Meridian by Amber Kizer
Since Meridian was a baby living things have been dying around her. As she got older they got bigger, like her friends hamster. Now 16 Meridian must move to a small town in Colorado to live her Aunt (her namesake). Finally Meridian learns what she's half angel half human, a Fenestra and not the cause of death.
"You are not death. You do not bring death, you do not control it, you cannot change the destiny of that fate. You could adminster lifesaving measures like CPR, but if that soul is ready to rise, then nothing you or I, can do will stop it" You're a Fenestra, a window. An open attic window in the tallest of houses, for the transition of life energy into the purest, best world possible."
I loved Meridian. Too many times authors create characters who get their powers out of the blue. Meridian abilities have been growing gradually since birth.
"The first creatures to seek me were the insect; my parents cleaned the bassinet free of dead ants the morning after they brought me home from the hospital. My first word was "dead"
That's only the prologue. Not even the first chapter. How could you not want to read me. In that little bit, the author quickly establishes Meridian's voice.
Meridian's aunt is a Fenestra as well. Meridian must learn from her, how to be who she was born to be. Now dying humans can sense what Meridian is if she doesn't learn how to control her window, she'll die the first time someone tries to pass through.
There aren't many Fenestras left in the world, and there are even less Fenestra Protectors. Meridian's Protector, Ten has already found his way to Meridian's Aunt's house. Ten(around Meridian's age) has been living there for a while. Yes, Ten is there to protect Meridian but this is no stay within our gender roles relationship.
"He regarded me the way every warrior has looked at the smaller and the helpless they've sworn to protect. I didn't appreciate his expression. I wasn't helpless and I wasn't in need of rescuing. I opened my mouth, but he beat me to it. "I know how to shoot. I've hunted for years. A gun is more efficient than a bow and arrow, especially when you're hungry. Would I pull the trigger to protect you? Absolutely. Would I let you pull the trigger to protect me? Hell yes. But do you know how to shoot? Have you ever held a gun? No. So, if this is something I know how to do and you don't there isn't anything sexist in that - it's smart. I nodded. When this is over, you'll teach me, right? Sure. I'll even let you skin and gut dinner."
Now that Meridian is getting closer to her full power, she must worry about the Aternocti, they carry souls to hell and hunt Fenestra. Along with her aunt and Ten, Meridian is wary of the new preacher in the small Colorado town. Reverend Perimo is loved by many in town, those who don't are quickly encouraged to leave with accidental fires.
In the end there is a confrontation with Meridian and Reverend Perimo. I must admit it read a little flat to me. Though it had nothing to do with Meridian. I was fully committed and believed in her from the beginning to the end. It was Reverend Perimo, he wasn't as developed . This wasn't an important aspect of the story for me.
It was all about Meridian and Tens for me. They're definitely hardcover full price worthy. This is the start of a new series. It's not often that I am very excited when a book ends with more to come. Authors seem to drag out story lines with unnecessary series. This time I knew it wasn't time to say goodbye to Meridian and Tens, nor did I want to.
I don't know what will come next. Though I do hope the Rizer will give Tens a book of his own. I want to learn about Tens journey to Meridian's aunts house. The author peaked my interest by telling a little of Ten's story. More than halfway into the novel Tens full name is reveled. Tenskatawa Valdes. A little later we find out that Tens is Cuban.
I love that the author waited, it means Tens being Cuban wasn't a big thing it just was. If you visit my blog, then you know I love color in my fiction but I am not blinded by . So I can freely admit at the end of Meridian the coincidences at the end were a little much. Again not enough to make me love it any less. Though enough for me to say hmm. the author needs to work that out a little on the second book.
My full price worthy sentiment still stands. I highly recommend Meridian. Ages 12
This was the last book I read in 2009, and it inspired a recent post called Color: The New Reality. Check out it, and find some other great middle grade and young adult novels where Color is not ignored.