Trance by Kelly Meding
Series: Metawars #1
Source: Personal shelf
Kelly Meding’s war-ravaged Los Angeles is ground zero for the ultimate Meta human showdown in this sexy, action-packed new series.
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.
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Wowza! I devoured Trance in a single sitting, which led me to stay up way too late last night. But it was too good to put down! I quite liked the first book in Kelly Meding‘s Dreg City series, Three Days to Dead, but I never ended up picking up the rest of the series. But this new series, which is all about superheroes, really got me excited.
Trance is the first book in the series and it’s got origin story written all over it. It opens at the end of the Metawar, when Trance and the other Ranger children (children of the good Metas) are about to be killed by the Banes (the evil Metas). Before that happens, all of the Metas lose their powers. Flashforward 15 years and their powers are mysteriously restored, only Trance seems to have gotten the wrong powers: when she was a kid, she could hypnotize people (or push them, like Nina on Syfy’s Alphas) but now she can create purple energy orbs, a much more offensive skill. It’s a huge adjustment for Trance, who was living a very hand-to-mouth life before her powers reemerged, as she falls into more of a leadership role, trying to figure out what happened to their powers, why they’re back, and how to stop the Rangers’ nemesis, Spector, from killing all of her childhood friends. It’s a fast-paced plot, which I really enjoyed, and Kelly Meding does a great job of keeping her characters — and readers — on edge, waiting for the next proverbial bomb to drop. And while there were a few rather formulaic points in the plot but this didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the novel since I enjoyed the setting and the characters so much.
Truthfully, as a big fan of the superhero genre, I always approach new entries with a little caution. It’s sometimes too easy to see elements as derivative (whether or not they were intended as such by the author) and I was happily surprised by how much I enjoyed Trance. It’s a little bit Teen Titans, a little bit Runaways, but in the best way possible. And while some of the powers instantly made me think of iconic characters (Renee, or Flex, can bend like Mr. Fantastic / Mrs. Incredible and Tempest immediately made me think of Storm), the characters in Trance had enough personality to win me over, because they were very different from the archetypal characters.
I also really enjoyed the romance between Trance and Cipher. It developed in a really natural way and their chemistry is positively smoldering. I’m really looking forward to the next installment in the Metawars series. I just hope it’s as much fun as Trance!