Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Book Review: Transcendence

Print // Kindle // CJ Omololu
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.

Full of danger, romance, and intrigue, Transcendence breathes new life into a perpetually fascinating question: What would you do with another life to live?

Admittedly it took me longer to get into this then I thought it would.  Omololu's writing is a little jarring as it goes back and forth between Cole's 'visions' and her present.  And at first it seems pretty routine--girl, guy, destiny and love, so it didn't grip me.  Somewhere in the second quarter however it grabbed me.  I'm not sure if it was because Cole's visions of her past life came quicker or if the answers to questions just seemed to be occurring with more frequency, but I wanted to know more.

I wanted to know about the connection Cole had with the Italian girl, with the Lady at the Tower of London, why she felt insta-connection to Griffon.  I wanted to know why Griffon was so reluctant to get involved with her despite his actions speaking to the contrary.  It was kind of annoying that Cole staunchly believed Griffon wanted nothing to do with her at all and his continued presence throughout the first half was him merely being 'nice'.  I'm not sure why she had so little self-confidence, or why she clung to that belief so hard for so long.

For his part Griffon's early reluctance is given context later in the book, though it doesn't excuse all of the bad behavior.  Griffon did show a maturity that male heroes in YA seem to lack lately; he has some valid points about the difficulty in having a relationship with someone when he can remember all the other relationships he's had.  He isn't going into a high school romance as a 17 year old guy--not really.  He's going into it with the knowledge of having grandkids, watching spouses die, of living that same moment dozens of times.

That's just not fair to a person who is experiencing everything for the first time (at least as far as they're concerned its the first time).

There's a few red herrings along the way about how Griffon and Cole are connected, as well as Cole and the person hunting Cole for a past transgression she can't remember fully.  And I'm not particularly pleased with the very last revelation involving a separate past life of Cole's and the present.  For me I was happy with the resolution to Cole and Griffon's feelings, I don't need this to be a series. 

I don't need to read another book or two or three about Cole's jumbled feelings and uncertainty.  Trust me she did that enough this time around.  But that's just me. I recommend this book with the caveat that the ending really isn't an ending and to be prepared for this to not be a stand alone.