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Trance: Meta Wars    by Kelly Meding Amazon.com order for
Trance
by Kelly Meding
Order:  USA  Can
Pocket, 2011 (2011)
Paperback, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Fans of superhero comic books know there are two types of superheroes those who are thoroughly good and need an outside force to weaken them (think Superman) and those with character flaws that they must fight in addition to the evil villains (think X-Men). Kelly Meding's Trance falls squarely in that second category, putting her Meta Wars series off to a great start.

Fifteen years ago, during the five-year-long Meta Wars, Teresa West was in training to be a Ranger, one of the good guys who fought the evil Banes. At ten years old, her powers, which earned her the code name Trance, were to influence people through direct eye contact. During the most devastating battle of the War, a Bane named Specter managed to take out all the adult Rangers, leaving fifteen apprentices to fend for themselves with their fledgling powers.

Confronted by Specter in the middle of Central Park in war-torn Manhattan, the child metas think it is the end. It is in a way, for at that moment, all metas, Rangers and Banes, lose their powers. The island of Manhattan becomes a prison for the Banes and the young Rangers are sent to foster families.

Now, fifteen years later, their abilities have come back. However, Teresa finds hers are now closer to her grandmother's, and decides to travel to Los Angeles to the Ranger Corps headquarters to find out why their powers are back. Unfortunately, Specter also regained his powers and is out to kill the surviving Rangers. Trance and her fellow metas must learn to work as a team before Specter takes out each and every one of them.

Meding has created a unique yet devastated world where superheroes and villains used to run free, fighting each other. After the meta era is over, though, the world becomes a darker place, as do the lives of the former Ranger apprentices. Teresa is about as flawed as they come, and it seems that maybe her background is a little too hard-knock at times. Despite this, the rest of the novel is flawless with excellent pacing, exciting action scenes, edge-of-your-seat suspense and even some hot romance.

Trance is a must for fans of superhero urban fantasy. I cannot wait to see what Kelly Meding brings next to the Meta Wars series.

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