Trance by Kelly Meding has an awesome opener:
The bronze man’s head was melting. It oozed fat splats of liquid metal and swirled down the front of his old-fashioned suit jacket to puddle at his feet. Some of it hit the bronze duck below him, adding layers of new metal that mutated it into a nightmarish goose.
A man’s head is melting? A nightmarish goose? Consider me intrigued. The beginning of Trance definitely reeled me in very quickly – it was easy to start caring about Teresa West, code name Trace. Yes – I said code name y’all. In the coolest, X-Men, superhero way possible. Teresa and the friends she grew up with (but was eventually separated from) reunite when their powers return to them after having disappeared for over a decade. Enter danger and chaos.
So, obviously I think several things about Trance are pretty awesome. Unfortunately…I had a lot of problems with it too. While I enjoyed all the characters’ personalities, once they start communicating with each other things go downhill fast. I thought the dialogue was awkward and I never felt any actual connections or emotions (platonic or romantic). Teresa quickly develops a relationship with Gage, and I did want them to be together – but I never got the vibes. I just could not find a way to get into the writing style.
This is Kelly Meding’s second series, so I was definitely expecting a lot more skill from her on those counts. Seriously disappointing, definitely held the book back. Of course, it is possible that my failure to connect with her writing is some personal preference versus an actual lack of writing ability on her part.
Plus…they are all supposed to be mid-20s to early-30s. I’m not buying it. I know several years of limbo between childhood and the time of the story was necessary for the plot line, but I still think they should have come back together as teenagers. Mainly because that is exactly what they acted like. Besides the sexytimes, I never felt like any of the characters acted like adults. Plenty of YA books bring the sexytimes though, so I really think this book would have been executed more successfully as a young adult novel.
The easiest way to explain my feelings for Trance is to just say that the plot and synopsis are majorly cool but the writing execution and lack of characterization work like an anchor, keeping it from being a really notable read. Definitely makes me wary of picking up anything Kelly Meding writes in the future.
I am curious to know if my thoughts about the writing are shared by anyone else – so if you’ve read this, let me know what you think!