Transcendence (Walker Books) by C.J. Omololu, $16.99
Spiritual, religious and life beliefs can bring people close or drive a wedge between friends and family. But exploring possibilities and beliefs outside our own immediate cultural, religious and life experiences can also expand our belief that miracles are possible, that the dead can arise, or other lives have been lived. As we make our ideas known, we may learn friends and even our family find our beliefs uncomfortable, unacceptable or strange. But we keep seeking. These concepts are all explored in Transcendence by C. J. Omololu as memories of past lives unfold for Cole Ryan, a teenager who initially fears she’s losing her mind. When a visit to the Tower of London triggers an overwhelmingly real vision of a beheading that occurred centuries before, Cole Ryan is aided by a mysterious boy, Griffon Hall. The intensity of their immediate connection seems to open the floodgate of memories even wider and Cole soon discovers the powerful connection between past and present lives.
Cole’s family and friends find the relationship complicated and respond in ways that demonstrate a variety of acceptance. Some disbelievers respond from their own limited views while others simply go with the flow. But this novel isn’t just a look at spiritual beliefs or past lives. It’s a mystery, full of romance and intrigue. 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.
Cole’s story allows readers to explore the possibility of past lives while offering a great mystery.
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. www.cjomololu.com