Transcendent: Book 1

Transcendent: Book 1

By Author / Illustrator

Patrick Gallagher


Science Fiction

Age range(s)



Orion Children's Books




Paperback / softback




JOIN THE TEAM. SAVE THE WORLD. Twin geniuses Jacob and Kira are recruited to take part in a high-tech mission to protect the planet ... but will their dreams of adventure come true, or is the threat too great to handle?

Jacob and Kira live in the heart of Mbale, Uganda with their conservationist mother and navigate life as unsuspecting geniuses; Kira with hopes to explore outside the hot terrains of Uganda, and conspiracy theorist Jacob, whose fear often holds him back from the answers he so desperately wants to uncover.  But when they discover that someone has been watching their every move in the hopes to enlist them in a top-secret agency called Transcendent, their lives are turned upside down.

Soon the twins are hurtled from the luscious landscapes of Mbale, to the sleek streets of London, where - alongside other selected protegees - they must undertake three rigorous trials, each more difficult than the last, to be accepted into Transcendent. If they are successful, they will be launched into space to complete a high-stakes mission to fight the greatest threat the world has ever seen.  Only, the twins soon realise they have more to contend with than they bargained for ... is there a more sinister reason they have been chosen?   Two kids, one top-secret agency and an epic mission to save the world!

'A fun, action-packed thriller with a brother-sister duo that I really loved.' - David Owen, author of the Alex Neptune series.  'Transcendent is a fast-paced , clever and contemporary story that spans cultures, continents and even space!' Jenny, ReadingZone.

Find out more from author Patrick Gallagher, and discover what inspired his debut novel, Transcendent.



Jacob and Kira are twin geniuses from Mbale, Uganda. Jacob is quieter and more circumspect, Kira is bolder and inclined to take risks, but both are spectacularly intelligent. They designed a wireless hacking device when they were only nine years old, while their latest invention is an atmospheric converter to change carbon dioxide fumes into fuel.

Now their remarkable talents have come to the attention of giant multinational technology conglomerate, RanaTech. An offer follows - will they join Transcendent, an urgent mission to save the planet? Of course, there's no stopping Kira, and even cautious Jacob cannot resist the challenge. But once they have been catapulted from their sunny home in the shadow of Mount Elgon to the grey rain of a London winter, it does not take long for doubts to bubble up. Are RanaTech really committed to saving the planet or is there a more sinister agenda? And, if there is, will the twin geniuses be able to uncover it?

The plot of Transcendent is crammed with action and cool technological gadgets and, to pack it all in, the pace is fast. It feels much more modern than the Alex Rider series - the computers are more powerful, the risks of climate change are threaded through the story, both protagonists are from Africa and one is a girl - but it will appeal to the same types of reader. The excitement of the story takes precedence over sophisticated prose but, for those who like a thrilling adventure with a dash of science fiction, it will be an absolutely perfect read for pleasure.

336 pages / Reviewed by Louisa Farrow, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


Epic, sweeping, cinematic action adventure from debut author Patrick Gallagher. Transcendent is a fast-paced , clever and contemporary story that spans cultures, continents and even takes its story out of this world into the mysteries of Space.

Kira and Jacob Flynn are super-smart geniuses with astounding scientific and technical skills, way beyond their years. They are also super streetwise, navigating the bustling busy streets of their home town, Jinja ,in their native homeland, Uganda. With their mixed heritage of an English father and staunch conservationist Ugandan mother, their electric blue eyes and skin tone set them apart as much as their extraordinary IQs.

The Flynn siblings do not go unnoticed and someone has indeed been watching them from afar… Earth and humanity are in an environmental crisis like never before. Kira and Jacob are primed to become planet Earth's next line of defence - but against what exactly? Plucked from the sweltering heat of Uganda to the sleek,high tech world of RanaTech in England , the twins join an elite selected group of teens in taking part in the Transcendent trials to be selected to train on a space station and discover new, vital ways to save the human race. There are daunting equations and scientific puzzles to solve and their own worst fears to face as they prepare for the mission of a lifetime. The top secret agency RanaTech has, however, may not be telling its new, nervous but heroic recruits the whole truth about their humanity-saving mission...

Transcendent is a captivating story that sweeps the reader across the globe. We are immersed in the natural Ugandan landscape of heat, moorlands, mountains and into packed, colourful, noisy street markets and then transported into the sterile, cold laboratory environment of the Ranatech trial base. We are caught up in conversations about Earth's past, about the natural habitats that are threatened, and in space-age speculations about what path the human race may take next, or what they may encounter beyond the stars they set out to explore.

Within these immense thought-provoking issues lies the bond between a brother and sister - the beating heart of the story and how, whatever we face in life, we cannot face it alone but need those closest to us to be alongside us. There are scenes of sibling teasing, arguing and affection, and moments of high tension, personality stand offs, as both Kira and Jacob stand by their differing ideals and views despite the distance it puts between them.

High octane, high emotion, occasionally terrifying and utterly riveting.

336 pages / Reviewed by Jennifer Caddick, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


Other titles