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Meridian by Amber Kizer


by Amber Kizer

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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
This one grabbed me right from the start: 16-year old Meridian Sozu's been attracting the dying since she was born and she doesn't understand why, and after narrowly escaping a fatal car smash, she is sent away by her parents on a quest for answers. Overall, the book's gripping and readable, but it suffers from being undercooked; considering the themes and emotions at stake and the monumental events that occur, the book ought to have been much longer and more detailed. The pacing feels uneven and often confusing, particularly given the short, emphatically-bookmarked timespan described - from Meridian's birthday on the winter solstice to Epiphany - and the book might have benefited from specifically datelined chapter headings counting the action down to the finale; this might seem too simplistic, but given the book's not so subtle reference to the hero's journey checklist (Call to Adventure! Road of Trials! etc etc), a well-signposted chronology doesn't seem so unwarranted and might have helped flesh out the story as needed. Too, Meridian's first person narration often reads emptier and more emotionally removed than the book's fraught events (leaving home! falling in love! death and mayhem! good vs evil!) deserve; I would have enjoyed far more introspection than Meridian actually provides. Her romantic relationship with Tens, for instance, is understandable (Tens *is* awesome!) but somewhat abrupt, and her insightful questions (does she need a 'protector'? does she want a 'fated love'?) are too fleeting to be fully satisfying. Ultimately the book fizzles out with a showdown during which Meridian's kind of useless, Tens is kind of unconscious, the villain's kind of ridiculous and the day gets saved by someone else. I don't think I'd feel quite so frustrated by this book had the characters and ideas not held so much demonstrable intrigue and appeal; as it is, I wish I could have been present during the editing process to poke for moremoremore.
  vissy | Jul 11, 2010 |
Reason for Reading: I was attracted to the angel aspect of the story as I enjoy paranormals involving angels.

When Meridian turns sixteen her family has planned for her to be whisked away to live with "Auntie" for an undermined amount of time. It is here that she learns that she is only half-human, the other half is angel. In fact she is a Fenestra, a window to the 'other side' that the dead seek out, if she is near, to make their passing easier. Auntie is also a Fenestra and Meridian has been brought here to learn how to open and close the window properly without getting sucked in herself. But time is short and their evil opponents, the Aternocti will do anything to destroy Auntie and Fenestra before the information can be passed on.

The premise of this story is very exciting and I feel the book could have been so much more than it was. The only character I really connected with Meridian herself, even though there were plenty of times when her behaviour didn't quite ring true. I'm of two minds when it comes to this book. I feel as though my words will make the book sound worse than it was because I really did enjoy the story, became quite caught up in the plot and read the book quickly.

Besides the lack of fully developed characters my main irritant with the book were the religious issues. The author went to great pains to repeatedly let Meridian know that in (the book's) world their is no Christianity. Meridian would ask questions about Heaven and would be given answers like religions have many names for it. She'd ask about God and be told "the Creators are known by many names". This type of thing is mentioned so much you are hit over the head with it. And yet, the bad guys are masquerading as Christians. We are told once at the beginning of the book, before we meet the bad guys, that they are a cult, after that they are simply referred to as Christians. However, throughout the entire book all the detailed descriptions of this group, their practices and church celebrations are all based on The Old Testament. The self-styled preacher quotes Biblical phrases often and their are notes for the reader to look them up (all Old Testament). There is no mention of Jesus or Christ, except once when someone mentions they voted to keep the Christ in Christmas. This just really irked me. The two issues together come across as being anti-Christian. This isn't the first I've run into this. If an author wants to make the bad guys a group of Christians, so be it, but at least have them follow the The New Testament where Christ is found i.e. the term "Christian". As far as I would say, 'Christians' who only follow the Old Testament would actually be Jewish.

Back to the story, remember I did say that overall I did enjoy it. It has a very strong beginning and the Fenestra creation, with the other mythos created around it is unique and interesting. The book ends satisfactorily but the two main characters are ready to set off for their future, making a sequel more than obvious. I would read a sequel should one be written. ( )
  ElizaJane | May 13, 2010 |
At this rate anything about Angels are intriguing to me. So I was really excited to read Meridian. So I was really sad that most parts of this book is not as exciting as I thought. The first chapters were catchy. It gives you this detailed picture that she was being surrounded by death. Like literally, she was never normal, never got the chance to be one. Everytime she wakes up in the morning there are death insect / animals around her. It was a little traumatic yet she came out as this kind hearted young girl and I love her for that. There's something about her makes her special. But I still could not put my finger on what it was. Then the day of her 16th birthday arrived. First her mother freaked when about some call they got that day. She got fierce hugs and just this weird feeling. the school day ended and she got off the bus, then all of a sudden this SUV headed out for her, killing a bunch of people in the process. She parents then told her that she needs to leave town and that they love them no matter what. It was all to fast and too discombobulating. It was a bunch of questions,a really good way to start a story. But it continued on to the next chapters. Somewhere along the way it became tedious and a bit boring.

The history on what she is, which is a Fenestra - an angel who serves as a window to the souls getting to that next level on their path to heaven. The ancient malevolent creatures who seek to destroy them - which is called the Nocti, has a very very good concept. What really kept me going was this poser priest named Perimo, he made me so mad, I was so eager to find out what his fate will be at the end. And I like how he ended. Maybe the second series would have more action, surprises and less questions and more answers. ( )
  peaceloveandpat | Apr 30, 2010 |
Following a brief Prologue, which gives readers an idea of Meridian’s frame of mind at the start of Chapter One, this book plunges into the action quickly. I think I prefer this type of beginning for a book in this genre rather than a slow climb followed by a deep plunge into the conflict of the story, as I like being hooked in from the start. I felt this book had a balance of informational/instructional scenes and action scenes that created a well-paced story.
The three main characters – Meridian, Auntie, and Tens – are brought together quickly, which allows for the majority of the book to focus on how they interact as Meridian is learning about who she is and what that means. Meridian and Auntie bonded almost immediately, and although Meridian was hesitant about learning about being a Fenestra, she quickly trusted Auntie to teach her. The interactions between Meridian and Tens, however, were incredibly strained from the beginning, and even as they began opening up to each other, there still seemed to be awkwardness in the way they acted toward each other. Something that really bothered me in the story was that at one point in the story Meridian comes across letters relating to Tens. When she mentions these, he gets upset and she promises to give them to him so he can see them, but then nothing more is mentioned of them. Now this may be something that comes up in the next book, but it seemed to me like it was a forgotten thread. (If anyone reading this has read this book and I just missed when she went back to this, please let me know, because it does bother me that nothing came of this.)
Probably the strongest aspect of the story is Reverend Perimo. He’s an archetypal villain: easily capable of manipulating the masses, but so repulsively evil toward the hero of the story that there’s no choice but to absolutely despise him. His speeches to his congregants made me so mad that I literally slammed the book shut and had to take a break from reading because I wanted to strangle him, which is hard to do to a fictional character. I was actually a bit surprised at the way his storyline played out, but I won’t say anything more in order to avoid giving away too much of the ending.
What drew me to this book in the first place was the idea of the Fenestra. There are a lot of aspects of what they do and who they are that I don’t understand yet. Hopefully more answers will come in the subsequent book(s), because I think the story will be even more interesting with more knowledge of the Fenestra. ( )
  ericajsc | Mar 29, 2010 |
Meridian has always known death. As a baby insects and rodents would die around her and as she got older the creatures got bigger. On her 16th birthday Meridian looks forward to nothing more than being away from school and the stresses of appearing normal. But, when a fatal accident takes place outside her home Meridian is rushed off to find her destiny with an aunt she never knew and a destiny she may not have a choice in accepting.

Although this book seems to follow the standard outline of teen discovers unknown powers, a mentor, true love and a test of courage, this one makes it all seem fresh. Despite not being religious myself I've always been enamored of the angel mythology and so far as that goes, this tale is rather unique. This story could remain as a singular telling but it does leave us in a place to begin a quest based series which is interesting. I enjoyed all the characters, predictably especially Tens. As far as comparisons with the rest of my supernatural ya reading so far I'd place this somewhere between Twlight, a favorite and Shiver which I thought was pretty good but not heart-stoppingly wonderful.

I certainly wouldn't hesitate to pick up the next one of the series should the author decide to keep on with it. ( )
  Jenson_AKA_DL | Mar 2, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385736681, Hardcover)

Half-human, half-angel, Meridian Sozu has a dark responsibility.

Sixteen-year-old Meridian has been surrounded by death ever since she can remember. As a child, insects, mice, and salamanders would burrow into her bedclothes and die. At her elementary school, she was blamed for a classmate’s tragic accident. And on her sixteenth birthday, a car crashes in front of her family home—and Meridian’s body explodes in pain.

Before she can fully recover, Meridian is told that she’s a danger to her family and hustled off to her great-aunt’s house in Revelation, Colorado. It’s there that she learns that she is a Fenestra—the half-angel, half-human link between the living and the dead. But Meridian and her sworn protector and love, Tens, face great danger from the Aternocti, a band of dark forces who capture vulnerable souls on the brink of death and cause chaos.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:53 -0400)

On her sixteenth birthday, Meridian is whisked off to her great-aunt's home in Revelation, Colorado, where she learns that she is a Fenestra, the half-human, half-angel link between the living and the dead, and must learn to help human souls to the afterlife before the dark forces reach them.… (more)

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