|Print List Price:||$14.99|
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Transcend Kindle Edition
|Length: 345 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top Customer Reviews
"Between love and vengeance lies madness."
To be consumed by madness...forever hearing voices...believing what isn't true...
This wasn't an easy read for me...seeing his struggle, feeling his betrayal...and realizing it was all in his mind... I cannot believe this was an easy book to write..
The book is set in upstate New York in 1895 and opens with Ien, who has been injured beyond recognition, writing a gut wrenching love letter to his beloved Kiera. It follows with a tragic story of a childhood that was less than ideal, a family with unrealistic expectations, images and voices that haunt him with secrets of the past and make him question what is real and what is in his head. Dark secrets are revealed little by little and leave you as confused and as determined as Ien to find the truth behind the lies.
I really enjoyed the quotes at the beginning of each chapter which seemed to link the chapters together. One of my favorite was, "My heart, all mad with misery, beats in hollow prison of my flesh." -William Shakespeare (Titus Andronicus). When I turned to the last page, a had goosebumps all over my arms. When written words on a page can do that, it's magic.
I could gush on and on about this story, but the writing sets it far and above almost anything I have read in recent memory. Simply beautiful.
Transcend is a psychological thriller/romance hybrid set in late 1800s New York. The psychological thriller aspect is similar to movies like Shutter Island or Jacob's Ladder, so if you like those kinds of movies, you'll feel right at home here.
Ien is the typical rich kid who wants to follow his dreams and never mind his family's objections... or at least, he was. The story begins with Ien getting into a horrible and physically disfiguring accident, and the mental disfigurement proceeds from there. The narrative alternates between first and third person each chapter. I'm not sure what the point of that is, since it always follows Ien and his thoughts either way, but it works. Much of the story is spent in Ien's thoughts rather than in reality; you experience all his fears, hallucinations, and emotions in detail. There isn't a whole lot of dialogue or action until near the end, but Ien's internal struggles drive the story along at a nice pace.
Seeing Ien's thoughts in so much detail gives a lot of insight into his character. I felt like I knew him better by the end than I knew many protagonists of other, much longer books. But, of course, the whole book doesn't take place in his head... although the line between what's real and what's imagined is always blurred. Many times Ien will see something or someone that is obviously a hallucination, but his perceptions of other people are where things really get murky. It's difficult to get a sense of what any other characters are really like because you only ever see them through Ien's narration, which is unreliable. Because of that, I felt like I was truly experiencing the story from Ien's perspective; at no point was I an outside observer.
This book has lots of tension, especially for having a main character who spends much of the story in a cell with nothing but his thoughts to keep himself occupied. Ien is constantly arguing with hallucinations or plotting his revenge or despairing over Kiera, so it always feels like something is happening, even when nothing actually is. It's all a great build up to the climax. At one point during the climax, I remember suddenly realizing that I was involuntarily hunching forward with my shoulders tensed up. I thought that was a pretty good sign.
This love story isn't sweet and happy. At all. I'm not typically a romance fan, but this one sucked me in. It made me feel torn: one the one hand, I kind of wanted Ien to be with Kiera because he obviously loves her and he's written so well that it's easy to sympathize with him. On the other hand, he's also insane.
Transcend is short but sweet. The Kindle version is only 208 pages, and they go by fast. It is definitely worth the time. I would recommend it to anyone, but especially fans of psychological thrillers.
Rating: 5/5 Stars
~ Jade @ GingerRead Reviews
I originally read this book as a Chapter-a-Day read for Goodreads Group Never Too Old for YA Books. I didn't know what to expect, so I was gratified to find an excellently written book with a very mysterious plotting and a good sense of psychological underpinnings. The denouement really is not telegraphed, so the clues unfold on their own with a steady sense of tension. The character evolution is very well written too.
Seventeen-year-old Ien is a musician in a well-off, upscale family during the Gilded Age of New York. The younger brother until the heir Erik dies in an accident, Ien wants only to play music, and to marry the feisty and lovely Kiera, a violinist-in-training. He cannot accept no for an answer, no matter who it comes from; and the result is a horrible accident in which Ien is scarred to the point of disfigurement. Voices and apparitions taunt him nearly constantly, driving him to the brink of madness, for he cannot discern which is real and which is not. In the end, the truth will out, though the reader will be very astonished.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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