ARC Review: Transcendent by Lesley Livingston

TranscendentSeries: Starling #3
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Mythology, Young Adult
Release Date: December 23rd, 2014
Publisher HarperTeen
Source:  eARC from Edelweiss
Check out on GOODREADS


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.


I read Starling over two years ago and while I was taken by the book it took me a long time to finally pick up the sequel, which I did when I saw the trilogy finale on Edelweiss. I was ready to dive back into the world Livingston had created but was afraid that it might not live up to everything I had remembered it to be and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed. When I picked up Transcendent though, I was ready, and I was not the least bit disappointed. This book lived up to the expectations one might have from a finale and there wasn’t a moment where I wasn’t practically bouncing off the walls with excitement. 

I think the key to why this book made me so happy is that with finales there is always a good chance the author might decide to throw in some unnecessary romantic drama to make the stakes higher but Livingston didn’t go down that road. What made her book work was that with all this chaos unfolding, the main characters decided to stick together and see it through. There were no secrets, no nothings, they planned together and they TALKED. It’s beautiful seeing communication done so well.

Mason is a good female lead. I say good and not great because I am starting to realize that the two are not one and the same but Mason was a good female lead. I cheered for her and she’s just one of those female leads who isn’t impulsive and actually likes to think things through. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t make mistakes. Of course she does, she has her selfish moments too but all of them are realistic so you cannot help but relate to her dilemma. She didn’t ask for any of this but now she’s trying to handle it with the best of her ability.

Fenrys is good character as well. I think my favorite thing about him is that he is always willing to stick with Mason no matter what. He is a great shoulder to lean on and he is there for her when she needs him. He complements her perfectly which is why they make such a great couple. They are both brave and smart but neither of them are perfect and they work so well together!

You might have realized this by now but I’ll mention it anway, they are great as couple. They work well together. In fact, while they’ve had some bumps in their relationship, none of it was ever the result of unnecessary drama. This is the kind of relationship you want to read about. End of story.

The fact remains that this series doesn’t have any mind blowing world building but the way the author adopts some of the mythological aspects and makes them her own are definitely worth mentioning. I particularly enjoyed her take on Loki! And I loved the way she mixed in other myths and gods too. So while the series focued particularly on Nordic mythology, there were some elements of other myths present which made not just this book, but the entire series, fun to read.

Considering that Ragnorak is just around the corner in this book, or actually, pretty much taking place, the stakes are high. It’s clear from the way this book is written. It’s very fast paced and keeps you on your toes but the author makes sure that while things are serious, there are always little moments that relieve the tension and just make the reading experience all the more better.

But getting back to the fact that this book is a finale, I personally enjoyed the final showdown. I thought it was well written. Everything has been building up to the moment and while I would have been happy had the moment laster longer, by no means was it rushed. The author did the series justice with her finale and I loved the way things were wrapped up. It wasn’t too neat but it wasn’t depressing either. Which is just the way I like it.

While this isn’t the most amazing or the most interesting series out there, I’d still suggest giving this one a shot just because of how fun it is. The pages fly by and the characters are all interesting to read about. I know I am definitely going to be missing them.  So if you’re looking for a fun series to read that won’t take too much of your time, how about picking this one up?

Rating Report
Overall: 3.9
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Rashika is a mysterious creature who likes to hide in the shadows. It's impossible to get to know her but if you must know, she is a huge bookworm. She also happens to have a huge sweet tooth so you can always lure her over the dark side by offering her something sweet (or bribing her with books).


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  1. says

    The author sounds familiar…I’ve not read any of her books but I think I saw her name in a convention here in Toronto but I will definitely give her books a shot now that I’ve read this review! I’m glad the author focused on what’s important and the romance didn’t overpower the storyline. I get annoyed too when I was expecting a roller-coaster ride adventure and I end up with melodrama. I like that the characters sticked together because when it’s a life and death situation, people shouldn’t focus on their own personal dramas! The author did right with this one. Lovely review Rashika! I miss you!
    Amir recently posted…Review: Dangerous Boys by Abigail HaasMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      Right? Eww Melodrama. I love my romances but drama usually just makes them suck. RIGHT?! Life or death situations require people to work together as a team so they can tackle problems instead of sitting around twiddling their thumbs. :D

      Thanks Amir!! <3

    • Rashika says

      RIGHT? I wish more series would end on a good note. It doesn’t have to end with a big bang, it just needs to end in a way that honors the series. Me too! :)

    • Rashika says

      I am sorry to hear that :( I havent been reading a lot of series finales lately.. I’ve been putting them off since I am worried about how they’d end. I am glad I read this one though since it made me SO HAPPY.

      Thanks, hon <3

  2. says

    The only book by Lesley Livingston that I’ve read was Once Every Never, and I’ve no idea why I never finished that series. I mean she IS Canadian. It’s great that Starling ended on a high note because lukewarm finales are such a bummer. I think that I’m finally over my Norse mythology overload, so I might just check this trilogy out!
    Carmel @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Best Books I’ve Read in 2014My Profile

    • Rashika says

      *gasps* HOW DARE YOU CARMEL???

      Lukewarm finales are really a buzz killer especially if you’ve been really looking forward to. HA! I am really glad to hear that, Carmel! I haven’t been overloaded on Norse Myth yet ;)

    • Rashika says

      Right? One more shouldn’t make a difference to the never ending pile ;) Can you imagine what our lives would be like if that pile ever actually ended?!?!?!

      Thanks hon <3

  3. says

    I hadn’t even considered reading this series before since it just wasn’t for me but now I’m super curious. Love that this finale didn’t suffer from any “unnecessary romance additions” and that communication was key. Lovely review Rashika! If I see this one in the library anytime soon I might just start this series :)

    • Rashika says

      Me too. I really was glad. I was slightly worried since there was potential for drama but the author didn’t go down that road :)

      Thanks Lily!! :)

    • Rashika says

      Ha. For me it was more about the fact that it had been over two years since I had read book 1 so I had no idea whether the book would turn out well for me considering I had time to change as a reader.

      Thanks Melliane!! :)

  4. says

    Same! Finales are so unpredictable, but I’m glad this was one of your favorite endings! I have been thinking about starting this series so your review comes at the right time ;) (it’s in one of our local bookstores for 9€. CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS????) Haha! I’m glad you’re on this ship, man! Also, LOKIIIIIIIIII. GIVE ME THIS ALL DAY EVERY DAY. I’ll take whatever Nordic mythology you want to give me, but Loki is a winner. ALWAYS. So many final showdowns disappoint lately so I’m glad to hear that it was it was a good one! Definitely managed to put this on my radar, love! <3
    Siiri recently posted…Review: Amour Amour by Krista and Becca RitchieMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      OMFG. I AM JEALOUS. That is HELLA cheap. I am seriously hoping you end up getting it :D. I KNOW. LOKI is my homie. I love Loki. :’) Right? Nordic myth is SO FUN. I know. Final showdowns can go either way and I was glad this one didn’t let me down. I mean… it is Ragnorak. It would have been a pity if it had let me down.

      YAY. I win this round! :PPP

    • Rashika says

      Yasssss. The romance may not have been something that made me swoon but there is a certain charm to a romance that has a healthy amount of communication. Exactly!!! :D

      Thanks, Nick!! :)

    • Rashika says

      Me either. Fae/fairy books were kind of ruined for me a while ago. I make the occasional exception but usually steer clear. Yayyy!!! :D I am so glad to hear that, Jen!

  5. says

    “This is the kind of relationship you want to read about.”. YES – why are there so many relationships with that unnecessary drama? It’s so frustrating! I’m glad this one doesn’t have it.

    The Ragnarok and the final showdown sounds like it would bring something really epic to the book (hence it’s name), so I can see why you enjoyed it!

    Great review as always Rashika. Merry Christmas x
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…The Rapunzel Dilemma by Jennifer Kloester Review: Princess SyndromeMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      RIGHT?! No one really likes it (or at least no one I know). We all like our ships sailing nice and steady.. there will be a few bumps but we like seeing couples work as a team. AMIRITE? (or amiwrong? :P)

      I love my shodwoans! :D

      Thanks Jeann <3 (Merry belated christmas... happy advanced new year)
      (that makes no sense)

    • Rashika says

      RIGHT?!?! It’s so annoying. With series finale, I’d rather there be minimal drama and more focusing on the larger picture :P

      Thanks Braine! :) Hope you had a great one!