________________ CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 27 . . . . March 16, 2012



Nicholas Maes.
Toronto, ON: Dundurn, 2012.
246 pp., trade pbk., $12.99.
ISBN 978-1-4597-0231-8.

Grades 8 and up /Ages 13 and up.

Review by Ronald Hore.

**½ /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



As the pair moved off, Simon called to them, "If you see my brother, can you tell him I’m waiting?"

"What am I? A messenger service? Go tell him yourself!" Peter yelled back.

"Go to hell, Carpenter!" Winston added.

They passed down an aisle. Winston announced, in a very loud voice, that Simon was the weirdest kid in school, "Grade A weird," he practically shouted. "One day we’ll read he’s a psycho killer."

If their purpose was to worry Simon, they’d achieved their goal. He knew he was weird in everyone’s eyes. His very family thought he was strange, his mom, dad, and even Ian. "The eccentric," they called him, in a friendly way. His parents would often throw him this look when they learned that he’d neglected to study or become distracted when driving the car. If he really was "eccentric," as his family believed, then Winston was right and he was possibly psycho.

Picture a conversation with a rabbit in a pet shop, or a cat typing on a computer. These are part of the setting of Transmigration, a tale of a 16-year-old boy, Simon, living in modern Vancouver, who discovers there are entities who can take over a body. These determined entities have a plan. They want to take over the world by replacing the existing souls inside humans.

     Simon discovers he can communicate with these beings, learns of their plans and his place in them. The resulting plot takes the reader on a chase across Europe and back again, following Simon and his associates. Simon’s problem: "How do you defeat an entity that can slip in and out of bodies, and who might be the drunk leaning against a wall, a pigeon sitting on a windowsill, or the neighbourhood dog?” Not one dimensional, the story presents the motivation behind the entities’ plans.

     The story is 246 pages long, broken into 22 chapters. At the back of the book is a two-page glossary of the terms used by the entities to describe the various terms they use for souls, bodies and conditions, something I found I referred to often in order to sort things out. After that, there is a page of acknowledgments and two pages of previous books by the same author.

     Well written and fast paced, Transmigration should appeal to readers who enjoy an adventure tale with a bit of an unusual twist or setting. While the story has a satisfactory conclusion, it leaves itself open for a sequel.


Ronald Hore, involved with writer’s groups for several years, dabbles in writing fantasy in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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