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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A variety of YA authors offer a collection of short stories featuring teenagers who find themselves involved with the paranormal. Jason, a shipwrecked high school student, finds himself face to face with a somewhat untraditional siren. A cancer-stricken teenager named Scarlet is trying to enjoy her prom when a mysterious guest arrives. Lani is an aspiring young artist whose world changes forever thanks to an errant lightning strike. For these and the other characters in this short story collection, life as a typical teenager doesn't stay typical for long. Divided into eight stories from seven different authors, the anthology provides an imaginative landscape of mostly suburban young people whose PGā€“rated goals of nabbing that first kiss or talking to that cute boy go supernaturally awry. Swore (Unlocked, 2010, etc.) contributes a story about a harmless-enough homecoming party that goes delightfully off the rails when guests turn out to be more dangerous than they seem. Webb (Tears, 2012, etc.) tears a modern Native American girl away from her MP3 player and onto the path of a spiritual journey. Though these stories provide ample thrills, not every piece in the collection is terribly exciting. While the array of protagonists is limited to polite young people, their range of experiences with the paranormal is broad. But passing off the paranormal as believable (and readable) is a difficult task for any author, and this collection is not without its fantastical dead ends. Debut author Joseph's take on "The Headless Horseman" is notable only for its protagonist's inability to realize she is involved in a take on that very story. In another story, a ghost not only points out her rather obvious murderer, but it also manages to bring about swift justice, which may lead the reader to wonder why the ghosts of other victims aren't busy doing the same thing. YA fans looking for contemporary tales of ghosts and goblins are likely to find at least a little bit of enjoyment here.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780615572321
  • Publisher: Robot Playground, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/24/2011
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.51 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Great Anthology

    First let me say that I find it very difficult to review anthologies. First, you might love one story and hate the next. So they get a middle grade because of averages? Luckily I didn’t run into that problem with this book, because they were all pretty darn good!

    In Transcendent you get 8 stories. My favorites were the ones that were a bit longer and able to give a bit more detail. And those were Spectre by Wendy Swore, Pumpkin Thief by Evan Joseph, and Kiss of Death by Lani Woodland and Melonie Piper.

    In Spectre we meet Marcella and Lissae, who are throwing a Homecoming Halloween themed party at Marcella’s house. They go to a store to rent some decorations and find the staff there to be extremely accommodating. They even set the decorations up the next day! The party is a smash hit, and then some uninvited guest show up and crash. And they aren’t exactly what you’d call Welcome.

    I found this story to be great, perfect for a setting like a campfire (although I could probably say that about any story in this book), but this one had an extra level of creepy that I liked. It reminded me of a B-Movie – and I totally adore B-Movies!

    Second, Pumpkin Thief. Another Halloween themed story. Kira is getting ready for a party, and she is going as Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Already I’m hooked. She’s carved a pumpkin pretty elaborately for part of her costume, but someone has stolen it!

    I’m not going to blow the surprise on this one. But lets say that it mixes some of the very old with some of the new, and it throws in a dash of romance and a bit of chivalry. It was a great blend of everything and I really enjoyed reading this one!

    And lastly, Kiss Of Death. In this story we are introduced to Scarlet, who has been very sick with cancer. She knows her end is near, but she wants to live every girl’s teenage fantasy – Prom. So she goes. She dances, she socializes, she has the time of her life with her friends. And then he arrives.

    This story had a really great twist that I think YA PNR fans will really love and just snatch this story up. Plus its written by two authors, so I think that in itself is pretty darn cool. Again, I’m not going to tell the secret, but it certainly has a modern feel to the story.

    Overall, all of these stories fit very well into the YA category. There was nothing that was too adult in nature. This normally isn’t one of my favorite genres, but its starting to really grow on me with the more that I read - and this book totally added to that.

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