Wednesday, December 3, 2014

*Gizmos Early Review* Transcendent (Starling #3) by Lesley Livingston

**I received this book for free from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*Book Blurb*

On a storm-swept terrace high above the streets of Manhattan, Mason Starling holds the fate of the world in her hands as her beloved Fennrys lies bleeding at her feet, his life hanging in the balance. The ancient Norse prophecy of Ragnarok stands poised on the knife edge of fulfillment. Mason’s transformation into a Valkyrie—a chooser of the slain and the one who will ultimately bring about the end of the world—is complete. Still, she remains determined to thwart her father’s apocalyptic desires. Whatever is to come, it won’t happen because of what the prophecy foretold, or what Gunnar Starling has planned, or what the fates have already decided. What happens next will be up to Mason and the Fennrys Wolf. The world had better hope they haven’t reached the limits of what their souls and swords can survive.

*My Thoughts*

Transcendent is the final installment in the Starling trilogy. The story picks up right where the cliffhanger ending to Descendant left off. 17-year old fencing champion Mason Starling never really had to fight for her life until the world changed in an instant.

That was the night that Mason, her evil incarnate brother Rory, her immortal coach Toby Fortier, half-god Calum Aristarchos & fellow fencer Heather Palmerston found themselves trapped in Gosforth's gym and at the mercy of creatures known as Draugr. The arrival of the storm brought with it the legendary Fennrys Wolf who came to their aid and captured Mason's imagination and her heart.

Since then, Mason has found herself at the center of a prophecy. A prophecy in which her father Gunnar has been key architect in bringing about the end of the world. She's found herself being used, and pushed in several directions, including being stuck in Asgard. With her brother Rory and father manipulating events to their favor, Mason and gang have been fighting from behind to discover a way to stop them.

Now, with the prophecy hanging in the balance, and Mason's transition to Valkyrie complete, Mason must now make a choice. According to said prophecy, Mason must choose who will be Odin's third son, something she has no plans on doing. With Fenn, Rafe, Heather, Roth, Calum, and Daria Aristarchos along for the journey, Mason and Fenn must either finish the prophecy, or find a way of ending it once and for-all.

Transcendent is filled with Greek, Egyptian, Norse, and Celtic Mythological creatures. Mason and her allies have faced down werewolves, draugr, earthquakes, blood curses, and harpies and that is just the beginning of what is to come next. Transcendent answers questions about Fenn's parentage, and why he appeared to Mason. I liked that both of Fenn's parents make an appearance, and didn't try to guide his actions in one direction or the other.

I really appreciated that Fenn and Mason didn't have too many emotional ups and downs. Their partnership, and their love for the other is strong, and fun to read about. I like that they both faced adversity, and stood tall in the face of her fathers desire to bring about the End of Days. I like that Mason had the patience to help Fenn when she could have left him behind to face his own demons and fate.

In my previous review of Descendant, I mentioned that Heather, the only true human character in this trilogy, would have her part to play. And, wow, does she ever. You will have to read the previous novels in order to find out what Heather was given to help her. I will also say that with parents like Heather's, I would have requested parental rights termination immediately.

Overall, Transcendent keeps the action going, and the suspense of what Mason and Fenn will do a secret right until it is time for the final battle takes place. Transcendent is once again seen through the eyes of a variety of characters, including Mason, and Fenn. I would say that this alternate POV actually helps the story and doesn't take away from what is happening to any of the characters. I do believe that sooner, rather than later, I will end up going back and reading Livingston's Wondrous Strange trilogy now that I am familiar with the way she writes.

Author - Lesley Livingston
Title - Transcendent (Starling # 3)
Published by Harper Teen
Release Date: December 23, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Format: E-Book, 352 pages

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