A personal message from the author:

I started off writing The Ascension: Birth of a Phantom out of boredom. What I didn't realize however, is that as I went further and further into this story I would be taken ahold of by new ideas. I found myself in the middle of a gripping journey that I didn't know I was getting myself into. The result has been extraordinary. I asked myself questions along the way such as character motivations, questions about the direction of factions and the overall plot. A great author (Neil Gaiman) once said, “writing is like driving through fog with one headlight on.” This is true. I didn't fully know my story until I finished it; until I cleared the fog.

I found a deeper message in this story. In a world where people are constantly looking to ascend themselves to a higher form, when the scientists are “that” close to a breakthrough, intelligence can decline into madness. How far is too far? Is the villain truly that if his/her intentions are good? Is the hero truly that despite committing acts of brutality themselves? In The Ascension: Birth of a Phantom, I hope that you the reader will ask yourselves these questions. Enjoy the story!

— Joel J. Bledsoe

When the U.S. government loses contact with a secret research facility in Alaska, they send in an elite military unit know as Task Force X-Ray to deal with the problem. The mission starts off bad and the men find that the only way home is forward. As they travel deeper into the facility they find illegal experimentations and science gone wrong. They come across a vengeful boy with terrifying power, whose bent on destroying the world. They engage super-human supremacists who believe that the “old humanity” is inferior and must ascend. Task Force X-Ray are caught in the middle, and although the odds are stacked against them, they know that if either faction escapes, the world will never be the same.

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