Saturday, August 11, 2012

Review: Trancendence by C.J. Omololu

Title: Trancendence
Author: C.J. Omololu
Series: Trancendence #1
Pages: 336
Publisher: Walker Children's
Date Published: June 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Paranormal (YA)
Source: Library

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 Review:
What drew me to this book initially was the cover. Sometimes it's okay to judge books by them people! Especially because I have never really seen an interracial couple on a cover for YA. If there are any other ones, please point me into that direction because I'm pretty sure that interracial relationships are pretty underrepresented. So when I saw this cover on the stacks in the library I did a double take and was drawn in immediately. I don't know why there aren't more interracial couples that are popular...I'm pretty sure I heard somewhere that interracial relationships are up by like 60% or something in the united states and right now the only one I can think about is Simone Eckles Perfect Chemistry...

SO. The main characters in Transcendence were Cole, an apparently normal cello prodigy from San Fransisco and Griffon, a half British/half African-American who also lives in San Fran. The two have lived within miles from each other for their entire lives but never meet until a chance encounter in the Tower of London brings them together. Cute :) Then things get weird. Cole has been having hallucinations  that she doesn't understand for a while now. Typically it's just a flash of a castle, or a smell that has no business being in modern day America, but those moments are nothing compared to the flashback she gets when she touches Griffon for the first time. She is thrown back to the days when the Tower was used for executions on the worst day possible...the date of her own beheading. When Cole comes to Griffon is there, with questions and answers that he couldn't possibly know.  I wanted to love Cole and Griffon together, I really did. But I didn't feel any real connection to Cole, which made anything she might have felt for Griffon feel flat and boring to me. I also thought it was freaky that this man who remembers being married, having kids, etc would be interested in a 15 year old girl. Ew. It's okay if you've been together before I suppose, but apparently this is the first lifetime that Cole and Griffon got together so it had that "ick" factor that kept me from really wanting them to succeed as a couple.

I also have to admit that the plot took a while to interest me completely. I feel like I've read quite a few parts of this book before actually. All the flashbacks were pretty standard stuff if you read paranormal fiction or even historical fiction. I don't mean to say it was bad or anything, but there are SO many similar books that have moments like the ones that Cole goes back and experiences, particularly the Tower of London stuff. Some of her flashbacks were a lot more original and I really enjoyed those moments like being a boy in India or a famous cellist in 1850's California, I just wish that there were more of those moments and less of the typical ones that pop up over and over. But just when I was getting frustrated and considering DNF'ing, Cole and Griffon started talking about Akhet and Sekhem. These are ancient Egyptian terms that revolve around eternal life and reincarnation and added a whole new depth to the mythology and meaning of the story. I started to get pulled in right along with Cole and Griffon for a wild ride through their past lives together. At the same time, the mystery part of the book was kind of neglected. It just seemed like Cole was wandering around and letting things happen to her than having an actual action-driven plot. It would have been nice for there to be a little more shaping and...refining...of where the plot took us.

I think I might have a problem with reincarnation stories in general. I have so far reviewed about 5 of them (Elixir by Hilary Duff, The Eternal Ones by Kristen Miller, and The Paranormals series by J.L. Bryan) and the only ones I could rate higher than a 3 were J.L. Bryan's because they don't focus solely on the reincarnation aspect. In fact, you don't find out about the reincarnation at all until the last chapter of the first book which is what allowed me to really love it. In Transcendence and the other book's cases, I always have little irritations that pop up over and over. For example, it drives me absolutely crazy when the heroine discovers that her "soul-mate" has done something in a past life that hurt one of her past lives, therefore she decides he has betrayed her and is now her enemy and she ends up screwing everything up and putting all she cares about in danger because of something her boyfriend did IN A PAST LIFE. Which she usually only gets a glimpse of for a few seconds in a flashback. It makes me want to take the heroine and shake her until she stops being such an idiot and just TALKS to the guy who has been there for her for the past several hundred years so that she doesn't get everyone killed.
I give Transcendence 3.5 Keys. I enjoyed it and it was well written, but I thought it was more of an average book instead of something amazing that you just HAVE to read. I found myself growing bored easily and taking long breaks in-between reading times. I think it was the lack of depth to Cole and Griffon that kept me from becoming immersed in the plot. Their romance was cute but lacked the sweet, swoonworthy, heart-stopping moments that drive a good teen love story. Still, the action at the end of the book is what redeemed it for me. You learn a lot about the characters and there is a giant twist that I wasn't expecting so I left feeling pretty good when all was said and done. I will read the sequel but probably won't run out and get it right away.
SO I may not have enjoyed Transcendence as much as I would have liked, but these bloggers all reviewed it as well so make sure check out a few of them so you know if it would be right for you! Happy Reading!

Bewitched Bookworms
Cornucopia of Reviews


  1. It't too bad you didn't enjoy this one. Maybe it is just reincarnation stories. I love them though ;) At least it was good enough that you want to read the sequel. Great review, it's always nice to see a different opinion.

  2. Great review, and even after reading it I am still on the fence about this.

  3. Every time a heroine jumps to conclusions about a her hero without actually discussing things with him, I want to shake her. It drives me abso-frigging-lutely nuts. But you're right, this "plot twist" does seem to show up a lot in reincarnation stories. But, at the same time, often the heroes keep things from the heroines because...well, I'm not sure. But conflicts manufactured by misunderstandings brought on my failures to communicate frustrate the heck out of me.

  4. Heck, I judge every cover I see. I finally stopped letting it choose my books for me (weeeelll, mostly!), and there are some freaking awesome books out there that have really crappy covers. Transcendence has a cover that I really like, but there is something about the blurb that just doesn't appeal to me. This is the first review that I have read for it, and it doesn't give me much reason to believe that I was wrong. I think I might just wait on this one for a while. Thanks for the review!

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