4.2 12
by C. J. Omololu

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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

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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?

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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)

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Product Details

Walker & Company
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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