Author: Kelly Meding
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: MetaWars (Book 2)
Publication Date: June 26, 2012
Format: Paperback, 384 Pages
ISBN-10: 1451620934 (Pocket Star)
ISBN-13: 978-1451620931 (Pocket Star)
Reviewed by: Kristie
The second in a new series by popular urban fantasy author Kelly Meding, about an X-Men-like group of young people with superpowers who must find a way to work together.
Five months ago, Dahlia Perkins was a struggling newspaper journalist whose biggest responsibility was paying her rent on time. After learning she has the ability to absorb and deflect massive amounts of heat and fire, Dahlia is struggling to find her place as the newest hero in an established team of former Rangers freelancing their abilities in post-Meta War Los Angeles.
The team’s first major case: two discarded human skins. One is a John Doe, the other was a janitor for Weatherfield R&D, a scientific research and development firm Dahlia once investigated—and she’s itching to investigate them again. The ability to use and shed another person’s skin isn’t a power any of them have encountered before, nor something any of their former Meta enemies possess. But when a third skin appears and one of Dahlia’s teammates is nearly killed by an assassin’s bullet, it’s clear someone else besides Weatherfield is targeting the Rangers—and their killer may not be Meta at all.
Quick & Dirty: A dark and bleak setting with original storytelling that kept me guessing from beginning to end.
Opening Sentence: “Who’s got the friggin’ fire extinguisher?”
Changeling is the second book in the MetaWars series and it follows Dahlia Perkins as she is just beginning to learn to use her Meta powers. It has only been about six months since her powers have awakened. She has some really interesting fire type powers, if you get her mad she can literally set everything ablaze but if she concentrates just right she can focus the fire into her and can put out everything from a tiny flame to a four-alarm fire. Dahlia isn’t the only one to have awakened new powers, people who didn’t have powers before they were taken away and just now discovering they have Meta abilities.
Dahlia has joined Teresa “Trance” West’s group of Meta kid superheroes (only they aren’t kids anymore) and together they want to prove that all Meta’s aren’t bad. They are dedicated to helping others, so when a corpse turns up with just the skin left behind, they must determine what new kind of Meta power is behind this bizarre murder. After Dahlia has been exhausted from using her fire powers, someone tries to shoot her but Teresa pushes Dahlia out of the way and takes the bullet for her.
Dahlia finds herself drawn into a conspiracy that will upend the life that she knew and her current life as she knows it. It will also change the world as the Metas know it. Strange things have been happening for the fifteen or so years that the Metas have been depowered and all will be revealed in Changeling.
Changeling took me in a whole different direction then I thought it would and it has opened up a whole new world that includes more than Metas. Even as mysteries were revealed there were still many questions to be answered. There were times when it seemed like the group would break apart but they managed to hold strong during these really difficult times.
Life is not easy for the Meta’s and every time it seems like they have a step up something bad always happens. This is a dark and serious urban fantasy series. There are a few lighthearted moments with some of the secondary characters. If you have a penchant for urban fantasy and superheroes then I suggest giving this series a try.
Overall, I really enjoyed Dahlia’s story and I hope I can find out more about what has happened since the events in this novel. Although I am really looking forward to Ethan’s story in Tempest.
“I know. There were so many times I wanted to say something, to point you in the right direction, but I have to protect my brothers. This has all been about protecting them.”
“And I have to protect my friends. I have to tell them what I know.”
“You can’t.” Panic washed across his face and widened his eyes. He gripped my hands painfully tight.
“Why not?” I challenged.
“Because I’ll never see you again.”
He took a step back as though physically struck, radiating frustration and hurt.
“Will you tell me why King used Stark to shoot at me?” I asked.
I glared at him, my right hand tucking into a fist. “Then you and your fucked-up family can go straight to hell.” I punched him square in the temple. The action sent a shock of pain up my knuckles and wrist. He stumbled sideways and cracked his head off the wall. He crumpled to the floor in a heap. I felt no satisfaction–only wrenching guilt.
I yanked open the door and shrieked. Dr. Kinsey loomed in the doorway, cold and resigned. Something stung my arm. I saw the flash of the syringe tip and King standing just over the older man’s shoulder.
“I’m sorry it came to this, Miss Perkins,” Kinsey said.
His image blurred into a Picasso of colors and shapes. Sounds muffled. I pitched forward, against something warm. Giving. And floated down. Down. Darkness.
FTC Advisory: I purchased my own copy of Changeling. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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