Title: Transcender: First-Timer
Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal/Fantasy/Science Fiction/Romance
Author: Vicky Savage
Price: $2.99 Kindle; $14.99 Trade Paperback
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When a freak lightning storm turns terrifying, seventeen-year-old Jaden Beckett leaps for her life only to be shifted into an alternate universe and an amazing parallel existence. The destiny police want her out. Jaden's got other plans!
Agent Ralston of the Inter-Universal Guidance Agency (IUGA) rescues Jaden and helps her to assume a new identity. And what an amazing identity it is. In this life, Jaden is a member of the royal family that governs one of the three surviving dome nations. Also, her mother is alive here, a miracle she never dreamed possible. Even more compelling is her breathless romance with Ryder Blackthorn, a wanted outlaw, and possibly her one true soul mate.
Can the powerful Inter-Universal Guidance Agency force her to go home? Or is Jaden what some in this land believe her to be—a Transcender with the ability to travel among alternate dimensions at will? Book 1 of the Transcender Trilogy.
I recently added a policies page to my blog and was approached by indie author Vicky Savage to review her YA sci-fi adventure, Transcender: First-Timer. Because her work was lauded by a favorite blogger of mine, Christina from Ensconced in YA, and because Christina left me a wonderful Otherborn review herself, I felt compelled to complete this circle of goodwill and take on Savage’s novel as my very first YA blog review. I cannot have been more pleased that I did.
I’ve read a few indie works, but mostly I tend to sniff around the traditional publishing market, venturing to dip my toe in the vast indie waters now and again. Overall, I’ve been relatively impressed with the self-pubbed authors I’ve read, and Vicky Savage is now a favorable addition to this class. Transcender follows accidental interdimensional traveler Jaden Beckett through her unexpected journey to Domerica where she assumes the identity of her mirror, Princess Jaden. As much as we’d all like to slip away to another dimension where we’re treated like royalty, Transcender has some very strong qualities working for it that make it worth reading beyond the fantasy.
The premise is brilliant. I love interdimensional anything. The infinite possibility of it inspires me and Otherborn alludes to interdimensional travel as well. And I adore Savage’s creation of the Inter-Universal Guidance Agency, or IUGA. The book has a roaring start. In fact, the first chapter may still be my favorite of all, because it opens up so many questions for the reader. And Transcender has world building in spades. Savage had a very clear vision of Domerica and the world in which it exists and she cuts no corners on the details. In addition, there is excellent chemistry between main character Jaden and her romantic interest, Ryder Blackthorn. Savage allows the reader to revel in this relationship as she uses it to carry the plot forward.
If I could change anything, I would have liked to know much more about IUGA and the Transcenders. Jaden’s gifts for interdimensional travel are relegated to an inciting incident and my curiosity for this dynamic part of the protagonist’s character is never quite satisfied in installment one of the trilogy. I also would have liked to amp up the suspense throughout the novel. While Jaden’s time in Domerica is limited and the clock is always ticking, that doesn’t become truly suspenseful until near the end, when her romance with Ryder is fully realized.
Altogether, I hovered between 3.75 and a solid 4.00 stars for Transcender. But I am excited about this powerful new voice in teen fiction and can only look forward to reading more of Savage’s work. I hope you all take a moment to enter the fabulous giveaway below and judge Transcender for yourself!
Prior to becoming an author and publisher of young adult fiction, Vicky Savage enjoyed many diverse occupations; flagman on a construction crew, trial lawyer, and healthcare company executive, to name a few. She is currently working on Book 3 of the Transcender Trilogy, as well as collaborating on a screenplay. She lives on the west coast of Florida with her boyishly charming husband, handsome son, and two effervescent dogs. Visit the author at www.vickysavage.com.