Book Review #26: Transcendence by H.G. Ahedi

Zane Carter is a survivor– a hardened, broken soldier. The confidence he used to have in his country is gone, and he knows, without a doubt, that the US is going to lose WW2. So, when a battle goes sideways and Zane blacks out, he’s sure he’s dead. This is the end for him.

Except, it’s not. When Zane wakes up, he finds himself behind enemy lines in a German-run world. The US did lose, and now the Nazis have taken over. As the days progress, though, Zane discovers that this world isn’t what it appears to be. Weird shadowed men lurk around him; strange visions keep appearing to him.

Unlocking the truth to this new strange land will be more than he bargained for. Zane will learn that, believe it or not, he’s more than just a soldier.

This was a REALLY good, quick read. As far as genres go, it’s a surprising blend of historical fiction, alt-history, and science fiction. You don’t really see the sci-fi at the end, and it did throw me for a bit of a loop. Yet, I still enjoyed it! I saw a lot of familiar themes from pop-culture and novels. For example: the obsession with uniformity and one person who stands out from the Divergent series, the looping aspect from movies like Groundhog Day, and the weird simulation-like scenarios from the Matrix.

The storyline is interesting and engaging enough to keep you guessing up until the very last moment. The reader is just as lost as Zane is, and the act of putting together the little puzzle pieces was so much fun. It was like a guessing game. I went from “he’s in a coma” to “he’s stuck in an experiment” to “omg aliens.” It kept setting me up for one thing and then proving me wrong. I absolutely loved it. Somehow, the ending STILL caught me off guard!

Essentially, if you’re a fan of alt-history or science fiction, you’ll enjoy this quick read. Solid 8/10 for me. Very well done, H.G. Ahedi!

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