Blurb (from Goodreads):
All seventeen-year-old composer Ien Montgomery desires is an escape from his family's rigid expectations for his life; someone to inspire his music. When he meets a beautiful violin-prodigy, Kiera McDougal, his life music takes on new life. With her, he imagines a future outside of his parents’ control. That is, until a horrible accident tears them apart.
Sent to die in a sanatorium, Ien’s obsession for Kiera grows unbearable. Tortured by thoughts he can’t escape and the truth of his monstrous disfigurement, he flees, desperate to exact revenge on the people that ruined his life – his parents. But, vengeance is empty. Betrayed by those closest to him, Ien discovers that the price for his happiness may be his sanity.
Set amidst the landscape of New York's Gilded Age, and inspired by Phantom of the Opera, TRANSCEND exposes the fine line between love and madness.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
(Source: I won a digital copy of this book. Thanks to author Christine Fonseca.)
17-year-old Ien is a musician, and he wants nothing more than to play music, and marry the girl of his dreams – Keira.
Unfortunately though his parents don’t approve of this match, and so when he asks Keira to marry him it is against his parent’s wishes.
On his way home from proposing, Ien is involved in an accident that leaves him with burns and cuts to his body, especially his face, leaving him badly disfigured.
Following a long recovery period, Ien’s parents decide that he will never recover, so stage a fake funeral, and send him off to be cared for by nuns.
What really happened to Ien though? Is his mother really trying to kill him for good? And will he ever be reunited with Keira?
This is a haunting story of a boy driven mad and disfigured, and forced to face the reality of what his life has become.
Ien only has his love for Kiera pulling him through, and it’s this that keeps him going, and keeps him striving to live, and to be whole again. He really has nothing else to live for, and this desperation really shines through. All the way through this story, Ien is haunted by his mother, his dead brother, and other voices that plague him, and he clings to this belief that Keira will wait for him. He really is haunted and driven mad by what has happened to him.
I found it quite difficult to work out what was actually going on during this book, as these voices that Ien was hearing obviously couldn’t really be real, and he didn’t seem to realise this. As the book went on, it became more and more obvious to me that Ien was delusional, and that he didn’t realise this, although I’m not sure how quick the reader is supposed to catch on to this fact.
I did guess the twist to the end of this tale, but this didn’t spoil the plotline as such. I did have mixed feelings by the end of this though, as I sort-of felt like I had been sucked in to Ien’s delusions, and gone through a bit of his madness with him. I don’t think I’ve ever really read anything like this before, so it is pretty unique, but at the same time the fact that you don’t really find out what is really going on until right at the very end was a bit annoying. I guess my feelings over this one are a bit ambivalent in the end really.
Overall; a haunting story of a boy driven mad and disfigured.
6.5 out of 10.