means local tensions are high. Elliot needs to discover what happened to her as well as to Rory. But the island contains more secrets than even the government knows, and it's not going to give them up without a fight.
I have a thing for remote islands, there is something wonderfully fascinating about them.  This book is set on an island called Ascension, a legacy of the days of the British Empire and it is located in the middle of nowhere in the South Atlantic.  

The story follows Elliot Kane, a former undercover operative who is trying to leave his spying days behind him and Kathryn Taylor, head of MI6's South Atlantic division.  They worked together many years ago with a man called Rory Bannatyne and he has just turned up dead.

His death has been ruled a suicide but as he was deep uncover on the aforementioned Ascension Island, Kathryn wants Elliot to go there and find out if this was the case or if there was foul play involved.  The island may be in the middle of nowhere but it is a hub of technology with both the RAF, USAF and BBC holding court at various parts of the island.  

Rory is also under suspicion due to the disappearance of a local girl who vanished at the same time as his supposed suicide.  Did he kill her or was his cover blown by an unknown enemy?

I really enjoyed this book, it was the perfect thriller with plenty of twists and turns.  You don't know who is up to no good and who is innocent.  My main reason for reading this book was the setting and I loved the remoteness that was conjured up by the author.  All these people sent to this remote rock to carry out their jobs surrounded by extraordinary flora and fauna not to mentioned miles and miles of ocean.

If you are looking for a good easy but thrilling read, this will be for you.

Thank you to NetGalley and Little Brown for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Travels with my Books ‘21
Cloak and Dagger ‘21


  1. This had me at remote island, honestly. And the fact that it's good is a bonus. :) Seriously though- love the sound of this!

  2. I'm not familiar with this, but I like the sound of it. I love stories set in remote locations😁

  3. I like remote island settings as well. It just add to the sinister vibe of the novel.

  4. The remote setting is what intrigues me most about this one.

  5. I'm avoiding thrillers for now, lol. My brain needs a break! :) I'm glad this one was an enjoyable read for you.

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

  6. This sounds pretty intriguing :) I also enjoy remote islands! Great review of Ascension!

    Happy reading!
    -Megan @ Bookstacks & Golden Moms

  7. This seems like a good, easy thriller!


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