The Lotus Effect (Rise of the Ardent #1)

The Lotus Effect


An improbable partnership. An unforgettable love.

Lily Emerson, daughter of the Head of Council and Mistress of Science, has lived a privileged life. It’s Lily’s 18th nameday, the day she is to follow in her mother’s footsteps, becoming the next Mistress of Science—the most powerful woman in all of City Prosper. The Architect and designer of Prosper’s future.

During the night of her Coronation, the corruption of the Council spreads before her . . . opening her eyes to the cruelty that resides in the Council, even within her own parents. Lily realizes now the title of Mistress only comes with superficial power, that to truly save the citizens—she has to fight.

Fight in the Barrage—the mechanical gladiatorial tournament in which one chosen pair of volunteers from each Sector fights, armor-clad and as a team, utilizing unique weapon specialties: the Gatling gun, the Cestus, Klaives, Crescent Knives, mechanically engineered beasts—in the hope to win the right to change the Law. A law that has remained unchanged since its creation almost eighty years ago.

The tournament that Xander, Engineering Blacksmith and Lily’s partner, believes she has no business being in.

But Lily’s different. And she sets out to prove just that.  (Summary and book cover courtesy of


This book snagged my attention from the beginning and I was compulsively reading it through the end.  I cannot WAIT to read the second one, I hope there will be more in the series.  Lily is a unique and interesting character.  I loved that there was something lingering just outside the edge of her memory that she can’t quite remember.  This gave the book and extra layer of interest even as Lily and Xander found themselves in nonstop challenges.

The book certainly does borrow some aspects of “The Hunger Games” in the form of The Barrage, but there is just enough to keep it unique.  Though there are many similarities, but I actually think I enjoyed this book more.  This is certainly a dystopian book with a large helping of action and a twist of science thrown in.  I will be interested to see what more Ladd has to offer!

Warning: Contains violence

Please note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review courtesy of author.

Rating: 5 stars!

Who should read it? Dystopian fans, steam punk fans (think “Soulless”) and action fans.

Want to read the whole series?

  • Ardent Ascension (Rise of the Ardent #2)

Want more?  See my interview with the author!