Thursday, May 31, 2012

Transcendence ~ C.J. Omololu (arc) review

Transcendence (#1)
Walker Children's
June 5, 2012
336 pags
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

Nicole - Cole to everyone but her mother - Ryan has been getting strange feelings as she tours London with her sister. It's as if she already knows what's around the corner - or what used to be. Streets she's never been on feel familiar to her, old buildings hold a sense of déjà vu as well.

This is Cole's first trip to London so she has no explanation for the feelings, either.

Nor does she know why at the Tour of London she's almost overcome with visions of a beheading - and it feels like her own!  When a boy comes to her rescue, Cole hates that someone saw (she's already worried about what these visions and feelings mean) but he's also more than a little cute.

Griffon also seems to already know what happened to Cole. But will she be able to get the answers from him?

And what happens when the visions start getting worse . . . and more frequent?

Maybe Griffon wants to help Cole with what her visions and feelings mean but there are others she'll have to watch out for, as well.

Transcendence is a fast moving tale of past lives and how much of them are brought into the next that mixes romance with danger and will keep you eagerly reading until the very last page. And then waiting for even more!

I've read or started to read several books where past lives and/or reincarnation play into the plot and have to say Transcendence is one of my favorites. I loved that Cole started out with an inkling that something was different about her but not sure just what it was - and not even sure if it was a good thing or not; not sure if it was her sanity or not. That she wasn't someone who just always knew, from birth, that she was the girlfriend of a 1920s gangster , etc., etc. really added to the unraveling of the story.

I also loved her (modern day/present) life and how it worked into things. While she was a cello prodigy, she also wasn't perfect. She's not an idealized character: she has her flaws. Yet, she's also not the character who has nothing going for her until the hero shows up with the explanation of what's happening and suddenly her life has meaning.

Griffon does make Cole a bit swoony, but only in the normal seeming sense. She's an independent character. (Normally I like characters a little less perfect, but I have a bit of a crush on Griffon after reading Transcendence.)

It's nice that the past is worked into the story a bit through flashbacks/visions. It would be nice to see a bit more of it in the next book(s), but really, I love the present that's been created so much that I'll likely love it either way (I just love the different time periods it was suggested could be involved!).

The way the characters' motives get more and more ambiguous towards the end, leaving Cole to really fend for herself is great. It leaves not only Cole second guessing herself, but the readers as well.

There are two scenes in particular that I want to reread to see if there was, on one, more follow up than I remember and, on the other, not the possible inconsistency/not-quite-sense-making that I remember. Other than that, things all came together incredibly well for a novel that had a lot to line up at the end and a lot to work out - though I think some will ultimately be worked out in the next book.

Rating: 9/10

Other books you might like: The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller and Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Part of Bloomsbury's Blog Tours!- Thank you to Bridget at Bloomsbury for my copy of the book to review :)

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