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4.2 12
by C. J. Omololu

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Everyone dies, but the world lives on. What if you got a another chance at life and love?


Everyone dies, but the world lives on. What if you got a another chance at life and love?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a departure from Omololu’s debut novel about hoarding, Dirty Little Secret, her sophomore outing is a romantic if initially slow-moving story about reincarnation. Sixteen-year-old Nicole “Cole” Ryan has inexplicable visions. For six chapters, the book is a slice-of-life, first-person narrative about a contemporary cello-playing prodigy from San Francisco—except for Cole’s recurring memories of various time periods in the past (rendered in italic passages), which can be triggered by anything from a location, like the Tower of London, to physical contact or a smell. Cole herself isn’t the most engaging of heroines, though she is realistic in her prickliness and indecision. She withholds herself from family, friends, and even her new crush, Griffon. However, once Griffon reveals that he knows the secret of Cole’s visions, the plot takes off. Cole and Griffin are Akhet, people who remember past lives, and while most Akhet are out to save the world, a group of rogues are out for revenge. As the romance and mystery finally unfold, this becomes an intriguing read. Ages 12–up. Agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (June)
VOYA - Heather Pittman
Sixteen-year-old Cole Ryan is a cello prodigy, but that is not the only unusual thing about her. She is also having visions that feel like memories from other times, places, and people. On vacation in London, a particularly strong vision sends her reeling, and she is rescued by Griffon Hall, another teen who is more than he seems. Cole finds that she is a member of the Akhet, an elite group who can remember their past lives and who use the wisdom they have gained over many lifetimes to try to make the world a better place. Not all those who can remember use their knowledge for good, however. One such rogue is after Cole, and she and Griffon race to figure out the mystery of why someone wants revenge and from which lifetime. This book has a slow start, but a promising mythology. Cole makes some baffling choices for a heroine, as does Griffon, but the idea of the Akhet is enthralling and has the potential to make an exciting series. Cole is a solid character, full of a combination of self-doubt and confidence shared by many teens. Aside from Cole's charming hippie friend, Rayne, the other characters are less well-defined, but promising. A potential love triangle teases the reader, leading to the next story in Cole's saga. This is the start of a promising series, and while it has a few problems, it is worth purchasing for any collection with patrons who love paranormal romance. Reviewer: Heather Pittman
Children's Literature - Carollyne Hutter
Supernatural themes are the rage among young adult novels. The book explores the idea of past lives and reincarnation. Nicole Ryan (who goes by the nickname "Cole") has a flashback to a gruesome scene of a beheading when she and her sister visit the Tower of London. The memory is so strong she passes out. The Yeoman Warder asks his son Griffon Hall to take Cole to get a cup of tea to calm her down. A few days later, Cole and her sister return to San Francisco, but Cole's mind is on the handsome Griffon. She is drawn to him, even though she will never see him again. Cole's sister sets it up so Cole meets Griffon again. Griffon's mother is American and they live in Berkeley. As the story unfolds, Cole has more flashbacks to the past. Cole, who is a talented cellist, remembers a life as a touring Italian cellist. Griffon explains that he, Cole, and others are members of the Akhet—a special group of people who can remember past lives. But not all Akhet are good—Griffon fears that a rogue Akhet wants to harm Cole. The story moves along quickly as the Cole and Griffon romance deepens and Cole tries to put together pieces from her different lives. Overall, the romance between Cole and Griffon is touching, the pretense of the novel is intriguing, and there is plenty of suspense. There is some violence in the novel, but not as extreme as many young adult novels. Reviewer: Carollyne Hutter
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—While touring London with her sister, 16-year-old cello prodigy Nicole Ryan bumps into someone and blacks out. Oblivious to her surroundings, she has a frighteningly déjà vu-like vision of being executed centuries ago. When she regains consciousness, she goes out for tea with Griffon Hall, the boy she hit, and they feel an instant connection. When Cole returns home to San Francisco, she learns that Griffon lives nearby, and the two begin to see each other. He tells an incredulous Cole that, like him, she is Akhet, part of an ancient society of people who remember their previous lives. As her visions of the past increase, so do her brushes with death in the present, leading Griffon to suspect that someone intends to harm her. Part murder mystery, part modern-day romance, Transcendence has the potential to become a popular choice, particularly among readers who enjoyed Jennifer Donnelly's Revolution (Delacorte, 2010) and Kerstin Gier's Ruby Red (Henry Holt, 2011). Though it's a unique play on reincarnation, Transcendence does have flaws. The characters are underdeveloped, the pacing is uneven, and Cole forgives Griffon's controlling behavior too quickly. Savvy teens will question plot contrivances (e.g., how did so many Akhet involved in a past murder in another country end up living so close together in the present?). Still, the story entertains, and a twist in the last chapter leaves room for a sequel.—Leigh Collazo, Ed Willkie Middle School, Fort Worth, TX
Kirkus Reviews
A girl musician who starts remembering her past lives learns that reincarnation can be dangerous, but romantic too. Cole, who plays the cello at world-class standards, meets a dark and handsome stranger when she visits the Tower of London. There she has a vision of her own execution. Griffon rescues her when she faints. On returning to San Francisco, she learns that Griffon also lives there, and he tells her that he and she are "Ahket," people who can remember their past lives. Meanwhile, Cole remembers more and more about a previous life as a young Italian cellist who was innocently involved in a murder over 100 years ago. Also, she learns that her cello student is a woman who just may have been the victim and who may be seeking revenge. Cole finds herself strongly attracted to Griffon. Could he be a romantic partner from an earlier time? Omololu moves the action along, revealing her plot, narrating the past-life memories in italics and inserting intriguing clues into those episodes. The classical-music motif is a welcome addition to the plot, and the reincarnation theme stands out as a nice break from the usual paranormal subject matter. That Griffon is biracial, both indicated on the cover and revealed in the text, promises another nice break, but there is no textual follow-up. Overall, nicely done. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)

Product Details

Walker & Company
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.84(w) x 8.04(h) x 0.92(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

C.J. OMOLOLU majored in English at U.C. Santa Barbara because she liked to read, not because she liked to write. She later discovered that the voices in her head often have interesting things to say. Her most recent book is Dirty Little Secrets, about hoarding and family secrets.

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Transcendence 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
jwitt33 More than 1 year ago
Awesome take on reincarnation!! My Opinion: Cole (Nicole) Ryan goes on a business trip with her father and sister, Kat, to London, and while visiting the Tower of London, she has a vision of herself at the Tower (technically, at her own execution at the Tower of London back in the 1500s) and understandably thinks she's losing her mind. As fate would have it, she also meets a hunky American her own age there, who helps her after she faints, and who she later finds out lives very near her in San Francisco. Little does she know that Griffon knows a lot more about her than she thinks, including why she starts having these strange glimpses into previous lives. It turns out that she and Griffon are Akhet, people who can remember their past lives and connections. I have to say that I found this idea really appealing when I read the synopsis, and after reading this amazing book, I'm even more intrigued!  I loved the characters in this book and really enjoyed watching Cole learn about her past lives in flashbacks, trying to put them together like the pieces of a puzzle. She was a child prodigy on the cello with her future pretty well mapped out and this threw her into a tailspin as she realized that she had probably played the cello in a previous life, which is why has been able to play it so well pretty much without thinking about it, even as a young child, and this brought up the question: Is it cheating to use what you've learned in previous lives to become a world renowned child prodigy, or is it only cheating if you know you're cheating? It sounds confusing when I say it, but trust me, C.J. does a much better job of explaining it in the book!  Cole and Griffon's relationship starts to grow into love, but then something big happens that totally derails this, and I loved the twist, let me tell you!  I thought C.J.'s writing was phenomenal and I pretty much flew through the book. The pacing is well done, with lots of romance and intrigue to keep you turning the page as quickly as you can.  In essence, I thought this was a well written book with great characters and an awesome reincarnation storyline, that I highly recommend to fans of history, romance, and fantasy/supernatural storylines, and I give it 5 shining stars :D
kcody03 More than 1 year ago
A lot of people contemplate the idea of living more than one life, but for Cole Ryan and Griffon Hall this is a reality. This is an adventure readers will never forget! The story was very well written and the imagery was beautiful. The descriptive words helped me to feel as if I was there right along with the characters. The world was very creative and held readers captive from the very first page. Cole is a brave and loyal friend that I believe many readers will be able to relate to. She grows a lot throughout the series and it really shows. Griffon was a great match for Cole and very sweet. The relationship between these two was interesting to see develop and I couldn’t help, but root for them in the end. A fast paced tale filled with romance and adventure that fans of paranormal romance will enjoy!
ReadingCorner More than 1 year ago
Transcendence is a thought-provoking adventure into the possibility that we all live numerous lives and only a few people remember it. After reading Incarnate earlier this year, I was intrigued by the idea of another book that tackled the idea of reincarnation but in a totally different light. Transcendence is definitely an interesting read, albeit a tad slow at times, with a cast of characters who aren't always easy to love. In its seamless integration of multiple lives and stories, it succeeds at exploring the possibility of reincarnation but will fail to grasp some readers with its pacing and characters. The pacing in Transcendence was a bit slow for me, as I tend to like a book that really pulls me in and drags me through its pages. This one had me dragging myself through its pages at times. However, the world and its intricacies kept me engaged and interested. I enjoyed the myths that C.J. Omololu created that surround those who do remember their past lives. In doing so she created a world within a world, so to speak, that I liked getting to learn about. The ways that it connected with the "real" world were interesting and realistic. Cole wasn't necessarily a character that I connected with right away, but she grew on me. At first, I thought her somewhat standoffish attitude was a bit annoying and I felt like she really needed to lighten up. Those moments popped up occasionally throughout the story, but by the end, I felt like there were definitely facets to her personality that I could connect with. Griffon, the love interest who shares the spotlight, was intriguing to me from the start. He's got a certain air of mystery to him but at the same time seems kind, friendly, and like someone you would trust. Overall, this wasn't my absolute favorite read of the year, but it is definitely worth exploring if you're interested. The plot has its fair share of action and bits of romance that will satisfy many readers, while the exploration of historical moments will intrigue others. I also really appreciated the diversity in this book. It almost feels funny to point that out, but the truth is that a lot of what we see these days in YA fiction lacks the diversity that we experience in the real world. I liked that this story incorporated real world diversity, all the way down to its gorgeous cover. This is one that I'd consider putting in my library just to be able to display a book with a non-white character on the front cover.
mrsinserra More than 1 year ago
At first I wasn’t sure what to think, I was sucked in but started to dislike Griffon pretty much right away. I thought this book had the making of a beautiful disaster, but yet again, I was wrong. This book is beautiful, but certainly not a disaster. After Griffon comes clean, there was no way to not like him. He is totally lovable. Cole is confused, pretty much throughout the entire book, and I don’t blame her. Just when you think you know what is going on, you, the reader, are left even more confused and unsure of who is the bad guy in the story. Even at the end, I am still confused, there was one sentence, one glimpse of another Akhet recognizing Cole that is never explained or brought up again, and I want to know who he is/was in a past life- ugh! That has left me so frustrated. But anyhow, Transcendence is fast paced and you keep learning new things about all the characters pretty quickly. There is a nice mix of romance and action. There are enough things left open that if the author wanted to write another book, which I am pretty sure she did according to her goodreads page, then more things can be cleared up. If you only read this book, there is closure and a conclusion; it is not a cliff hanger ending. I highly recommend this book to teens and YA. There is no sex or even alluding to sex, even though there is romance. There is some violence, since part of the story involves fighting a bad guy, but it is nothing gory. This is a nice clean YA book, something that is hard to come by nowadays. Parents and teachers should feel ok recommending this book to kids, unless you have a problem with the paranormal genre. If you are Christian, this may not be a good one to recommend since the idea of the plot is that some humans are reincarnated over and over and will eventually remember their past lives. I am Christian and would not have a problem with my kids reading this as long as I felt they would not get confused about their beliefs, this is just a story anyways. I received this book as an ARC. I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy and also to assist parents and teachers in recommending appropriate books for your kids to read. Please read more of my reviews on my blog: sarahereads(dot)wordpress(dot)com
Amabe421 More than 1 year ago
I think the idea of reincarnation is fascinating, so when I read the synopsis for this book I was really excited about it. I was a bit disappointed that it was pretty slow moving, but it was still interesting and was able to keep my attention. It took a little while to really get into it and at first the visions confused me until I understood what was going on. Once I discovered what was going on, the visions became more and more interesting to me and I wanted to figure things out as much as Cole does. Cole is an okay character to me. I didn't love her or feel much of a character connection with her, but I still enjoyed getting to know her and go through all of the events that happen in the book. She is a sixteen year old cello prodigy. She has always been good at it and her mom is a bit obsessive about her future as a cello player. Her visions start when she is in London with her father and sister. She thinks that she might be going crazy. She meets Griffon in London, but she can't stop thinking about him when she returns to home to California. Turns out he lives pretty close and they have a connection. Poor girl has a hard time figuring out who she can trust and if the things going on are real or not. I find it a little odd how all of the sudden she goes from being perfect daughter to quite a rebel so quickly, but I suppose love makes you do some pretty crazy things. Griffon was a character I instantly liked. Right off, he was sweet, charming, and funny. He was very friendly, but it was also obvious that there was something different about him. Of course we find out that he not only knows what is going on with Cole, but he has this same ability if that's what you want to call it. He has actually known he is an Akhet for a long time, so he wants to help her. After a little while he is a bit hot and cold or at least that is how it seems. He goes from wanting to be around her constantly, to not talking to her, texting, or anything for days and days. I knew something was going on with him, but I will be honest he was a mystery to me for the most part. This book starts off slow and we start to slowly learn more and more along with Cole. I thought that the idea of her starting to remember past lives was cool and I wanted to know how each different one tied in with what was going on in the story. There are a few characters who we don't know if we can trust them or not, and I was pleasantly surprised that I did have a hard time figuring some things out. If you like books about reincarnation, I think this is an enjoyable book. I still had a few lingering questions after finishing this book, but overall it was enjoyable. 3 out of 5 stars.
LibertadAraceli More than 1 year ago
This year it's like a goal of mine to read more YA books that feature lead black males. I think with my bookshelf, I've managed to find sooooo many books featuring B-racial(mixed with black) and Black female characters but my shelf is definitely lacking African American males. I'm not really sure why this is, especially since the book features an interracial couple and where I live, black guys date white girls all the time. It's time to start reflecting that with books! The story follows Cole, a girl who gets all these strange,realistic visions she later finds out are memories from past lives she's lived. A mysterious boy that she feels really drawn to, enters her life and informs her that she's an Ahket, a very special person who can access memories from past lives and collect the information to better the world in the present time. I think the legends and lore the author used is pretty interesting. It featured a bit about Egyptian myths and has a strong focus on reincarnation. Griffin also wasn't some sparkly, stronger than average stalker. Being an Ahket just makes you a normal person.... well a normal person who's extremely knowledgeable.For interest if one spoke German, Russian or Zulu in a past life, when they "reawaken", those abilities become accessible to them.I've never read a YA that featured cool details like that! On Cole: I wasn't exactly captivated by Cole, but I didn't dislike her. Griffin on the other hand was...umph!So fine! Even though her character didn't move me, I did really like their relationship and I found them cute together. If the book would have been just about her,I prolly would have been bored.I'm not sure if that's the best thing in the world to say, because it perpetuates the idea that a girl is not interesting enough without a man, but that's just the way I felt about it. I hope she becomes more lively in the second installment, I really want to fall in love with her character like I did with Griffin. On Griffin: I loved Griffin!I think I'm a little biased because I saw a bit of my boyfriend in Griffin because like Griffin , my boyfriend is a mixed race person.He's always complaining about how he never sees or reads about mixed race people in media, so I was glad to finally prove him wrong with this book.Mind you my boyfriend is not as brown as Griffin, in fact he's pretty much as light as a "white" person, but he still really connects with people who can claim to be "bi-racial". Griffin wasn't stereotypical, in fact he was actually kind of mature for his age. I think it's because he was an Ahket(someone who knows about their past lives) My only complaint was that he made Cole seem more interesting and I would have liked to see her more interesting on her own. The cover is really gorgeous and appropriate. When I went to Barnes and Noble and seen this cover on the bookshelf, it spoke volumes to me!A brown boy on the cover in a sea of book covers with white girls in pretty dresses made me gravitate to this book. I think the girl on the cover is pretty blah, but the boy.....just gorgeous!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SuperLibrarianBlog More than 1 year ago
This title first caught my eye at the library when I saw that awesome cover. Then I read the description, and I knew I had to read it! Lately I've been drawn to paranormal stories with a London setting. This story started out in London but quickly transitioned to San Francisco, which is another city I enjoy reading about. Other settings also came to life on the page as Cole regained memories of past lives in various places and times. This story has interesting characters and a blend of mystery, action, and romance. Cole didn't know who to trust while she unravelled the secrets of her past lives and sensed connections with Griffon and Veronique. As she grew closer to learning the truth, she found herself in increasingly dangerous situations. Meanwhile, her relationship with Griffon grew more intense (and steamy!).  In the end, the major conflict was resolved, but there are still questions that haven't been answered and mysterious characters who make you wonder what they're hiding. Transcendence was a great start to a paranormal YA series!
Truly_Bookish More than 1 year ago
I love YA novels with ethnically diverse main characters so when I saw the (gorgeous) cover of Transcendence, I knew I had to read it. I’m happy to tell you that the pretty cover is matched by an action packed story with a unique mythology. The story starts in London where Cole starts having strange visions and eventually passes out while site seeing with her sister. A swoon worthy American boy helps her and while she feels a strange connection to him, he is nothing but polite, not showing any romantic interest in her. After Cole returns home to San Francisco, she can’t stop thinking about Griffon and it’s not long before their paths cross again. Griffon knows that like him, Cole is Akhet: a group of people who remember their past lives every time they are reincarnated. While all this is new for Cole, Griffon has been Akhet for centuries and since Cole is starting to have memories of her past lives, he decides to help her with the transition. I liked Cole’s character. She is a cellist and a prodigy and I liked that the cello plays a huge part in the story. I was worried that there would be insta-love between Cole and Griffon but even though Cole is quickly attracted to Griffon, the relationship develops well. I’m very happy that Ms. Omololu addresses the issue of Griffon’s age in the story. Even though Griffon is physically a 17-year-old boy, being Akhet means he remembers living several previous, full lives. Griffon’s character is more mature than the average teenage boy and the author does tackle the issues with him being so much older than Cole, mentally speaking of course. I’ve read so many YA books where the guy is some paranormal creature who is hundreds, even thousands of years old and still acts like he is 13, not to mention the relationship with the female character can take on a pervy nature. Not the case with Transcendence and kudos to Ms. Omololu for addressing this age difference up front. Transcendence has romance, mystery, action and the Akhet mythology is cool and very interesting. I am looking forward to the next book in the series to find out more about it. Transcendence is June’s book for the Multi-Cultural Book Challenge so be sure to come back tomorrow for an interview with C.J. Omololu and a chance to win a copy! Content: Kissing, profanity and violence.
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
Mesmerising from the start, the memories of the past haunts the reader just as it haunts the characters. What I enjoyed most about this book is the memories that haunts the characters. With each new memory that has surfaced, Cole faces a dark past that keeps me entertained. I loved the feel of the blinding emotions that hits the reader when the memories keep coming and get stronger. As the picture begins to get clearer and more information comes up, I am able to thoroughly enjoy the book till the end. The love interest definitely plays well. With years of life hidden from her, Cole faces some hard choices as to who Griffon really is to her. Is he her one true love? Or the one that got away? I had a feeling that as this series progressing, the reader will be swept away as to the knowledge of what part Griffon really plays in her life. That aspect alone makes me want to second book ASAP. My only gripe of the book is I couldn't quite grasp the bigger picture of it. While the author provides much information there is still some lacking to help the reader see where exactly the book is going. Since the book is a series, I am assuming the author will give more information as the story progresses. I guess that is why I need the second book already, so I can understand where the story line is headed. Transcendence is full of dark past that come back to haunt. With little memory, the reader is engaged to keep reading till the reader. Wonderfully engaging, Transcendence is great!
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
To be honest, I was so close to putting this book down. I am not really a fan of prologues and I felt that this one didn't do the story justice. Yes, it is very important to the story, but I feel like it would have been better placed after she meets Griffon. That said, once I got into this story, I completely fell in love with it. I love this idea of love through time and once I was able to bond with Cole, I really felt for her. Her love of cello is an awesome addition to the story, and I felt like her love for the instrument is genuine. I also really appreciated the theme of being able to right what you did wrong in the lives before, and the idea that these Akhet work for the greater good and use their knowledge for unselfish purposes. The love story in this one is good, and it felt natural to me. I loved how they interacted and they had enough complications to keep everything interesting, especially the twist at the end! There was always something going on, keeping me interested. C.J. Omololu kept a good pace though, and there wasn't so much stuff going on that I was confused. I also appreciated how everything, especially the flashbacks which at times seemed a bit random, all wove together and told a great story. This story has so many twists, and I would've never imagined what ended up happening. I am so eager to read the next installment so that I can find out what happens next.
iheartyabooks More than 1 year ago
Transcendence is an intriguing novel about having a second chance to right the wrongs in your life. C.J. Omololu has written a fascinating storyline that pulled me into this secretive world of the Akhets and wouldn't let go. Akhets are a select few who can remember their past lives. They are reincarnated because they have a responsibility to destiny to change their and other’s mistakes, and to set destiny right again. But there is some who just want revenge. The rogue Akhets are those who seek only revenge for the wrong done to them. They could care less about making destiny right. I also love the way C.J.Omololu has Cole, a new Akhets, having glimpses of her two past lives in this novel. One she will set right with her destiny and the other she will face in the next book, Continuation, which I am so wanting to read right now. I love the love triangle that's coming in the next book with Cole, but this is a totally different kind when one guy is your husband from the 1500's and the other guy is your executioner. Oh yes, Continuation is going to be just as fantastic as Transcendence, I'll definitely be waiting for this next book . Cole is having a lot of deja vu lately. When she starts getting visions of people and places in history, she didn't know exist, she thinks she’s going crazy until she meets Griffon, who tells her she an Akhet. Cole as an Akhet will have to figure out the mystery of what went wrong in her past life to correct the wrong that was done, but the one she’s trusting to help her also has a dark secret past he's hiding from Cole, and it could cost her her life and life of the one she loves. Griffon is a Iawi Akhet. Which means he can remember all his past lives, unlike Cole, who only sees glimpses of hers. Destiny has bought Cole and Griffon together again, but will love be there destiny or will history repeat Griffon's dark past? Transcendence is an enthralling mystery that had me putting together clues right along with Cole. Griffon and Cole’s romance is a dark and dangers one, of two truths and a lie. I recommend Transcendence as a must read that will have you asking yourself what would you do if you could have another life to live?