Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tour: Review: Transcender: First Timer by Vicky Savage

I'm really excited about this tour! This post was actually meant to go up last Thursday, but thanks to some bad WiFi at LIU, I wasn't able to get this post set up. Anyway, I want to thank Christina for asking me to be a part of this awesome tour! :)

Transcender: First-Timer by Vicky Savage
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: July 20th, 2011
Suddenly plucked from her quiet Connecticut life and dropped into a post-disaster parallel world where most of the earth's population resides in enormous domes, eighteen year old Jaden Beckett lands in the middle of a kidnapping—her own!

Undercover Agent Ralston of the Inter-Universal Guidance Agency helps Jaden escape from her captors and promises to return her home as soon as he can arrange it. But he conceals from her the fact that she is really a Transcender, capable of traveling among alternate worlds at will. While waiting for passage home, Jaden assumes her parallel identity as a princess in the nation of Domerica. She discovers her mother is alive in this world—a miracle she never dreamed possible. But perhaps even more compelling is her blossoming, breathtaking romance with Ryder Blackthorn, her once and future soul mate.

When it comes time for Jaden to leave, she flatly refuses. IUGA claims the welfare of the entire galaxy depends upon her timely return. Jaden contends that, in this case, eternal love trumps destiny. Who will prevail?
Because this review is going up so late, I'm going to just leave my thoughts as bullet points. I do have to warn you that a lot of it, particularly when I talk about what I liked about the book, are vague because I can't put into words exactly how I feel and/or why I feel the way I do.

  • There was a lot of great world building throughout the book, with lush descriptions and great insight into the government and societal structure
  • However, particularly at the beginning, there seemed to be a lot of info dumping. While I can understand it to a certain extent because it's being dumped onto Jaden herself, for me, it got to be too much too quickly. Perhaps that's the exact intent, but it didn't make it any easier to deal with. Not the worst issue in the world, but!
  • I love the characters! They are unique, and I particularly love the character interactions.
  • At times, however, I felt that someone was acting out of character. I'm not sure if that's because I felt that some characters seemed to always be changing, not really having one steady personality, or for some other reason.
  • Stemming off, there are some really great complex, in depth relationships and ideas (about the government, morality, responsibility, international relations/diplomacy, politics, and more)--it helps bridge the large gap between our world and their world, making it more real, more understandable, and more relatable
  • The concept is well thought out and pretty well executed. While Savage's writing isn't my favorite, it's not bad either.
  • Oftentimes, Jaden seemed to oscillate between two extremes--hating her new life and loving her new life. Again, while I can understand it, the change was often sudden and without a clear cause, making it confusing for me as a reader
  • I'm confused as to why other characters don't do something more than perhaps point out the fact that sometimes she'll slip up and say something wayyyy too modern. It's like they question it but easily accept her (lame) excuses. I can understand getting away with it once or twice, but afterwards, isn't it really obvious?
  • I do like Jaden and Ryder's relationship, but at the same time, I felt iffy about it since the start. It was obvious it was going to happen (maybe a little too obvious?), but it felt so sudden at the beginning. And then, I felt that a large part of their relationship was on the basis of their ermm...let's say "connection" so it's not spoiler-y.
  • It's a really engaging story, but I often felt like I could only read it in chunks, having to put down the book every 30 or so pages. I'm not entirely sure why because I'm really interested in the story and the plot and everything
  • Overall, the book really made me think about our lives, our responsibilities, our morality, how we react to problems, etc. I find this exploration and insight really interesting and very thought-provoking.
  • I really enjoyed the book, even if I can't completely explain exactly what I loved about. Something about the story and the characters just drew me in. I'd recommend it!

Other Books in the Transcender Series:

Jaden Beckett makes the journey once again from her home in Connecticut to the nation of Domerica on an alternate earth. The Inter-Universal Guidance Agency has granted her thirty days within which to choose her ultimate destiny. She may remain in Domerica, return to Connecticut, or join the other Transcenders in Arumel.

On her arrival, Jaden finds that all is not perfect in paradise. Her mother, Queen Eleanor, is ill and grows frailer with each passing day. Her scheming uncle has moved into the palace and assumed the role of Lord High Steward of the land. But even more troubling are events that took place in Jaden’s absence which have caused her to question the depth of her fiancĂ©’s love.

All the while, Jaden's friendship with a handsome, young Transcender from Arumel deepens. He teaches her how to use her astonishing gift to travel to exotic parallel worlds and introduces her to others in the Transcender community.

When the time draws near for Jaden’s final decision, her choice is anything but simple.

Jaden Beckett has a secret unknown to those in her adopted homeland of Domerica: she is a Transcender, capable of traveling among parallel worlds at will. When the powerful Inter- Universal Guidance Agency's sophisticated computer models predict that Jaden will eventually cause the downfall of that agency, IUGA decides to destroy her first. In order to save herself, her family, and the man she loves, Jaden must fake her own death and leave Domerica for good. The plan seems sound, but on the day of IUGA's attack, things go terribly wrong.

Heartsick and alone, Jaden ventures to Arumel, a progressive nation on an alternate earth, where Transcenders conduct valuable inter-universal research. Just when she thinks she's found a safe, new life, IUGA makes its presence known. This time, Jaden is determined not to be driven away. She will fight to discover her place in the multiverse, the true meaning of destiny, and the keys to the mystery of eternal love.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Other Tour Stops:
July 21 Ensconced in Lit - review
Crystal in Bookland – guest post
July 22 Pandora's Books - guest post
Ensconced in Lit – character interview
July 23 YA Book Nerd Reviews - review
Wonderland of Reading - review
July 24 The Whimsical Mama – guest post
Fly to Fiction – Review
July 25 Tea and Fangirling – Review
A Reading Nurse – guest post
July 26 I Heart YA Fiction – Author Interview
Mary Had a Little Book Blog – guest post


  1. Jess, thanks for your insightful review! It's very balanced and gives people a good idea of what to expect. As for some of your comments about how you weren't sure of certain things, I think the other two books will clarify a lot of stuff, so basically, read those pronto ;-) <3

  2. Jessica - Thanks so much for taking part in the Transcender tour (despite the earlier technical difficulties)! I appreciate your thoughtful review, and hope you're enjoying the final two books!


Thanks for visiting and reading! I appreciate all comments, and I always comment back if I can. :)

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