Author: Amber Kizer
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Released: August 2009
Pages: 320 pgs / Hardcover
Meridian is not your average teenage girl. She's a Fenestra, a half-human / half-angelic being that escorts souls to Heaven. She is the proverbial "light at the end of the tunnel" and where there is light, there is also darkness. At 17 years old, she is just coming into her powers and she learns that she is also the target of the Aternocti, evil beings who carry souls into darkness (ie: Hell). She is sent to live with her 106 year old aunt who will teach her the ways of her kind. While living with her aunt, she meets Tens, her fated Protector and Custos, their furry wolf companion. At first, she doesn't want to accept this new turn that her life has taken and would rather just be "normal" but she soon realizes that death is a part of who she is and accepts in stride!
The main characters were all likable and well-developed! Meridian was vulnerable & confused, but really determined. Tens, although aloof at first was kindhearted & fiercely protective and Auntie was old and weakening but still feisty & loving. Even Custos, the remarkably smart wolf was lovable :) I would probably say that Tens was one of my favorite characters. He was mysterious & sarcastic, yet charming, funny & flawed in a very real way. Many of the YA novels today offer these gorgeous and 'perfect-in-nearly-every-way' male protagonists that just aren't realistic and Tens seemed like a regular, great guy which was really refreshing. The love between Meridian and Tens didn't manifest instantly, but slowly over the course of the book. Even by the time they both realize and accept their feelings for one another, it wasn't a mushy-gushy, 'can't-keep-our-hands-of-each other' relationship, but a comfortable and genuine bond between two people who would always protect each other.
My only criticism of the book was that very little happened between the protagonist & the antagonist and the one very real encounter they had [at the end of the book], seemed a bit rushed. Although, I'm sure there is more action to come in the following installment :)
What I did appreciate was how Amber (through Meridian's character) explored the concept of death and what it means to different people. This book is essentially about death, but not in a morbid way. It's about accepting that life is an unending cycle and the best lives are born into and end with LOVE! Death is not just the end of a life, but the transfer of that life's energy into something greater!
I highly recommend this book and can't wait to read about Meridian's next adventure!
I give it: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥