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This series is an excellent series, but the title shifting and confusion that has been done in the reprinting of it is unfortunate. The first two books in the series, "Summertide" and "Divergence" were reprinted as a double book in October 1998 called "Convergent Series". This was an unfortunate choice of name since the fourth book of the series is named "Convergence" and it appears together with the third book of the series "Transcendence" in a double book released in November 1999 named "Transvergence", the book subject to this review.
First off, before you even consider picking up this title, you need to be aware of the fact that Transvergence is the reprinting of the 3rd and 4th volumes of 'The Convergent Series.' Unfortunately the 1st and 2nd parts of this series are currently out of print (although I believe this will change with the release of Convergent Series in June 2000) and as such the reader is essentially dropped into the middle of an ongoing story. That aside, Transvergence is actually an enjoyable read by itself. Having missed out on the first part of the series the reader has to catch up with the various characters and situations of the story, but there is usually enough recapping done to bring you up to speed. The only complaint I have is that after reading the first part of Transvergence the second part tends to follow the same predictable plotline. Heroes go separate ways->Heroes have adventures->Heroes come back together under extraordinary circumstances. All in all though the storylines are good even though they do feel somewhat rushed towards the finales. You may want to wait and see if the first part of the series is reprinted before picking this book up, but if you can get past that then Transvergence is actually a good way to kill an afternoon.
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Transvergence is the the combined edition of the 3rd and 4th books in the Heritage Universe series about a quest to find the "Builders" of a series of mysterious "Artifacts" left behind in our galaxy. Perhaps the most aggrivating thing about Transvergence (and the "Heritage Universe" series in general) is that it is written with the craftsmanship of an eigth-grader's cribbed book report. As before, our band of adventurers (some of whom are supposed to be the galaxy's best troubleshooters or super-human intelligences) manage to stumble blindly through a series of adventures, surviving by luck alone. Every character in the book survies to the end only with the help of various deus ex-machina plot devices. ("Hey, who left that ship there? Thanks Builders!") The book also stretches suspension of disbelief beyond its normal limits as the protagonists - who are often separated by planets or entire solar systems - REPEATEDLY regroup by accident. It's almost as if the seven of them spent the weekend at a cabin together instead of separately running around the galaxy's spiral arm. Logistical and intelligence problems aside, each of the two sub-books (like their predecessors) offer new explanations for the Artifacts (and the Builders' motivations) which contradict and/or invalidate the explanations given in the previous books. It's somewhat like a dadaist attempt at storytelling, because after the third explanation, you're not sure what to believe. The worst explanation of them all comes at the end of sub-book #2 ("Convergence") in what is sure to go down as one of the great "WTF?" moments in sci-fi history. Without giving anything away, the book might as well have told us the Artifacts were decorations left over from a Builder office party.Read more ›
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