Early Review: Trance by Kelly Meding

October 22, 2011 Review 0

Early Review: Trance by Kelly MedingTrance by Kelly Meding
Series: Dreg City #1
Published by Simon and Schuster on October 25th 2011
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Format: Paperback
Pages: 432
Sexual Content: Attempted sexual assault. References to rape. A lengthy sex scene.
Reviewed by: Abiail
3 Stars

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.

Supernatural superheroes dominate Kelly Medding’s new MetaWars urban fantasy series.  In TRANCE, we meet the next (and possibly last) generation of telekinetics, telepaths, elemental wielders, shape shifters and all other manor of superheroes.  The world has turned its back on Metas after a war between the heroes (Rangers) and the villains (Banes) destroyed major cities all over the world in their fight for power.

I loved the complete break from traditional urban fantasy mythology that TRANCE introduced.  There is a real X-Men/The Incredibles vibe to this story that really worked.  Trance was only a child when the war left her orphaned and alone and no longer in possession of her trivial ability.  She grew up in foster care and has made a series of poor choices as an adult.  I admired her practicality and doggedness when it came to her life and doing what she needed to survive.  She never got caught up in pity parties or wasted time wishing her life had been different.  These are the traits that attracted another one of Meding’s trademark beta males to Trance.  Gage is the first Meta Trance comes across when the war starts up again and the Rangers are recalled, and is quick to let Trance lead when it is discovered that she has a newly inherited and extremely formidable power.  I’m coming around to beta males in general, but I still found myself shaking my head at the way Gage meekly responded to Trance when they fought.  I wanted him to have a bit more bite.

I also thought the middle dragged a bit with action scene after action scene separated by Trance talking to a friend about the responsibilities of being a leader and her guilt over the losses she felt responsible for.  It just felt like the same scene repeated over and over.  Fortunately, the end of the book picked up significantly both with the romance and plot.  Trance and the other Metas got answers about their pasts and were able to face the villain they’d been hunting in a very fun comic book style showdown.

Overall, TRANCE delivers a nice break from the urban fantasy norm.  Will superheroes end up being the next big thing to hit the genre?  Could be.  There is certainty a lot of fun to be had in a world like this, much more than in other similar attempts.  A bit uneven in parts and I wasn’t ever completely sold on the hero, I still enjoyed TRANCE for its mythology, its resilient heroine, and its mostly successful bridge between comics and urban fantasy.

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