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Ascent
Cover of Ascent
Ascent

Peak Marcello goes to Mayanmar to climb one of the most isolated mountains in the world in this thrilling new novel from bestselling author Roland Smith.

After conquering the mountains in Afghanistan, Peak Marcello goes to Myanmar, a country that has been in the grips of a brutal military regime for more than fifty years, to visit Alessia. When he's invited to climb Hkakabo Razi, one of the most isolated mountains in the world, Peak can't pass up the opportunity. But getting to the mountain will involve a four-week trek through tropical rainforests rife with hazards—from venomous reptiles and leeches to corrupt police and military. In the end, summiting Hkakabo Razi may be the easiest thing Peak does.

Peak Marcello goes to Mayanmar to climb one of the most isolated mountains in the world in this thrilling new novel from bestselling author Roland Smith.

After conquering the mountains in Afghanistan, Peak Marcello goes to Myanmar, a country that has been in the grips of a brutal military regime for more than fifty years, to visit Alessia. When he's invited to climb Hkakabo Razi, one of the most isolated mountains in the world, Peak can't pass up the opportunity. But getting to the mountain will involve a four-week trek through tropical rainforests rife with hazards—from venomous reptiles and leeches to corrupt police and military. In the end, summiting Hkakabo Razi may be the easiest thing Peak does.

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  • Kirkus

    March 1, 2018
    Peak Marcello and his friends Alessia and Ethan are eager to put their ill-fated climbing expedition in the Pamir Mountains behind them as they plan to summit Burma's highest mountain, Hkakabo Razi.Before they get there, however, Peak and his friends endure a trek through harsh tropical rainforests, encounter the military police, and even help repair a broken rope bridge. As they weather complex and dangerous situations, the young climbers learn that their previous guide, the mahout Lwin, has murdered a girl and is on the run. The narrative is fast-paced and filled with extreme outdoor adventure, and the details about mountain climbing are both thorough and interesting. Although some characters are diverse (Alessia is French, and the climbers' botanist friend and guide, Nick, is biracial Burmese and British), the narrative employs a primarily Western and androcentric worldview. For instance, Peak refuses to wear a lungi, the traditional male saronglike garment, despite how well-adapted it is for the sweltering heat of the rainforest, instead making a derogatory comment about skirts. The one-dimensionality of the characters and the assumption that readers will be familiar with situations and characters from the preceding books in the series render the novel discordant at times.An absorbing wilderness story that falls flat in characterization. (Adventure. 12-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2018

    Gr 6 Up-Mountain climbing is the last thing on Peak Marcello's mind when he travels to Myanmar, Burma, where his girlfriend's mother is a diplomat. His plans for tropical rest and relaxation are quickly dispelled when Alessia and her ex-Marine bodyguard, Ethan, suggest they trek to Hkakabo Razi, a mountain in northern Burma that needs an official GPS height measurement. The adventure-seeking teens last survived a tempestuous climb and kidnapping incident in the Pamir mountains of Afghanistan in The Edge. Navigating through dense rainforest and encountering insects, a tiger, and perilous suspension bridges is daunting enough, but the trio is shaken down by unscrupulous police and stalked by a murderous porter they had fired. Just as Peak decides to call it quits, a climbing and spiritual mentor appears from his first climb in Peak. Smith's reliable attention to the culture, politics, and environmental habitat of his settings is engaging and integral to the action. Characterization of most of the protagonists continue to be layered. Zopa, the Tibetan monk who has appeared in previous volumes with fuller characterization, arrives suddenly and helps lead the way in this outing. The character's mystical attributes in this episode feel underdeveloped and clichéd. Details about Hkakabo Razi, flora and fauna, and climbing techniques will appeal to science and sports buffs alike. VERDICT Purchase where adventure-survival tales and Smith's previous volumes are popular.-Vicki Reutter, State University of New York at Cortland

    Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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