I stumbled onto this book through Kelly Meding’s Facebook page where she let her readers know that it was chosen as a free read selection at xoxo After Dark for the month. Having never tried this series but having enjoyed Meding’s Dreg City series I decided to give it a try.
Now here is where I admit to my own folly. I had read the series title, MetaWars, but instead of my brain processing “meta” as extra or how it is used in this series as super almost comic-book-type powers, my mind came up with “mecha” as in large robot fighters. As the robot thing is not really my cup of tea, I had largely ignored this series as a possible read. Something I knew within the first few chapters of reading Trance was a huge loss and one I was very grateful for the opportunity to rectify.
By the fourth chapter I decided to find and buy the entire series (which due do my late start date were all out and happily published in a single digital omnibus for a steal of a price) which should give you some idea of my opinion. Simply put, I loved this book.
I found the world the Meding was able to create in Trance both immersive and fascinating. The glimpse we are given as a prologue of the world at the end of the war presenting a nice contrast to the world we are dumped into sixteen years later gave depth to both the overall world and the characters.
Ahh, the characters. I felt the characters were both the strongest and weakest part of this book. While relatable and well fleshed-out I felt the transformation of our main character Trance/Teresa from the frightened mouse to the fearless leader was a bit smooth. Even with a power that allowed her to have less fear in the majority of situations, I felt that the level of confidence she accrued over such a short time was unrealistic. That said the relationship development between Teresa and Gage/Cipher was beautiful and organic and added so much depth to both of their characters it was a wonder to read. The secondary characters in this story had personality and verve, layering in color and complexity to an already rich landscape.