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Meridian    by Amber Kizer order for
by Amber Kizer
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Meridian Sozu grows up surrounded by death and pain - dying critters flock to her side, and she's sleep-deprived and chronically ill. Her schoolmates consider her a freak and avoid her. She has no friends. Even her parents seem wary and the only one who loves her unreservedly is her small brother Sam.

The day of Meridian's sixteenth birthday, her life changes dramatically. When an accident kills several of her schoolmates, her parents spirit her away, sending her on a long solo bus trip to her Great-Aunt and namesake Merry (they even share a birthday) in Revelation, Colorado. All she has of her family is a loving letter from her mother, telling her she's one of the Chosen.

Though Meridian receives a warm welcome at her great-aunt's home - where she also meets Merry's hot and prickly 'guy Friday' Tens and his wolf-dog Custos - answers come slowly. She learns that she's a Fenestra, of a race who 'came from a blending of angel and human DNA', created to open a door for the dying to enter the afterlife.

Meri's one of the good guys but there is an opposition too. The Aternocti carry souls into Hell - as part of 'a battle between good and evil that plays out in those brief moments of transition' - and also 'hunt Fenestra before they've reached their full power.' Meri soon learns there's something very wrong in Revelation, associated with a 'local cult that masquerades as a legitimate evangelical congregation.' Also, Tens has visions of the future and Great-Aunt Merry is dying.

As Meridian gradually learns from her great-aunt how to control her window to the afterlife, Aternocti attacks escalate to a grand finale that leaves Meri and her Protector - after an encounter with both a Nocti and a warrior Sangre angel - on the run from the law, and in search of other Fenestra. Don't miss Meridian, an exciting start to what looks like a gripping new paranormal series.

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