Full review here: http://infinispace.net/2015/01/review-transcendental-james-gunn/
I'm not sure why this book has low ratings on Goodreads, considering GR typically has inflated ratings based on some number crunching I did recently. Anyway, Transcendental is influenced by The Canterbury Tales, with the mystery of a whodunnit, and taking place during a star flung pilgrimage/quest to find the Transcendental Machine. Fans of Richard Dawkins will love the Darwinist themes liberally slathered throughout. Since creationism/evolution is a hot topic lately, many people will hate this book for that reason alone...which is a terrible reason to hate a science fiction book. Theists can learn of these themes with a modicum of research before picking up this book, saving themselves some time, and aggravation if works of fiction like this irritate them.
Two negatives: 1) The main character, Riley, shrugs...A LOT. LOL! 2) Transendental appears to be the first book of a possible trilogy, and James Gunn is currently 91 years old.
Other than that, I enjoyed it quite a bit.