Review: Trance by Kelly Meding (MetaWars #1)
October 25 2011
Mass Market Paperback
Received from publisher
Kick Ass Chick – Teresa “Trance” West
From Goodreads –
Fifteen years ago, Teresa “Trance” West was a skilled telepath and a proud member of the Ranger Corps. But ever since the Rangers were inexplicably rendered powerless at the climax of the devastating Meta War, she’s bounced from one dead-end job to another. Now her powers have reappeared just as mysteriously as they vanished— only they’re completely transformed and more potent than ever. And they’re threatening to destroy her.
Trance heads to Los Angeles to track down the surviving Rangers and discover who restored her powers—and why—but a phantom enemy is determined to kill them before they can reassemble. As they dodge his deadly attacks and come to terms with their new role as heroes, Trance and the rest of the team set out to annihilate the sinister madman . . . only to discover their own powers are his greatest weapons.
“Is Trance anything like her Dreg books?” That is the question I seem to be getting asked the most once people find out that I have read both works from both of Kelly Meding’s series. I thought I would start my review off with a little clarification.
If you have read Kelly’s Dreg City books you are probably going to go into reading this book with a certain level of expectation. I totally understand if you do since her Dreg books are made of awesome. But let me tell you this: In Trance, you witness Kelly’s extraordinary imagination, you catch a glimpse at her skills at developing characters that draw you in, you recognize her world building skills, you get sucked in by the story…but that’s pretty much where the similarities between her two series end. Do not expect this to be a Dreg-like world or a Dreg-like book. It’s not. Not even close. But honestly, you won’t miss it. Trance will take you on a brand new journey and you will not once think Dreg once you start. You will simply focus on the fact that Trance is a well written book by a talented author. It has super-heroes in it after all. How can you go wrong with that?
Okay, yes, you could go very wrong with that. But Kelly does it beautifully. While reading, I knew I was reading characters and events that were even more unlikely than vampire and wizards but I didn’t feel like I was taken to a place that was so out there, it was un-relatable.
You see, fifteen years ago, super heroes were the norm. People didn’t love it, but it was what it was. There were two distinct types of heroes. You had the Bains – those who would use their powers for naughty things, and you had the Ranger Corps – those who would use their powers to stop the Bains. Eventually, a massive and deadly war broke out between the two groups and the Rangers were on the verge of becoming extinct. Then suddenly, out of the blue, the world went black for all super heroes and their powers simply disappeared. Trance was only 10 when all of this happened. Now, fifteen years later, the heroes’ powers have unexpectedly returned. But Trance didn’t get her original powers like everyone else did. No, she got some messed up version of her grand-mothers powers. And the biggest baddest Bain is out to see all the Rangers killed. *da da duuuummmm*
I can’t say there is a character I didn’t enjoy. Truly. Teresa “Trance” West is fabulous. Thrust into the leader’s role, I found she handled herself wonderfully. She’s not used to being in charge. She has many doubts and second-guesses, but that just makes her a stronger character. She handles herself and the others very well. Overall I found her to be a well-written and well-rounded character. Then there’s Gage (yum) and Renee (she’s a hoot) and Ethan (cute) and William (your strong and silent one). I even enjoyed reading Seward, the medical guy at the Ranger’s facility. And the villain was just crazy! I loved how the villain was written in this book. How you think one thing then another and another until finally, you don’t know what to think. Then the truth comes out and you are left thinking ZOMG! Kelly always writes creepy and thorough villains. I never saw it coming but boy oh boy the suspense made me hate him/her more in the end.
Another thing I found to be well done was the world’s description. Thanks to the Meta war fifteen years prior, most of the American metropolises have been abandoned and destroyed. In the first chapter (and whoa…what a way to suck you into the book!) the war is at its peak and the final face-off is taking place in New York City. Trance is describing her surroundings and says that Gage once told her that the Empire State Building used to stand twice its current size. That is what I enjoy about Kelly’s descriptive process. Very visual and easy to understand and ‘see’. The pace was very good except I found the odd scene here and there near the beginning of the book felt a little long, but not enough to get in the way of my enjoying this read. Once you get past those scenes, it’s pretty much non-stop.
This book is so…cool. I can’t think of a better word to describe it. The world, even though you’ve seen similar in movies and comics, is riveting in print. Trance reads like a stand-alone book – you feel satisfied when you reach the end – but you want to read more because you want to stay with the characters a little longer. Trance is truly endearing and I can’t wait to read more about where her adventures take her.
Giggle worthy quotes
“’I’m sorry I acted like that.’
I blinked. I was the one who was supposed to be doing the apologizing. ‘I had no right, Gage.’
‘You were just doing your job.’
I planted both hands on my hips, almost wishing he was angry with me. It would be easier if he was angry. Angry Gage was less likely to shut down than Quiet Contemplative Gage. ‘You drive me batshit, you do realize this.’
He smiled. ‘My sinister plan is working then.’”
“’I got them three years ago, aren’t they great? For a minute, I thought they’d go back to normal size when my powers returned, but I got to keep my boob job!’
I had absolutely nothing to say.
Gage saved me with ‘Renee was a dancer in Las Vegas.’
‘Yeah,’ she said. ‘Goodness, but I love dancing. I got into an act with a brilliant manager who had the other girls dress up in blue body paint, so something good came out of being blue back then. I though about trying out a new act now that I’ve got my powers back, but then William called me, completely out of the blue – no pun – and said we should gather here, so here I came. Have you seen William yet? Doesn’t he look great?’
Wow, had that been one breath?”