Cole is a child prodigy. From the first time she picked up a cello she has instinctively known how to play. But when she and her sister visit the Tower of London during vacation, Cole is overwhelmed with visions of a past life. But the past can be dangerous, and the more she remembers, the more she realizes that someone is out to hurt her. It seems someone else remembers her past life as well, and that same person wants revenge.
By C.J. Omololu
Cole’s journey of self-discovery is initially very captivating. One moment she is in the present, the next she is reliving snippets from her previous lives. There’s also some very interesting dynamics between her and the rest of her family.
Where the story loses me is with the introduction of Griffon. Griffon is an Akhet, a person who is able to recall the details of all his past lives with perfect clarity. And although Cole is slowly learning to do the same, she is still very much grounded in the present.
Griffon, however, is essentially a very old man in the body of a teenager, and his attitude of “I know better than you about everything” comes off as smug rather than insightful. Added to the mix is the fact that he and Cole begin developing a relationship, which verges on being creepy.
And if that was all there were, I could probably forgive the awkward idea of a man who has lived through dozens of lifetimes and a girl who isn’t yet eighteen having a relationship. But the story actually zooms in and focuses on this very fact, and the reader is forced to endure several pages of angst-filled teen romance that gets old very fast.
Without spoiling the ending, the afterward on the book features a chapter from the sequel, which apparently involves the return of a man Cole loved in a previous life. The hint of an ensuing love triangle reminds me a little too strongly of the Twilight novels. And from that connection, the similarities between the two novels suddenly comes rushing forward, casting Transcendence in a rather negative light as just another Twilight clone looking to cash in on the idea of young love that remains immortal.
So while the base ideas behind the novel are interesting, they never really pan out. There’s just something about the whole story that becomes wildly impractical when you really sit down to look at it.
Overall, it’s a good book, but it really has too many flaws in its structure to warrant a sequel, much less a series.
Matthew Scott is just another average reader who enjoys sharing his opinion on various books, authors, and whatever else may cross his path.
This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.