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Wildcat Fireflies: A Meridian Novel by Amber…
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Wildcat Fireflies: A Meridian Novel

by Amber Kizer

Series: Fenestra (2)

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
I read the first book before I started blogging and really loved it. The whole world building as well as the characters capture my imagination an set me on a whole new path to discover.

What I loved most about this book is the character growth. Meri is growing in who she is and what she is meant to do. There are times where she feels so incapable of doing things that I could feel her frustration. I could see the time away from her family as well as always being on the run is taking a toll of her.

The love interest really grew as well. Their relationship is sort-of on a stand still being that they are always on the run but it definitely grows in trust and strength. The have late night talks that really bring a smile to my face as I watch them become so much more than friends. The jealousy issues is bound to catch up being that they haven't really gotten in further in their relationship with trust in that area. Their sort of like just going with flow, assuming things. And we all know what happens when you assume.

The action of the book is great. I loved reading about other characters who are the same as Meri and going through the same troubles like her. Meri has such a big responsibility. She takes everything in with stride putting everything aside for what need to be done.

Wildcat Fireflies explodes with so many new possibilities! Exciting new characters, new revelations of being a Fenestra, and the darkness that surrounds them. Wildcat Fireflies is great! ( )
  Bookswithbite | May 23, 2012 |
Honestly, I was hoping that Kizer would grow as an author and not do the telling instead of showing again. Instead, she told even more and showed even less. I still got no sense of emotion from these characters. The only thing that made me read this sequel was the fact that the story is interesting. Unfortunately, the story isn't enough to make me read the next one. The emotions and fake "Native American" lore were terrible, and the fake American Indian story was disrespectful, to say the least. I don't think she was disrespectful toward an entire race of people on purpose, but people seldom are. Furthermore she referred to the pioneers as the first Americans, which is basically pretending that the Native Americans weren't here first. Then she went on to talk about some Native American story that, from what I could tell, was made up. Why is this the only group of people who still gets constantly disrespected? As an American Indian Studies major, that kind of thing really bothers me. Moving on before this entire review turns into a lecture on racism in the 21st Century.

The characters... They all cried at the drop of a hat. I'm assuming this was an attempt to try to show emotion, but it failed miserably. It just made all of the characters seem weak. I got so tired of people crying, but I finished this book so I could review it. I kept thinking maybe it'd get better, but it didn't. The new characters introduced in the book would have been likable had they not burst into tears constantly over nothing. They were all a bit unique and easy to relate to. I felt that Kizer tried too hard to make Rumi different though, and his "word game" thing got really old really fast. We got to learn more about Tens, and that was cool, but he ran around crying like a freaking girl half of the book. It was just obnoxious. And Meridian went from being a likable character to a whiny, jealous brat. Juliet was boring, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't make myself care what happened to her. I did like Mini, however. I'm a sucker for cats.

It was obvious who the bad guys were from the start, and there was no sense of mystery or suspense in this novel. It was 500 pages of nothing. And I swear to you, the descriptions actually were longer than in the last novel. I counted the paragraphs of descriptions in one chapter. I found 8 paragraphs of descriptions, all bunched together, in two pages. I did not need to know THAT much about anything. Unless this is a textbook (which it's obviously not because it's historically inaccurate), then there is no need for that level of description. Also, the explanation of who Mistress is and what part she plays was cut short. Basically every time Kizer got to an interesting part, she sped through it , giving no details, so she could go back to describing snot (yea a lot of snot and things ingesting snot in this novel... I felt like I was reading a novel Beavis and Butthead wrote at times) or the color of grass or something. The "big reveal" which wasn't a big reveal at all was the most anti-climactic thing I'd ever read. It was just bad.

The one redeeming factor for this book is that it was told from 2 perspectives, Meridian and Juliet. Kizer actually did okay differentiating between the 2 voices, and it was believable that different people were talking. And, as I said, I did love Mini. She was the best character in my opinion. However, as juvenile as some of the book was (snot, snot, snot... and discussions of going to the toilet), it was a bit graphic in the sex department. Too graphic, if you ask me, for a YA audience. I didn't need to know about what anyone's business looked like. I thought I was reading a YA book, not smut. Just a helpful suggestion, less is more when it comes to sex and violence (and bodily fluids... just sayin'). All in all, I wouldn't recommend you buy this novel. I checked it out from the library, and I'm glad I did. And I certainly wouldn't give it to anyone under the age of 18 to read. Yucko. ( )
  AmberFIB | Mar 4, 2012 |
A decent follow up to Meridian, although not quite as exciting. In this story Miridian and Tens search for another Fenestra they have been told is in grave danger. This story is told from the POV of both Meridian and 15 year old Juliet, who is a resident of an abusive orphanage/rest home.

This story was interesting although there are parts that may be troubling for tweens and younger teens who might pick up the story. There are some sensual scenes between Meridian and Tens along with descriptions of abuse and murder. Overall I found the book interesting, if not engrossing, and would not mind reading further books in the fledgling series. ( )
  Jenson_AKA_DL | Nov 16, 2011 |
I was a bit worried after reading the description inside the book that Wildcat Fireflies was the second book in the series, not having read the first one that I wouldn't be able to follow along. However, I was surprised that everything was explained so well that I didn't have to read the first one to really know what was going on in the book. Wildcat Fireflies tells the story of Meridian Sozu, who's a creature by the name of Fenestra which is a half-human, half-angel who helps souls transition smoothly into the afterlife once they're ready to go. With the help of Meridian's lover and sworn Protector, Tens, they travel across country to find another girl just like Meridian, Juliet and save her from the horrible orphanage she's lived at ever since she's six. Throughout the novel, Juliet comes to terms with who she's meant to be. Written beautifully, I defintley recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a good adventure book and love novel wrapped up into one. ( )
  kissmeimgone | Aug 26, 2011 |
When I reviewed book one in this series, Meridian, last year, I said overall I liked the story, but.  I think I'm basically going to be saying the same thing this time, and for mostly the same reasons.  This worries me a bit because it means that either there hasn't been growth OR this is just Kizer's style, in which case I will never be completely satisfied.  Whichever it is, the result is the same: I was left at times feeling a little underwhelmed by what I think could be a really good story.

There are times that it is.  The mythology is interesting, and Kizer is very, very talented at creating in Meridian a character I believe.  There are things that she thinks or says or feels that ring so true to me, and scenes that are so cringingly, awkwardly realistic that I feel Kizer nailed her.  She shows great insight into the emotions and reactions and feelings of her MC, and it brings her to life.  Wildcat Fireflies sees the addition of a few new characters, one of them another Fenestra by the name of Juliet, and Kizer breathes the same life and believability into her as she does Meridian.  These two girls have personalities, flaws and strengths, that feel very in keeping with the lives they've led, and I respect that.

But there are counterparts to the dynamic main characters, and these counterparts are often very flat.  In fact, most of the side characters are pretty flat; they tend to be either wholly dark or wholly light, and there's never any doubt which.  You know from the minute they enter the story which side they are on, and they never deviate from it.   I said in my review of Meridian that the bad guys and good guys may as well come with big declarative flags over their heads, and that remains true for this second book.  As the reader, we never get to have doubts or form our own opinions because everything is basically handed to us: we have merely to wait to see how it all plays out.

It's akin to the HUGE pet peeve I mentioned last time, and that's the use of deus ex machina.  <----- That makes an appearance (pun intended) again in this book, but I'm going to try not to go off on too much of a tangent because I've covered it before.  Suffice it to say, I haaaaaate it when authors use DEM, because why should I care if I know that no matter what happens, someone is going to come along and wipe the slate clean?  Where's the tension, where's the struggle?  There's no need to worry about anyone, ever, because it doesn't matter what they do: someone is going to wave a magic wand and fix it.

Hand in hand with the use of actual DEM is the obviousness that I was talking about before I did in fact go off on a bit of a tangent.  There's an easy convenience to it that robs the story of potential for tension, and that's a letdown.   So much in the story, signs and magical aids and white knight helpers everywhere Meridian turns - it all falls under the umbrella of divine intervention or something along those lines, and maybe it's just that I'm not religious, but this doesn't work for me.  Why make everything so easy and obvious?  And if all of these magical helpers and whatnot can be sent, why are Meridian and the other Fenestra even needed?  Can't the baddies just be obliterated, and everything be peaches and puppies?  It just doesn't work for me.  And it's a shame, because I think it's doing a disservice to what is otherwise a fascinating story.

Kizer does dark really well, and she doesn't shy away from things, which I respect.  I would have liked to be able to explore this without knowing that it's all going to be swept under the rug in a lightning fast showdown, where the Ultimate Bad Guy that was so impossible to beat is defeated or scared off in all of a paragraph.  This, after nearly 500 pages of build-up.  It feels like a lot of work for very little payoff.
[And while I'm mentioning the length, on a technical note, I could have done with a heavier editing-hand.  I did read an ARC, so I'm sure things will be tightened up, but this was a looong book, and though some of that can be chalked up to it essentially being two stories interwoven, it still could have used some trimming and some all-around editing.  There were times when the sentence structure was damn near unintelligible.]

So, where does that leave us?  If you were a fan of Meridian, I'd say definitely pick this up.
If you're not adverse to clear cut Good v. Bad, and a fair dose of divine intervention, pick this up.
But if these things bother you, my recommendation is hesitant.    It took me a good long while before I was able to feel invested in the story;  I did get there, and I do like these characters and the bones of the story, so if you're willing to set some things aside, this can be quite enjoyable at times.  There is enough there to keep me willing to read more from the series, but I don't think it will ever make it to the must-have list. ( )
  BookRatMisty | Jul 23, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385739710, Hardcover)

Meridian Sozu is a Fenestra—the half-human, half-angel link between the living and the dead. She has the dark responsibility of helping souls transition safely into the afterlife. If people die without the help of a Fenestra, their souls are left vulnerable to be stolen by the Aternocti, a dark band of forces who disrupt the balance of good and evil in the world and cause chaos.

Having recently lost her beloved Auntie—the woman who showed her what it meant to be a Fenestra—Meridian has hit the road with Tens, her love and sworn protector, in hopes of finding another Fenestra. Their search leads them to Indiana, where Juliet, a responsible and loving teenager, works tirelessly in the nursing home where she and several other foster kids are housed. Surrounded by death, Juliet struggles to make a loving home for the younger kids, and to protect them from the violent whims of their foster mother. But she is struggling against forces she can't understand . . . and even as she feels a pull toward the dying, their sickness seems to infect her, weighing her down. . . .

Will Meri and Tens find Juliet in time to save her from a life of misery and illness? And will Meri and Tens' own romance weather the storms of new discoveries?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:04 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Teenaged Meridian Sozu, a half-human, half-angel link between the living and the dead known as a Fenestra, hits the road with Tens, her love and sworn protector, in hopes of finding another person with Meridian's ability to help souls transition safely into the afterlife.… (more)

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