Series: MetaWars #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Pocket Books on 25 October 2011
Reading Challenges: 2013 In Uniform Challenge
Teresa ‘Trance’ West was a telepath in the Rangers Corps before the unthinkable happened. She and other preteens were fighting the baddies (Banes) when they suddenly lost their powers. Now orphaned, the group was separated for their own safety. When we first meet Teresa she is eking out an existence that I wouldn’t really wish on anyone. She suddenly gets her powers back but they aren’t her original ones and she risks her life whenever she uses them. Meding’s novel plays out like an X-Men episode with good and bad mutants fighting for dominance. Trance is your stereotypical average girl turned into a hero. She lost her ‘weak’ powers and somehow gained her grandmother’s which are very strong – so strong that she might be the most powerful meta ever. She also undergoes a character change from this shy loner to the leader despite the previous leader (Gage) being on hand. Clearly her star is on the rise. Trance is one of the few to make the connection that if she and her old team have their powers back then the Banes might too.
I loved the fact that Meding was willing to kill off members of the team with half dying before they even made it to their old base. It made the dystopian world far grittier and more realistic. The range of powers the characters had was very cool and we even had a stereotypical bad guy who was deliciously evil. The pace was set to turbo speed and it was one heck of a read.
My biggest problem with the book is the lack of emotion which affected the characterisation. I think Meding was trying to pack so much action in that it left little time for the little moments that would have added verisimilitude. Yes they are in the equivalent of a war but when a beloved character dies or nearly dies, they get over it very quickly and back to their own personal issues. I also didn’t get an overwhelming sense of chemistry between Trance and Gage so the shower scene wasn’t that smexy. The characters acted in a fairly uniform fashion and some morally conflicted characters or good guys that weren’t so nauseatingly good all of the time would have helped to shake things up. I guess I could have done with a little more Batman or Spiderman and a little less Superman. The characters felt younger than they really were given the way they interacted with each other. It would have been interesting if Meding had made this a flat out YA novel rather than pulling it up to adult.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book even though it had some flaws. Now Meding has got the first in the series out of the way, I hope she spends a little more time fleshing out the characterisation.