Meridian (Meridian Series #1)

Meridian (Meridian Series #1)

4.2 181
by Amber Kizer

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Half-human, half-angel, Meridian Sozu has a dark responsibility.

Sixteen-year-old Meridian has been surrounded by death ever since she can remember. As a child, insects, mice, and salamanders would burrow into her bedclothes and die. At her elementary school, she was blamed for a classmate’s tragic accident. And on her sixteenth birthday, a car

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Half-human, half-angel, Meridian Sozu has a dark responsibility.

Sixteen-year-old Meridian has been surrounded by death ever since she can remember. As a child, insects, mice, and salamanders would burrow into her bedclothes and die. At her elementary school, she was blamed for a classmate’s tragic accident. And on her sixteenth birthday, a car crashes in front of her family home—and Meridian’s body explodes in pain.

Before she can fully recover, Meridian is told that she’s a danger to her family and hustled off to her great-aunt’s house in Revelation, Colorado. It’s there that she learns that she is a Fenestra—the half-angel, half-human link between the living and the dead. But Meridian and her sworn protector and love, Tens, face great danger from the Aternocti, a band of dark forces who capture vulnerable souls on the brink of death and cause chaos.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Kizer's (One Butt Cheek at a Time) sophomore outing, an urban fantasy, has intriguing premise: on her 16th birthday Meridian Sozu learns that she is a Fenestra, a human of angelic descent who acts as a "window" for souls passing to the afterlife. She is vulnerable to the malicious Nocti, who steal life energy and send souls to hell. Sent to her great-aunt Merry's house in Revelation, Colo., Meridian begin to learn how to survive and fulfill her purpose from Merry and her eventual love interest, Tens. But time is short, and the sinister Reverend Perimo is orchestrating an effort to drive Fenestra "witchcraft" out of Revelation. Kizer's ear for teenage dialogue doesn't fail, and despite numerous deus ex machina plot weaknesses, the fast pace keeps the story compelling. Less appealing are the murky metaphysics, the attribution of tragedies like Nazi atrocities to Nocti interference and the fact that souls' fates are subject to the whims and proximity of Nocti or Fenestra, rather than human choices or behavior. Ages 12—up. (Aug.)
VOYA - Robyn Guedel
What is it like to be surrounded by death? Teenager Meridian Sozu has always been a little bit different. Throughout her life, it seems that death always follows her. One day after a terrible tragedy, her parents inform her that she is a Fenestra, which is a half-angel, half-human. Meridian learns that she is the window between life and death. After she turns sixteen, Meridian is sent to live with her great-aunt who teaches her what her new life will be like. While there, she meets Tens, who is a rough but attractive boy who turns out to be her protector. Together they must try to conquer the Aternocti, a group of dark forces who capture souls near death. Teens will love this paranormal romance. The author keeps the reader interested with a little love, lots of adventure, and plenty of fun. Kizer does a nice job of developing the characters and explaining the complicated powers of the Fenestra. The story is fast paced, resulting in a quick read that teen girls will devour. Readers who enjoyed Patterson's Maximum Ride series will enjoy this one as well. Reviewer: Robyn Guedel
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Meridian's parents try to give her a normal childhood in spite of the strange attraction she holds for the dead and dying animals that appear in her bed nearly every morning. On her 16th birthday, a horrific traffic accident occurs right in front of her, causing her terrible pain even though she is uninjured. Her parents realize that the time has come to tell Meridian what she truly is: a Fenestra. Within hours she is on a bus heading to Revelation, CO, and her Auntie. She learns that a Fenestra is a being capable of opening windows into the afterlife for the dying. With the help of Great-aunt Merry, also a Fenestra, and Tens, her Protector, Meridian comes gradually, though reluctantly, to understand her powers and her place in the eternal struggle between the forces of light and darkness for the souls of humankind. The author brings a fresh voice to the realm of teen paranormal romantic fiction. Although the narrative stumbles occasionally, and the ending is hurried, the characters are compelling and the themes of good and evil, life and death will keep readers engaged.—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
Kirkus Reviews
Constantly wracked with pain, Meridian Sozu has always been surrounded by dead insects and animals. When she witnesses a car accident on her 16th birthday, the winter solstice, her parents abandon her, hastily sending her off to Revelation, Colo. Against this chilling backdrop, at the home of her Great-Aunt Merry, she discovers that she is a Fenestra, a half-human/half-angel "window" that helps souls pass to heaven. With the help of aging Merry, a fellow Fenestra, and Protector (and love interest) Tens, Meridian learns to develop her powers against the hell-bent Aternocti, or simply Noctis (a play on Nazis), and a local cult masquerading as an evangelical congregation they've infiltrated. Although this likable heroine offers a fresh take on the supernatural, the lengthy, repetitive explanation of her powers leaves interest waning. The rushed and confusing ending requires a second (or even third) read. Despite these major obstacles, teens will still find themselves intrigued by the mysteries of life, death and beyond and how they may have played out through history. (Supernatural romance. YA)

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Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Meridian Series, #1
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)
HL590L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt


By Amber Kizer
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Copyright © 2009

Amber Kizer
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780385906210


I got up the morning of December twenty-first anticipating a four-day weekend for the Christmas holiday. I went to a snotty private prep school that took breaks the way most people went to the dentist—?only when they really, really had to.

Which was why I had school on the twenty-first, my sixteenth birthday. My parents refused to let me skip. It was a typical, normal day. For me “normal” meant that my stomach churned so much I swallowed Tums by the roll, and never went anywhere without Advil. I used Visine to keep my eyes clear; without it, looking in the mirror meant seeing the eyes of a lifetime alcoholic. I kept a stash of Ace bandages and braces in my locker at school.

I coped. I studied. I kept up the facade, but I desperately needed a break. Time to sleep late. Time to eat too much and catch up on painting my nails with glitter. Time to stop faking it and be myself, even if no one noticed. Time to dye my hair again—currently it was the obnoxious red of tomato juice. I figured black would be a nice way to start the New Year. It fit my mood. There were also a bunch of new DVDs I wanted to watch. Movies about girls my age having crushes and friends and being absolutely, completely normal.

I tucked my requisite white cotton blouse into my perfectly pleated tartan skirt. I applied thick black eyeliner and threecoats of mascara, as if I could make the bruises beneath my eyes an accessory, then painted on clear lip gloss. I tugged at the opaque tights I wore, pushing our dress code to the limit. I didn’t mind uniforms. At least I was part of a group for once in my life. But I hated looking like a little Lolita. I stared at my reflection, hoping to see answers. Wishing I saw the solution to my life.

The phone shrilled: once, twice. I tossed my toothbrush into the sink and grabbed the hallway extension. The phone never rang for me, but I always answered it, hoping.


Silence. Breathing. Murmuring.

“Hello?” I repeated.

Mom appeared at the top of the stairs. “Who is it?” Concern deepened the lines on her face, aging her.

I shrugged at her, shook my head. “Hello?”

She yanked the phone cord out of the wall, breathing fast, suddenly wild-eyed and pale.

Dad raced up the stairs, clearly just as upset. “Another one?”

Mom’s fist clenched the cord and she fiercely wrenched me into her arms. What the hell?

“What’s going on?” I let her hold me as she caught her breath. My dad kept petting my hair. For the last five years, they hadn’t touched me except for accidents or unavoidables. Now they didn’t seem to want to let go.

“It’s started.” Dad was the first to step away.

“What’s started?” I pushed away as the downstairs phone rang.

“We’ll talk more after school. You have a big test today.” I recognized the stubborn expression on Mom’s face.

Dad pressed her shoulders, rubbed her neck like he always did when she was upset. “I think we should—”

“No, not yet. Not yet,” Mom chanted.

“What is going on?” I felt fear sizzle in my spine.

“Rosie?—” Dad cradled Mom’s cheek with one hand and reached for me.

“After school,” Mom said firmly. “Be careful today, extra careful.”

“Why don’t you tell me why?” I asked. “Is this about turning sixteen? I can wait to get my license for a few months. I mean, I’d like to drive, but if you’re this scared we can talk about it.”

Mom smoothed my hair, shaking her head. “After school.”

I shrugged and looked to my father for guidance. His expression told me he wouldn’t break rank. “Is it boys? I’m not dating; it’s not like there’s a guy—”

Mom cut me off. “Do you want pancakes?”

I never eat breakfast. “No, that’s okay. I should catch the bus or I’ll be late.” What else can there be? My grades are excellent.

“Mer-D!” Sammy launched himself at me. As a toddler he’d given me a nickname that stuck, so even now that he was six, I was still his Mer-D. “Happy birthday! I got you a presie. I got you a presie. Wanna know? Wanna know?” He danced with a maple syrup–covered fork, Jackson Pollocking every surface with stickiness.

“Later, Sammy. After school, okay? With cake?” I adored him. Loved him with the unconditional love I’d never received, except from him. He wasn’t afraid of me. He’d pretend to blow up the dead things with his Lego men or pose them in little forts, like caricatures of life.

“Cake, cake, makey-cakey.” He pranced around, his face split in a grin.

Turning back to my mom, “Why are you so freaked?” I dropped my voice so Sammy wouldn’t hear me.

Dad answered for her. “There is something we need to discuss when you get home, but it can wait.”

“Are you sure?” I pressed. I hadn’t ever seen either of them this anxious.

“You don’t want to miss your bus.” Mom hovered. She’d been swinging from overprotective to distant for the past few months. There was an almost tangible distance between us. I’d catch her scrutinizing me, like she was trying to memorize my DNA.

“You have everything you need?” She stared at me, patted my hair, and tucked an errant curl behind my ear. She always made me want to shake my head and mess up my curls even more. Mom gave me a pathetic, sad smile. She didn’t say anything else.

“Fine. Yep.” I shrugged her off, marching out of the kitchen feeling like a kid at an adults-only party, pissed that they wouldn’t just tell me what was going on. Secrets made me feel small and insignificant. There was a vibe I couldn’t place. I slid my backpack on.

Dad strode out from the kitchen. “Meridian, wait.” He drew me to him, hugging me so tight that breathing was a challenge.

“Dad?” I leaned away, confused.

At least Sammy wasn’t acting strange. He was playing with the Lego set he’d opened the day before, on his birthday. My mom, brother, and I were all born within a day or two of one another.

From the Hardcover edition.


Excerpted from Meridian by Amber Kizer Copyright © 2009 by Amber Kizer. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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