09 July 2012

YA Book Review: Transcendence by C.J. Omololu

Release Date: 5 June 2012
Publisher: Walker & Company
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

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Goodreads description:
When a visit to the Tower of London triggers an overwhelmingly real vision of a beheading that occurred centuries before, Cole Ryan fears she is losing her mind. A mysterious boy, Griffon Hall, comes to her aid, but the intensity of their immediate connection seems to open the floodgate of memories even wider.

As their feelings grow, Griffon reveals their common bond as members of the Akhet—an elite group of people who can remember past lives and use their collected wisdom for the good of the world. But not all Akhet are altruistic, and a rogue is after Cole to avenge their shared past. Now in extreme danger, Cole must piece together clues from many lifetimes. What she finds could ruin her chance at a future with Griffon, but risking his love may be the only way to save them both.
My Thoughts...
Transcendence is a thought-provoking adventure into the possibility that we all live numerous lives and only a few people remember it.  After reading Incarnate earlier this year, I was intrigued by the idea of another book that tackled the idea of reincarnation but in a totally different light.  Transcendence is definitely an interesting read, albeit a tad slow at times, with a cast of characters who aren't always easy to love.  In its seamless integration of multiple lives and stories, it succeeds at exploring the possibility of reincarnation but will fail to grasp some readers with its pacing and characters.

The pacing in Transcendence was a bit slow for me, as I tend to like a book that really pulls me in and drags me through its pages.  This one had me dragging myself through its pages at times.  However, the world and its intricacies kept me engaged and interested.  I enjoyed the myths that C.J. Omololu created that surround those who do remember their past lives.  In doing so she created a world within a world, so to speak, that I liked getting to learn about.  The ways that it connected with the "real" world were interesting and realistic.

Cole wasn't necessarily a character that I connected with right away, but she grew on me.  At first, I thought her somewhat standoffish attitude was a bit annoying and I felt like she really needed to lighten up.  Those moments popped up occasionally throughout the story, but by the end, I felt like there were definitely facets to her personality that I could connect with.  Griffon, the love interest who shares the spotlight, was intriguing to me from the start. He's got a certain air of mystery to him but at the same time seems kind, friendly, and like someone you would trust.

Overall, this wasn't my absolute favorite read of the year, but it is definitely worth exploring if you're interested. The plot has its fair share of action and bits of romance that will satisfy many readers, while the exploration of historical moments will intrigue others. I also really appreciated the diversity in this book.  It almost feels funny to point that out, but the truth is that a lot of what we see these days in YA fiction lacks the diversity that we experience in the real world.  I liked that this story incorporated real world diversity, all the way down to its gorgeous cover.  This is one that I'd consider putting in my library just to be able to display a book with a non-white character on the front cover.


Danny Bookworm said...

I agree with you on nearly all points! while I did like the book, I didn't love it and my main problem was definitely Cole. I couldn't connect with her and she sometimes downright annoyed me. Still, it was a nice read!

ilovebooks1972 said...

I also liked this book! And I think the cover is great too. Here is my review:

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