Cherie Reads


TRANSCENDER: First-Timer (TRANSCENDER Trilogy) - Vicky Savage This is a really interesting mix of romance, sci-fi and fantasy with a touch of dystopia blended in. Jaden is a teen who wakes up after a lighning storm in a situation and a place that she does not recognize. She comes to find out that she has somehow jumped to an alternate, post-apocalyptic version of our earth. There were a lot of flaws in this book for me. Despite that, I enjoyed the storyline enough to want to continue reading to see where the story would lead.The biggest flaw in this book, in my opinion, is the dreaded Insta-Love. Uggghhh... I really cannot stand it when two characters are immediately in love with one another. Drawn to each other, ok. Some chemistry, ok. In love? No. It just turns me off. This book is all about the insta-love. Jaden initally meets Ryder as her kidnapper. Shortly he sees the error of his ways and tries to make ammends. By their third meeting they are in each other's arms and having an intense make-out session. Ick! Jaden knows nothing about this guy, other than that he's hot, and she's making out with him. Throughout the rest of the story there are declarations of love and such but there is really no evolution of a relationship. They know next to nothing about each other except where the other is from and who their family is. They don't know each other's likes and dislikes or really their personality. I would really liked to have seen a more natural progression of a relationship.I also didn't really completely "get" Jaden. The book is written in first-person from Jaden's point of view so we read her thoughts and hear the most from her. That she accepts her situation without more worry and thought about mental illness and such seemed a little far-fetched to me. Sometimes she says things that didn't ring true to me. For example, it seemed that she used the word "Dude" more than most teenagers do. At least, teenage girls. There are other examples where she reads older than she is: "I count every heartbeat until I'm with him again." First of all, ick! That is one of the cheesiest lines ever. Second, I don't know any teenage girl who would ever say that line. There were also a few inconsistencies involving the IUGA - the Agency that governs those who travel between universes. In the first chapter we learn that Ralston is being assigned to help Jaden get back to her correct universe. He explains to Jaden that there are thousands of universes because there are thousands of possible ways events could occur. It bugged me that Ralston seemed totally familiar with both Jaden's earth and Ryder's earth despite the amazing differences in technology, society, customs, etc. Is there some way that IUGA agents are briefed on the home universe of their charge? Do they just know because they travel to them? How could each agent know that much about each universe if they can be so drastically different? Also, this alternate universe is only in existence because the IUGA stepped in and saved a part of the population during the apocalyptic event. If the IUGA is supposed to prevent interference, why would they themselves interfere in such a huge way? It's not a huge problem with the book but it was this little niggling thing that bothered me throughout. I would really love to learn more about the IUGA and I suspect we will as the series continues. So, if I'm being so harsh with this review, why the heck am I giving it 3 stars instead of 1 or 2? Because despite the insta-love, despite my problems with the main character, despite the inconsistencies in regards to the IUGA, I really loved the plot! This is an original take on the idea of parallel universes. I loved the world-building. The society is original and intriguing. There are three domes over parts of the earth where most of the world's population live. They are each ruled by a monarch and their societies resemble medieval kingdoms with the exception of some more modern technologies and energy sources. I found this intriguing and loved reading about the world. Besides the love story, the main plot involves Jaden trying pass herself off as a princess, trying to convince her mother to save the Unicoi - a race of people living underground outside of the dome who are being slowly decimated by underground uranium deposits, and clearing the Unicoi people of accusations made against them. The pacing is great, the book is exciting and the plot builds to a great conclusion. A lot of questions are left unanswered but are set up well for the next book in the series. Overall, despite quite a bit of eye-rolling, I really enjoyed the book. Those who don't mind the insta-love aspect will probably really love this book a lot. The romance is pretty innocent but is a large part of the storyline and fans of romance will enjoy this even more than I did, I'm sure. Fans of light sci-fi and fantasy may also want to pick this one up. It's original and entertaining.I'll have a review of the second book in the series in January so stay tuned!Note: I received a copy of this book for free from the author through Crossroads Reviews and Tours in exchange for my review. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.