“The Transition” by R J Tomlin
Before I get into the write up of this book, let me give you a little bit of background…
I was wandering around Leeds a few months ago on one of those rare days where I didn’t have an agenda or anything much to do – it was a Sunday morning and the living was easy. I popped into WH Smith to have a mooch at stationery and kid’s books for my older ones and spotted a collection of books ‘written’ by England & Chelsea footballer Frank Lampard. I’m not going to cast aspersions about how much involvement he may have had with the actual writing, but it made me feel a bit cheesed off about the continual ‘celebrity’ production line that is all too evident in the books marketplace.
I’d love there to be a law written that simply says you can only have your name on a book if you actually wrote the damn thing…and can prove it.
Around that time I had spotted on a Mary Berry book that was in the house that she had seemingly put her name to a recipe book made up of recipes that had previously been published in an American Good Housekeeping publication…but the recipes had been ‘adapted’ by her. Now what does that mean…2 cherries instead of 1 on top of someone else’s cake recipe?
Anyway, I won’t rant (any more)…but about 10 minutes after leaving Smiths I came across a young guy stood in the street wearing a sign that said he wanted to be the next J K Rowling and he was handing out flyers to promote the latest novel he had written. This is around 10.30am on a Sunday morning, when most guys his age would be sleeping off a hangover from the night before, and here is Ryan walking the streets promoting his hard work.
I have to say, I was damn impressed, and he stopped to pose for a photo.
So, in the space of ten minutes I had seen both ends of the world of an author…from the rich footballer who goes straight into Smiths with my suspicion that he didn’t have to do much, down to the hard-working amateur grinding out interest and sales by hitting the streets. The least I could do was share this guy on my own facebook page and knock out some tweets.
I bought a copy of his latest book, The Transition from the Amazon Kindle store, and finally got around to reading it a few weeks ago.
I have to say, this guy should be the one in Smiths…and Waterstones and anywhere else you can buy books from. It is a very, very, very good read.
“Rume has never met his parents. Like all the other children in the community, he must wait until his eighteenth birthday before he does. For years he has seen countless people travel through the vault door and, with a white flash, be gone and never return, travelling over the Ridge to join the rest of the adult world. This is called The Transition. The day when you leave the community and your new life begins.
However, a few days before Rume is due to leave, he receives a message warning him of the truth of the world beyond the vault door. And thus, he is faced with a choice; continue to believe what he has been told, or discover the truth. But to do so he must break the one unbreakable rule; that when your time comes, you must complete The Transition.”
What I made of it
The Transition is an excellent lengthy read. It lives within the ever-expanding Young Adult (or YA) universe of books, and offers compelling dystopian themes that would sit well with anyone who has read The Hunger Games or anything from the Divergent series. The author quotes The Maze Runner as one of his sources of inspiration and you get a feel of that coming through The Transition, but this is a unique piece of work and a fresh story…no ‘me too’ writing going on here.
The main character is very likeable, and you root for him every step of the way as he peels back the layers of lies that his entire childhood and teenage life has given him so far. It is very difficult to go into any real detail about the story as there will be spoiler after spoiler if I do, but suffice to say that the book moves at some pace and is a real rollercoaster ride through many parts of it.
As you get deeper into the book, and certainly from their initial attempted escape from the Nethertower and some of their first experiences in the outside world you can feel that this book is crying out to be made into a film, and one that would work given the right editing and directorial treatment. From pretty much start to finish it leaves you gripped – it would even work on radio and that is high praise indeed.
The story is complete and self-contained – there are no cliffhangers or loose ends to tie up and it provided many hours of enjoyment.
This YA area of science fiction is not my normal stomping ground as being far from a young adult these days I find myself locked in books by the likes of Huxley, Orwell, Wyndham , Phillip K Dick et al. That said, I have enjoyed The Hunger Games and the first Divergent book in the last 12 months and The Transition has opened my eyes a little wider and I will be exploring the genre a bit more going forward.
So, hats off to R J Tomlin – not only does he work hard to promote his own writing he also really can write and shows promise of becoming an even more talented author if he sticks with it, and I am sure he will. He already has a decent collection of books available of which this is only one of them and I will give the others a whirl in due course. Find out more about all of his work on his Amazon author page.
The Transition is available from the Amazon Kindle Store for the cost of a pint or a large Starbucks. This guy deserves everyone to give up one alcoholic or caffeine based beverage this year and spend the money on this book instead.
If you do end up buying it, or if you give it a try through the Kindle Unlimited scheme then be kind to the author and leave him a decent review. I suspect that reviews on Amazon are the key to a self-published author’s success. If someone spends months working on a book that you have enjoyed, or even liked a little bit, then the least you can do is spend 2 minutes letting the world know that you enjoyed it.