Author: C.J. Omololu
Genre: young adult, supernatural
Series: Transcendence #2
Pages: 336 (Nook ARC edition)
Published: expected June 2013
Source: publishers via NetGalley
In the sequel to Transcendence, past lives and lost loves make the present more dangerous than ever.
As Cole begins to accept her new life as Akhet, every new vision from her past lives helps explain more about who she is in this life. Her love for Griffon grows as quickly as her Akhet abilities, while Cole learns to recognize other Akhet around her, including Drew, a young millionaire who reveals a startling connection—he was Cole’s true love in Elizabethan England. But Drew’s intense desire to restore their past relationship alienates Griffon. Caught between the person she was in the 15th century and the person she is now, Cole must decide who she loves and figure out her place in the Akhet’s worldwide plan as a rogue Akeht sets out to destroy them all.
With more epic romance and adventure, Intuition brings readers further into this fascinating world where reincarnation changes all the rules for life and love.
I enjoyed this novel, but those three-and-a-half out of five stars pained me to assign. Really pained me. I had started this betting myself that it could only improve on how much I loved Transcendence. For as much fun and as entertaining as this novel manages to be, it is a pale shadow of the sheer awesome that was the first book. A lot of what made the latter different among YA is happily still there: a focus on Egyptian mythology, reincarnation as a means to immortality, and a strong, smart female protagonist. Unfortunately, unlike its predecessor, Intuition falls prey to a lot of YA tropes that keep it from being a better novel. A distinct concentration on the romance to the detriment of an actual plot, a love triangle, and a somewhat rushed final conflict and resolution kept Intuition from the level previously seen in this series.
C.J. Omololu has a lot of talent for writing likeable characters, but it hurts the novel when the writing is concerned more with depicting a love triangle rather than in further developing and defining her cast of characters as individuals. I will always appreciate actual conflict more than romantic drama. Cole, the main character and first person narrator, comes off a lot less capable and interesting than she did in the first book. I can lay this solidly on the conflict she engages with most: which boy she wants to date. There are other conflicts at play in the novel, but her main struggle is between her past love from another life and the one she has found in her current one. If the author had chosen to showcase Cole's struggles to streamline her memories and past lives within her current one more, or even on her newfound abilties - well, let's say this would be a different review.
The antagonists of the book are also lacking in both dimension and presentation. The inclusion of the villain from the first book, Veronique, came off as a minor plot point. Subsequently, the later reveal of the actual antagonist was rather flat and rushed, compared with the time it took to get Cole to that point. It just didn't play well within the scope of the novel; after so much time, so many pages on Cole's wrestling with her love life, the sudden turnabout to real plot felt shallow and hollow. The books ties up the ends pretty nicely and satisfactorily while still leaving an open door for a further sequel.
For all that I had some misgivings, Intuition is a fast and involving read. The ideas and mythologies I loved so much from before are still in evidence and Omololu expands the worldbuilding more. The Ahket, The Sekhem, the Khered - all are explained and detailed more, but never in a way that feels like an infodump. If you don't remember what the terms and ideas are from the first book, I suggest you reacquaint yourself before trying this one. The author doesn't rehash too much from what happened or was explained before, so a good memory or a refresher is a good idea before diving in.
I didn't love this as much as I had hoped and wanted to, but that doesn't mean I didn't have a good time while reading Intuition. What Omololu does well, she does really really well. Her characters are likeable, her ideas unique, and her writing simple but effective. This may suffer a bit from sequel syndrome, but that doesn't mean I won't be eagerly anticipating any sequels or other novels the author will write.