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The Transition by Luke Kennard

The Blurb On The Back:

What do you do with a generation who’ve had everything, but still can’t grow up?


Perhaps this is you.

Perhaps you spend more than you earn.

We know.


Perhaps you still live with your parents.

We know.


Perhaps those ignored bills and reminders have become threats and court summons.

We can help.


Welcome to The Transition


While taking part in THE TRANSITION you and your partner will spend six months living under the supervision of your mentors, two successful adults of a slightly older generation. Freed from your financial responsibilities, you will be coached through the key areas of the scheme until you are ready to be reintegrated into adult society.

Employment.

Nutrition.

Responsibility.

Relationship.

Finances.

Self-respect.


At the end of your six months – who knows what discoveries you’ll have made about yourself? The ‘friends’ you no longer need. The talents you’ll have found time to nurture. The business you might have kick-started.

Who knows where you’ll be?




It’s the near future. 34-year-old Karl Temperley makes a living writing student essays and product reviews for anonymous employers but the money doesn’t support the lifestyle he or his wife Genevieve want. To pay off rising credit card bills he gets involved in a click-farm enterprise that turns out to be a front for criminal activities and finds himself arrested and facing 15 months in jail. Fortunately his friend, Kenton, knows of an alternative: Karl and Genevieve can sign up to a pilot programme called The Transition. For 6 months they’ll live with an older couple and learn about employment, nutrition, responsibility, relationships, bills, investment and self-respect. Many of The Transition’s graduates have gone on to start successful businesses but while Karl and Genevieve’s programme sponsors – Stu and Janna – seem pleasant enough, Karl, begins to suspect that not everything about the programme is on the level and something far more sinister is going on …

Luke Kennard’s debut novel is a satire on Millennials but the humour isn’t sharp enough or black enough to hit its targets, the Millennials are unsympathetically portrayed as victims of their own sense of entitlement, the conspiracy elements don’t make a lick of sense, the allusion to a central text made for some pretentiously bad writing and ultimately I just didn’t care about anyone enough to be invested in how their story ended. Karl had potential to be an interesting character – lacking in ambition, self-pitying and self-sabotaging, his personality is in conflict with the programme’s purpose, but I didn’t believe in his devotion to Genevieve (who in is a two-dimensional hot chick with an unexplained mental illness that makes her easy to manipulate) and as a result didn’t care about Stu and Janna’s painfully obvious attempts to split them up. The Transition itself didn’t convince as a cult – mainly because Kennard keeps its motives vague, the use of a central text called The Trapeze seemed there solely to indulge poor writing in the name of mystery and because Kennard relies on the old saw that it controls bad media about itself. The inept resistance is limp and ineffectual (which is mainly the point) but means that there’s no real sense of danger and the writing just isn’t funny. There’s scope for a great novel about Millennials but this smug, self-satisfied limp effort doesn’t work and I would hesitate before reading Kennard’s next book.

The Verdict:

Luke Kennard’s debut novel is a satire on Millennials but the humour isn’t sharp enough or black enough to hit its targets, the Millennials are unsympathetically portrayed as victims of their own sense of entitlement, the conspiracy elements don’t make a lick of sense, the allusion to a central text made for some pretentiously bad writing and ultimately I just didn’t care about anyone enough to be invested in how their story ended. Karl had potential to be an interesting character – lacking in ambition, self-pitying and self-sabotaging, his personality is in conflict with the programme’s purpose, but I didn’t believe in his devotion to Genevieve (who in is a two-dimensional hot chick with an unexplained mental illness that makes her easy to manipulate) and as a result didn’t care about Stu and Janna’s painfully obvious attempts to split them up. The Transition itself didn’t convince as a cult – mainly because Kennard keeps its motives vague, the use of a central text called The Trapeze seemed there solely to indulge poor writing in the name of mystery and because Kennard relies on the old saw that it controls bad media about itself. The inept resistance is limp and ineffectual (which is mainly the point) but means that there’s no real sense of danger and the writing just isn’t funny. There’s scope for a great novel about Millennials but this smug, self-satisfied limp effort doesn’t work and I would hesitate before reading Kennard’s next book.

THE TRANSITION will be released in the United Kingdom on 26th January 2016. Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the ARC of this book.
Tags: amazon vine programme, humour, literary fiction, luke kennard, satire
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