TRANSCENDENT by Katelyn Detweiler


Age Range: 14 - 18
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Detweiler (Immaculate, 2015) returns to explore the premise of another miracle incarnate (like mother, like daughter).

Seventeen years after young Mina Dietrich endured the fallout of a virginal conception and in the wake of a harrowing domestic-terrorist attack on Disney World, Mina’s daughter, Iris (named for the enigmatic figure who proclaimed her birth), not only learns about her extraordinary origins, but she also finds out that the world never forgot her. Angry cynics demanding that the white teen admit her fraudulence and fanatic zealots demanding she put their shattered world back together suddenly appear in equal measures of dangerous passion. With her life becoming steadily more unrecognizable, Iris flees only to land in the company of brown-skinned classmate Zane and his sister. As the siblings realize the enormity of Iris’ situation and as Iris’ certainty of her non-messiah normalcy is shaken, the trio discovers that even the most faithful good deeds come at a cost. The chilling plausibility of the actions and reactions of an America dealing with the murders of thousands of children is far more effective than Iris’ introspective narration, which falls a little flat as she repeatedly goes to the brink of questioning her privilege and the position others have placed her in but never goes further than preoccupation with her own guilt.

A fascinating answer to the “…but then what?” that lingers at the end of Immaculate. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 4th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-451-46963-2
Page count: 448pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2016


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