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Publisher's Summary

The Zardalu are back....

The search for the Builders, the legendary alien race whose unfathomable constructs continue to perplex scholars and explorers alike, has led Builder expert Darya Lang, adventurer Hans Rebka, and treasure hunters Louis Nenda and Atvar H'sial to an unknown Builder artifact far outside the spiral arm. There they find the Zardalu, once the greatest menace ever known to the worlds of the spiral arm, enslaving entire races and exterminating others, guided by the unswerving belief in their own supremacy.

The only chance to eliminate the Zardalu threat is to find them all and wipe them out before they have time to breed back up to strength and once again threaten civilized beings everywhere. But the way will not be easy. Even if they manage to locate the Zardalu, they still have the Builders to deal with. For the closer they get to their quarry, the clearer it becomes that the Zardalu and their world are closely entwined with the fate, and the plans, of the Builders themselves.

©1992 Charles Sheffield (P)2000 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Sheffield's narrative is smooth, and the joys, pitfalls and dangers of exploration are conveyed well." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Transcendence

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 18-10-2003

The Heritage Universe series..THE BEST IN SCI-FI

I have read then all...all sci-fi authors for the past 50 years and this is one of the finest(TO ME..N0 1)..And audible has RECENTLY put out ,..for us.. the entire four book HERITAGE SERIES (unabridged) no less..of THE BEST OF this scientest's great works. This book is next to last of the series..read them in order if you can..but each is really a masterpiece.
The author, is not only tops in the sci-fi field, but is a well educated scientest..in physics, quantum mechanics, theoritacal phsyics.(cosmology to quantum mysteries and on) AND he incorporates this universal understanding and level of knowledge into his works!!!..Sci fi readers...read ...and beg the author for more!!
Prof. D.T.K (retired)

37 people found this helpful

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  • Garrett Sheldon
  • 26-03-2021

Production Quality

The story was great. The performance by the reader was also great. The only issue was that they couldn't bother to edit out the "CD change" for each disc. I found this lazy oversight to be very annoying and it really detracted from the overall experience.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • L.
  • 07-01-2006

Even better than book 2

Transcendence is even better than the first two books in the Heritage series. I know some people like their books to move a little faster, but Sheffield liked to add detail to his writings. That detail may seem a bit long winded, but it helps you understand the story MUCH better, and you don't realize the detail added to the story until you reflect on the story a while.

Several times I found myself wishing it would move a bit faster, but then I realized it just because the story was so good I wanted to find out what happened next!

The Heritage series is probably not for people that like "light" Sci-fi, Sheffield wrote HARD sci-fi with a lot of detail and explanation about his Characters, planets, aliens, technology, etc.
The series is for intelligent adults, not the kiddies.

I just finished burning book 4 (Convergence, the final book in the series) and can't wait to listen to it... so I'm cutting this review short ;)

The narration, as always with this series, is VERY well done.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ephraim
  • 07-09-2021

Dry Initially But Gets Better

I have to admit when I first began listening I wondered why this book got so many wonderful reviews. It was pretty dull and with the amount of information you're given and the relatively little action. Yet, I ended up falling asleep and when I woke up and found it still going the action scene was pretty interesting. I listened to the rest of the story from that point and ended up relistening to the whole book.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-06-2021

Bad rip

Since this is book three in the series then anyone at this point is familiar with the pace and quality of the story telling. The issue on this one is it is a rip from a cd based audio book and it talks about changing disks. Should be cleaned up a bit in editing.

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  • D. Cooper
  • 13-05-2021

Kinda starts to pick up after the 2nd or 3rd book

I bumped up the speed of the narrator to 1.1x so it wouldn't drag so much. Good aliens and storyline but it took a while to get there.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dan
  • 19-08-2009

really excellent

Very good series (remember Book1 Summetide is just intro). I think I'll miss the characters after I finish the series.

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  • crazybatcow
  • 12-04-2013

More action-adventure than sci-fi

The denouement is a chapter(+) too long. And there aren't any excerpts from the alien reference guide in this book, only excerpts from a space explorer's biography which I didn't like as much as the detailing of alien species; but, of course, no new species are introduced in this book, so I guess we didn't miss anything.

This installment has less "mystery" and less exploration of aliens/Builders... it's more an action-adventure book than a sci-fi exploration book (though the action all occurs on an alien planet). There are some hard sci-fi explanations of various techy things, but you don't really have to follow the science to follow the story.

All in all, it was my least favorite of the 3 so far (a 3.5 instead of a 4), but I will be reading the next (final) book in the series because the characters are interesting and fun to follow - and I'm curious what Louis and Ant will get up to... (though it is not a cliff-hanger ending).

The narration is very good. There is no sex or foul language and not much in the way of violence either. I'd suggest you don't start with this book though - start with the first book because the story would probably not make much sense on its own - in particular, the humor and some of the suspense requires you be familiar with the characters.

3 people found this helpful

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