Aug 30, 2012

Kelly Meding's Trance mesmerizes

Trance by Kelly Meding

Jolan Tru, and welcome aboard the Bitter Trolley. Since I’ve collected your tickets and everyone is comfy, let’s get the Bitter Trolley underway.

Yes it’s true the Trolley has not been running for some time, and for that I apologize. A lot has happened and maybe I’ll recap it, but not this trip. As faithful BT riders know I read a lot of Star Trek novels, not only because of my love of the series, but to support the authors I have come to know and call friends and discuss them on The G and T Show (which you can download at or listen to live 9 a.m. East Coast time, Sunday mornings at

I recently stepped into a new world and read Trance by Kelly Meding, and I couldn’t be any happier that I did. 

Trance is set in a Los Angeles devastated by the Meta War 15 years earlier. “What’s the Meta War?”you ask. It was the war fought between the Ranger Corps and the Banes, superheroes and supervillians. Trance begins during the War’s final hours as 10-year-old Teresa “Trance” West and a group of preteens flee through the battlefield that is New York City, when the Metas suddenly lose their powers. Moving forward 15 years Teresa is stuck moving from one dead-end job to another when her powers reappear as mysteriously as they vanished. But there’s a catch, her abilities are completely transformed and more powerful than ever.

Trance journeys to Los Angeles hoping to track down any surviving Rangers, discover why her powers were restored and who is trying to kill the surviving Rangers.

Meding’s urban fantasy/superhero world is a gritty, desolate and passionate place filled with action, suspense and characters that spring to life off the page. She writes in the first person, taking us into Trance’s head, heart and pain. The deeper into the book I got the more I fell in love with Trance. She is reeling from years of anger, depression and abandonment which give her a snarky attitude and mouth to match. I loved it.

One of the enjoyable aspects of Meding’s writing is her characters are not two-dimensional cutouts, but come across as real people. Real people with powers that fans of X-Men or Alphas will enjoy, and some of the best code-names I can remember. I was picturing different actors as the characters as I read Trance, and that, for me, is a huge positive. Meding’s dialogue is smart, and there were several occasions I found myself laughing out loud at the banter in the book. 

Writing exciting and realistic action scenes is something Meding has a definite talent for, and on more than one occasion I had to slow myself down as I was caught up in the action. Meding also has a talent for writing sexy scenes, scenes that fit organically in the plot and don’t ever feel forced.

Another huge plus in Trance is that no one is safe; Meding has no problem creating situations where I put the book (or Kindle, I was reading in both formats) down, looking at the ceiling trying to absorb what just happened. This is a testament to the world she created and how much I cared about what was happening.

So if you are looking for a book with a different take on the superhero genre, I highly recommend Trance

As always, thanks for riding the Bitter Trolley, and please, remember us for your future travels.