Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Review of Tom Reynold's "Meta"

    It's back to the summer reading season, and I started off with a book I'd bought a while back but never got to, "Meta." Years after all of the metas, humans who possess mysterious super-powered bracelets, have disappeared, Connor Connolly wakes up to find his wrists wrapped in almost unlimited powers. The bad guy thrown in there is The Controller, a meta who has the power to create monsters to fight for him anywhere he so pleases. Assisting Connor is Midnight, a non-meta vigilante who has been around since the old days.
    The book starts off on a hot streak, and then hits a wall as soon as Connor discovers his powers. Everything comes out of nowhere, and little explanation is every put behind events. Hostile situations will come out of thin air simply to move the plot along. The story jumps from scene to scene like a child playing "The Floor is Lava" where it is okay to omit bridging the gap between sequences. Trying to see it all together is like deciphering a "Connect the Dots to Form a Picture" puzzle that you see on the children's menu. The most glaring example is the magical rooftop of plot advancement, where Connor would teleport, and then some event would be waiting for him in the exact location. The book is relatively short though, so I can see the need to condense.
    One of the aspect that also receives the short end of the stick is character development. Specifically, Connor's relationship with the love interest Sarah. It plods along throughout the book making no significant headway until the end, where it still feels poorly wrapped up.
    The book does have moments that shine, in its humor and witty writing. One particular scene I enjoyed was describing Connor  honing his ability to fly. It was brief, but entertaining and to the point.
The fight scenes are also quite vivid, and the author isn't afraid to censor some of the more questionable moments. It is also a nice break from the slew of superhero fiction that involves months of training in an academy, or fighting the government agency that created the hero.
     Getting back into the swing of things, this was a quick, entertaining read. It has it's share of problems in character development and instances of deus ex machina, but nothing that breaks the tale. It does hint at a sequel, which I would be willing to pick up. This one gets a spot on the shelf.

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