Friday, January 09, 2009
Well, this isn't exactly fair...
since Meridian by Amber Kizer isn't out until, oh, August, but I can't help myself. And I want to pass on my (rare?) ARC (that I got from the author herself, she being relatively local to the Seattle area, after I obviously ogled the cover from a distance) and know I won't until I write about it.
Also, look at that freakin' cover! It's gorgeous! There are skulls! And roses!
Let's start off with the actual first sentence, as that's a better advertisement than any else I can give it:
"The first creatures to seek me were the insects; my parents cleaned the bassinet free of dead ants the morning after they brought me home from the hospital" p 1.
and then the end of the prologue, a perfect bookend to the first sentence:
"My world was, and is, me and death. It's a lonely place to live, but I thought things were getting better. My name is Meridian Sozu, and I was wrong" p 3.
I WAS WRONG. Holy mackerel! Ok, sold.
Meridian Sozu has been surrounded by death all of her life. As she grows, larger and larger animals seek her out, then die (imagine waking up to the staring eyes of a dead mouse on your pillow). She doesn't know why, and as she gets older, it becomes increasingly difficult to hide and endure - she's ostracized at school and plagued by a mysterious, chronic, illness. And then she turns sixteen. On that day something horrible happens and she is sent, without explanation, off to her great-aunt halfway across the country. That's bad enough, but it's made very clear to her that there is something malevolent out there after her, and she doesn't know who or why.
This is absolutely a book to give your Twilight-lovers, Holly Black & Melissa Marr fans, possibly Devilish fans, and really, any urban fantasy readers. It's not quite as gritty as Black or Marr, but is somewhere in between that and Johnson. Srsly. The prologue and first chapter gave me chills, even as I wished I hadn't tried to read them whilst eating. Dead beasties in bedding are not conducive to soup. I'm just sayin', coulda used some warning there, Amber Kizer. Just a quick, don't start this while eating would have sufficed.
It's a complete page-turner. And I really, really hope it's to be a series or trilogy or something. It was left wide open for one.
I do have a couple spoiler-y issues with it, although they did not take away from my enjoyment of the book:
I'm not kidding here, there will be spoilers, so if you care (and really, I think you do), don't read this next portion until AFTER you've read the book. I promise, I'm not going to say anything that is so important that it can't wait until after you've read the book.
While Meridian definitely grows as a character, and becomes stronger, it just seemed a little too easy, when it came down to the wire, for the Sangre to pop in and take care of the problem. What triggered his arrival? Why then and not before? Why save Meridian, but not countless other Fenestra through the years? Why is she different? If it's simply because of the escalating nature of the whole conflict I really wish there had been some (more) resolution, revelation and explanation on this front.
Tens is also one of those too perfect to really believe boys (coughEdwardcough). I wanted more backstory than we got, more flaws than simply his irritated gruffness in the beginning before I can truly buy into that character.
So, there are my spoiler-y issues, but seriously, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will recommend it right and left, backwards and forwards.