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Trance by Kelly Meding
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Trance (edition 2011)

by Kelly Meding

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848143,474 (3.92)None
Member:DarkFaerieTales
Title:Trance
Authors:Kelly Meding
Info:Pocket Books (2011), Edition: Original, Mass Market Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Read
Rating:***
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Trance by Kelly Meding

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I LOVED this book, seriously, I loved it. The cheezy sex scene around the middle of the book didn't even detour my 5 star rating. I was attached to the main character (Trance) from page one and hardly put the book down. I started it on a Friday and was finished by Monday night having time off for my anniversary dinner (Saturday night) and Church on Sunday.

Myles, I think you'll like it. ( )
  Ameliapei | Apr 18, 2013 |
Debut of another great series from Meding. There are some similarities but not so much that I felt like I was reading the same books with different names. I liked the main character. She was fallible but her self doubt and fears struggled against her increasing belief in herself as she grew stronger throughout the story. She cracked a lot of jokes but was aware that this was a defense mechanism. She also insult people all the time like broken heroines so often do in UF.

I loved her relationship with the love interest. They respected each other, treated each other well, and recognized one another's strengths. They were complete equals as people and he respected her lead when she was in charge. He was sensitive without being wimpy. (A couple of men cry in this book and it's appropriate and not unmanly at all.) They're relationship isn't as intense and possessive as in the Dreg City series and it's good. It's intimate enough and beautiful.

In general the book wasn't sexist or racist. Although there were not enough people of color, the ones that were there were powerful, brave and emotionally strong. The only annoyingly typical thing was that the people who had been in power previously, both good and bad, were both white men.

Themes of love, trust and redemption were prevalent and nothing was black and white. No one was 100% good and at one point the protagonist had appropriate sympathy for the only person who was 100% bad. I really like that way of thinking and it's a little unusual for traditional superhero stories. (I know that that is changing.)

That was fun, too, reading about ordinary people with extraordinary abilities. I am not big on superhero stories so I'm not the best judge but this felt fresh and original. I really felt these were regular people which I never quite felt with, say, X-men. I just don't get the costumes though. Why do most of them have to be so garish? I did like Trance's though. That I could get behind.

The only real problem I had was with where/how they originally imprisoned the bad guys. It just doesn't make sense to me. I also didn't like the explanation of why big cities were deserted.

I also hate that there weren't any good foster parents, only bad. A child has a hellish time in foster care even with the best foster parents; you can provide angst for a character from their foster care experiences without vilifying us. There are a lot of bad ones but there are a lot more good foster parents out there, people who open their homes to traumatized kids who act out in inappropriate ways. It's hard being a foster parent and most of us do it out of a desire to help, out of compassion.

Okay off my soap box.

Over all the world building worked for me. Again I liked how nothing was black and white throughout the course of the story. This was a good story and an excellent start to the series.
( )
1 vote maybedog | Apr 5, 2013 |
Debut of another great series from Meding. There are some similarities but not so much that I felt like I was reading the same books with different names. I liked the main character. She was fallible but her self doubt and fears struggled against her increasing belief in herself as she grew stronger throughout the story. She cracked a lot of jokes but was aware that this was a defense mechanism. She also insult people all the time like broken heroines so often do in UF.

I loved her relationship with the love interest. They respected each other, treated each other well, and recognized one another's strengths. They were complete equals as people and he respected her lead when she was in charge. He was sensitive without being wimpy. (A couple of men cry in this book and it's appropriate and not unmanly at all.) They're relationship isn't as intense and possessive as in the Dreg City series and it's good. It's intimate enough and beautiful.

In general the book wasn't sexist or racist. Although there were not enough people of color, the ones that were there were powerful, brave and emotionally strong. The only annoyingly typical thing was that the people who had been in power previously, both good and bad, were both white men.

Themes of love, trust and redemption were prevalent and nothing was black and white. No one was 100% good and at one point the protagonist had appropriate sympathy for the only person who was 100% bad. I really like that way of thinking and it's a little unusual for traditional superhero stories. (I know that that is changing.)

That was fun, too, reading about ordinary people with extraordinary abilities. I am not big on superhero stories so I'm not the best judge but this felt fresh and original. I really felt these were regular people which I never quite felt with, say, X-men. I just don't get the costumes though. Why do most of them have to be so garish? I did like Trance's though. That I could get behind.

The only real problem I had was with where/how they originally imprisoned the bad guys. It just doesn't make sense to me. I also didn't like the explanation of why big cities were deserted.

I also hate that there weren't any good foster parents, only bad. A child has a hellish time in foster care even with the best foster parents; you can provide angst for a character from their foster care experiences without vilifying us. There are a lot of bad ones but there are a lot more good foster parents out there, people who open their homes to traumatized kids who act out in inappropriate ways. It's hard being a foster parent and most of us do it out of a desire to help, out of compassion.

Okay off my soap box.

Over all the world building worked for me. Again I liked how nothing was black and white throughout the course of the story. This was a good story and an excellent start to the series.
( )
  maybedog | Apr 5, 2013 |
I'm a long time superhero fan and found this at my local library. It has a very nicely done cover - simple and eye-catching - and opened with a vaguely Astro City feel.
I read of the character's beginning as a 10-year-old and then the time-jump to 15 years later, but nothing really grabbed me. It's competently written, just.... boring. ( )
  hobreads | Jun 17, 2012 |
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: This superhero Urban Fantasy is complete with enough action and suspense to keep your attention.

Opening Sentence: The bronze man’s head was melting.

The Review:

Trance begins in the middle of a superhero battle between the Ranger Corps and the Banes. The Ranger Corps are basically the Avengers/Justice League, all the good Metas, while the Banes are all the evil Meta humans who have banded together to destroy the Rangers. Metas are humans with extraordinary powers. Teresa “Trance” West is only 10 years old and she is running for her life with a group of young Rangers in training. Teresa feels useless in this battle, in order for her powers of telepathy to work she has to get close to her target and look them in the eyes, but they are battling adults, ones with very strong powers and others who are not above using guns on the young group. Just when it seems like it is going to be a massacre, all Meta humans are stripped of their powers.

Fifteen years later, Teresa is living in Portland. She is hiding from her past and she is working three jobs that barely pay for her rent. Teresa has a quick temper and when she is fired from one of her jobs she is not sure what she will do next. Lucky for her the decision has been made for her, that night her Meta powers are returned to her, but not the same powers that were originally hers. Her hair, eyes and skin change color so she cannot hide who she is anymore. She decides to travel to Los Angeles, the original base for the Rangers to see if others have had their powers returned to them.

On her trip down the coast, Teresa unexpectedly runs into Gage “Cipher” McAllister, a hypersensitive Meta, whom she used to have a crush on as a kid. Teresa and Gage decide to team up and travel to L.A. together after being attacked by Spector, the leader of the Banes during the Meta War. Spector is one truly messed up guy, he wants to kill all Metas. He has a habit of body hopping. He can control other peoples’ minds and bodies. The only way to stop him is by killing the person he inhabits.

Once in L.A., Trance and Cipher meet up with other members of the Rangers that survived the war, which unfortunately is not very many. The survivors team up to track down more Metas and throw in a little superhero work on the side. Trance, once useless in battle now has more effective powers, is in charge of the only team of Rangers in the world. Spector is killing Trance’s teammates off one by one. Trance and her team try to learn the reason why their gifts returned while trying to survive Spector’s wrath.

Kelly Meding has created a sad and dangerous world in which the Metas live. The Meta War has devastated the United States. Major cities like St. Louis, Chicago, New York City and even L.A. have all been destroyed; rebuilding the cities has been a slow process in the fifteen years the Metas have lost their powers. Humans are wary of the Metas and have a love/hate relationship with them. Manhattan Island is a prison for the Banes that survived the war.

Trance is stronger than she thinks, in a tough world where her “friends” are dying all around her, she is their rock. She is a good character and I felt sorry for the situation she has been put through, but I had a hard time caring for her. I wasn’t really feeling her emotions, she had a few “woe is me” moments, but it was when she would get mad, it just kind of seemed to come out of nowhere. Her relationship with Gage was another reason I had a hard time with her character. I understood her problems with trust but there were a few moments she just came off as mean towards him. I loved the scene where Teresa and Gage step up their relationship, it was different and refreshing from what I’m used to, but with Teresa’s trust issues I’m surprised that scene even happened.

The battle at the beginning of the book is a little overwhelming at first. Kelly Meding introduces a bunch of characters in the heat of battle and it’s a little difficult to remember who is who. Then later as the survivors team back up, members are quickly killed off before you even get to know them. The deaths are essential to the storyline but the impact of the deaths doesn’t translate very well. As a bad guy, Spector, is about as bad as they get. He is able to kill people off without revealing himself or being nearby. I did enjoy the suspense around finding Spector.

As a whole, I enjoyed Trance. I love the X-Men and any chance I get to read about superheroes I try to take it. Trance has a few slow scenes that revolve around the world-building but as a first book in a new series the explanations help. I am eagerly anticipating the next book in the series, Changeling. I can’t wait to see how the characters move on from the events of Trance.

Notable Scene:

I nudged the dead woman’s hand with my bare toes. The third finger had two rings on it, one a very large (a probably fake) diamond. My first thought was to wonder how much a pawnbroker would give me for that ring. My second – and much more pressing – concern was about the man who had probably given the rings to her.

“Where’s the other guy?” I asked.

A looming shadow filled the door, still dressed in the same jeans and flannel. I looked up, right into a pair of yellow eyes and a sawed-off shotgun.
No time to duck, nowhere to go.

“Say hi to your father for me,” he sneered, his voice a queer blend of the man’s and someone else’s. Monstrous and terrifying.

Enraged, I clapped my hands together with no real idea what would happen, and he fired immediately after. The buckshot struck a haze of violet energy and ricocheted, like a thousand Ping-Pong balls. Blood and gore splattered the open doorway and walls.

The Metawars Series:

1. Trance

2. Changeling

FTC Advisory: Pocket Books provided me with a copy of Trance. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Mar 5, 2012 |
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Dedication
For all the girls who ever closed their eyes and dreamed of being a superhero.
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The bronze man's head was melting.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
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.(less)

Paperback, 418 pages
Published October 25th 2011
by Pocket Books
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"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."--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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