Wednesday 17 July 2013

‘Transcendence’ by C. J. Omololu

It’s happening again.
The tingling at the back of my neck, the disconnect I feel from everything around me, the tiny beads of cold sweat on my forehead – as soon as I recognize the symptoms, I know I’m in trouble.
Bloomsbury June 2013
325 pages
Summary from Bloomsbury
Nicole fears she's losing her mind. Lately, everywhere she goes, everything she touches, triggers vivid scenes of a time she doesn't know, in a place she's never lived. Then she loses her heart too . . . When Griffon first sees Cole, he knows immediately that she is special, like him - that her visions are memories of past lives. And he is sure their paths were meant to cross in this life . . .  With Griffon's help, Cole pieces together clues from many lifetimes and discovers a secret that could ruin her only chance of a future with Griffon. But risking his love may be the only way to save them both.
Reviewed by K. M. Lockwood
Transcendence is a romantic YA thriller with a strong supernatural element. It is written  as if from 16 year old cello prodigy Cole’s point-of-view. The central premise involves past life recall and there are plenty of time-slip cameos of these memories scattered through the book. 
I particularly like the ‘male lead’ Griffon being a person of colour – and that not being an issue in the book. Since he is very close to the centre of the story, I rather wish they had used the US cover as this shows both him, and their relationship, clearly.
Whilst there are moments of peril, and supernatural events, it is fundamentally relationship focused. The romance is gently handled – it would be quite suitable for younger teen readers. There are some nice moments of character-led humour and the overall story is neatly resolved.
However, there is strong series potential in some of the subplots – and I know that there is at least one sequel – Intuition. Those who love Cole’s relationship with Griffon and all it entails will look forward to this, I’m sure.
I have only one reservation – and it’s nothing to do with the actual story. 
I have no problem with an American heroine using words like ‘sidewalk’ and ‘Mom’ – but I do object to English characters speaking like Hollywood extras. A Yeoman Warder of the Tower of England would not say ‘infirmary’, for example. I wish the publishers had done a little editing here – it’s partially set in London and it’s meant to be the UK edition.
Rant over.
Far more importantly, if you want an American-styled paranormal romance with twists and turns, and plenty of heart, then ‘Transcendence’ may well suit you. There is no love triangle, and no supernatural creatures, yet it has plenty of mystery and a touch of passion.

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