Reviewed by JenBoy, Kelly Meding sure does love to kill her characters. Seriously, no one was safe in this action packed Urban Fantasy that kept me guessing all the way to the very end.
The story centers on the title character, Trance. She was born a Meta, a human with super-powers. She trained as a child to become a Ranger --one of the "good guys" who protected the world from the Banes (Metas who would use their powers for evil.) When she was only 10, nearly all of the Rangers were wiped out in a brutal war with the enemy. She and a handful of other children were the only Rangers who survived. But somehow, they lost their powers that day. The kids who were once a team, were separated and placed into the foster system to grow up as "regular" kids.
15 years later, Trance is barely scraping by. She's an ex-con. She's working three dead-end jobs and she can barely keep a roof over her head. Then, out of nowhere, her powers return. Scratch that. She gets all new, super-charged, bad-ass powers that made her old abilities look like child's play. Trance realizes that if her powers are back, it stands to reason that the other Metas are probably charging up too... that includes the Banes imprisoned in New York all these years. She sets out to find her old team --and doesn't get far before the old Bane leader attacks.
Trance survives, but not everyone is as lucky. The villain is picking off the team, one by one. By the time they all get together, only half are left alive. Then, it's a race to see if they can track down the Big Bad before he manages to kill them all. I did say that a lot of people die in this book, right?
I liked the story a lot. The characters were interesting and well-fleshed out. The story was unpredictable and frankly, I had no idea who the villain was until Meding's big reveal. And then, it made total sense. The world-building was fantastic and had kind-of a Watchmen-esque feel to it. But it was no copycat.
There is a romance too. (*sigh*) Gage, one of Trance's fellow Rangers, has a connection with her from the very beginning. Despite their emotional baggage, the spark turns into an all out flame. And honestly, I spent the whole second half of the book in fear that Meding would kill him off. (I won't tell you if she did.) I will tell you that we get a bit of sexy time which provided some much-needed distraction from the barrage of action.
The relationship moves a bit fast. In fact, if I have one complaint, it's that the whole story moves a bit fast. I think the events all manage to take place inside of a week or so and it's a lot crammed into a very small window of time. I guess the frenetic pace adds something to already overwhelming nature of what's happening to Trance, but drawing it out a little would have made her personal growth, as a woman and a leader, more believable. Ditto for the relationship between her and Gage, and the one between William and Renee.
Overall, though, I enjoyed the story. I can't wait to jump into book 2, though, people have already told me that the shocks keep on coming. I'm scared.
Click to purchase: Amazon
Tranceby Kelly MedingRelease Date: October 25, 2011Publisher: Pocket Books