Wildcat Fireflies (Meridian Series #2)

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Overview

Meridian Sozu is a Fenestra—the half-human, half-angel link between the living and the dead. She has the dark responsibility of helping souls transition safely into the afterlife. If people die without the help of a Fenestra, their souls are left vulnerable to be stolen by the Aternocti, a dark band of forces who disrupt the balance of good and evil in the world and cause chaos.

Having recently lost her beloved Auntie—the woman who showed her what it meant to be a ...

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Wildcat Fireflies (Meridian Series #2)

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Overview

Meridian Sozu is a Fenestra—the half-human, half-angel link between the living and the dead. She has the dark responsibility of helping souls transition safely into the afterlife. If people die without the help of a Fenestra, their souls are left vulnerable to be stolen by the Aternocti, a dark band of forces who disrupt the balance of good and evil in the world and cause chaos.

Having recently lost her beloved Auntie—the woman who showed her what it meant to be a Fenestra—Meridian has hit the road with Tens, her love and sworn protector, in hopes of finding another Fenestra. Their search leads them to Indiana, where Juliet, a responsible and loving teenager, works tirelessly in the nursing home where she and several other foster kids are housed. Surrounded by death, Juliet struggles to make a loving home for the younger kids, and to protect them from the violent whims of their foster mother. But she is struggling against forces she can't understand . . . and even as she feels a pull toward the dying, their sickness seems to infect her, weighing her down. . . .

Will Meri and Tens find Juliet in time to save her from a life of misery and illness? And will Meri and Tens' own romance weather the storms of new discoveries?

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Dawn Talbott
Meridian is a special sixteen year old. She belongs to a group of half angels called Fenestra, whose purpose is to help dying souls cross over into heaven. Meridian and her Protector, Tens, are on a quest to locate another Fenestra that needs their help. Juliet lives at Dunkelbarger, a home for elderly and orphans, which is run by Mistress, a cruel and abusive woman that is basically hired help for the dark forces working against the Fenestra, called Nocti. Meridian and Tens must find a way to rescue Juliet, who knows nothing about her special abilities and calling. This book is the second in the Meridian series. Kizer does a good job of creating believable characters, even when some of the situations they are involved in are supernatural. It is easy to identify with Meridian and even Juliet, who is leading a very hard and different life than the average person. Part of this because of Kizer's down-to-earth writing style. It is creative and vivid enough to convey meaning and images without being too contrived. Although there are no drastic plot twists, the story does move at a good pace and holds interest. A few passages discuss the feelings and longing that Meridian has for her boyfriend, and because the two are traveling together and staying in a cabin together, some of the themes are more appropriate for older readers. There is nothing too explicit, however, aside from a minor curse word here and there. All in all, this is a good story. Reviewer: Dawn Talbott
Children's Literature - Laura J. Brown
Dying is the last thing most people think about, but it is something everyone has to face one day. The good news is (in this fantasy) that people do not face their dying moment alone. Human-angel-like beings called Fenestras are the link between the dying and the beyond. They help souls make the transition safely into the afterlife. They are the light that the dying sees as they pass out of this life; but appear totally human to the living. Medridian Sozu is a Fenestra and was taught her craft by her beloved Auntie who died recently. Medridian is on a quest to find other Fenestras because they are threatened by the Aternocti, the dark force, who steel souls from the Light and puts them in the void of Evil. She and Tens Valdes, her soul mate and Protector, find their way to Dunklebarger, a nursing home, where the very old and very young live. It is the only place Juliet has known as home, and she tries to make it as livable and loveable as she can despite the cruelty of the headmistress. As she reaches her sixteenth birthday she is slowly losing her will to live. She has no idea that she and others at Dunklebarger are also Fenestras. Meridian and Tens have to find Juliet and the others before it is too late. This is a suspenseful thriller that readers will enjoy. Reviewer: Laura J. Brown
Kirkus Reviews
Adolescence is hard enough without having to save the world from death and destruction.

This sequel toMeridian(2009) opens three weeks after 16-year-old Meridian, a part-human/part-angel Fenestra, or "window" that helps dying souls pass on, and her protector/boyfriend Tens saved a Colorado town from Nocti (evil spirits in human form that try to send souls to hell). They're traveling the country, looking for fellow Fenestras, when Meridian feels drawn to Carmel, Ind. Fifteen-year-old Juliet, an unknowing Fenestra, has been living in this sleepy town at a center that doubles as an group home for the elderly and a foster-care home. The teens' alternating viewpoints tell this hefty story, which, like many second novels in a series, builds on the first but ultimately leads up to a third. Meridian provides back story, uses her great-aunt's journal to discover more about Fenestras and schemes to find Juliet and save her before she's forced by Nocti to become one of their own. All the while she ponders her free will, her developing body and why Tens keeps putting off their first time having sex. Meanwhile, Juliet gives (over and over again) a look at her abusive situation—she's constantly punished and must care nonstop for the residents—and her burgeoning Fenestra talents.

Some of the day-to-day events may be hard to believe, but this is a book about angels and demons after all; fans will forgive.(Paranormal romance. 12-16)

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—In this sequel to Meridian (Delacorte, 2009), Meridian is learning what it takes to be a Fenestra, one who helps souls pass from life to death. With the help of her protectors Tens and Custos, she sets out to find others like her. They enter the town of Helios and meet Joi, a friendly waitress who helps them get acclimated to their new surroundings. At the same time, Juliet, a 15-year-old orphan, works to make a nursing home that doubles as an orphanage a haven for all who dwell there. She comforts the younger inhabitants and helps the older ones pass to the next life. She struggles, always questioning her worth. The head mistress neglects and mistreats everyone. With the help of local townspeople, Meridian, Tens, and Custos help Juliet learn of her Fenestral roots and eventually convince her of her true calling. At the same time, other forces threaten the Fenestras. While readers may have a hard time understanding the flow of the book at first due to the dual first-person accounts, sticking with it is well worth the effort. An intricately woven web of crossing paths leads to a beautiful tale of self-discovery, self-acceptance, communication, family, trust, and love.—Kathryn Kennedy, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385739719
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 7/12/2011
  • Series: Meridian Series , #2
  • Pages: 528
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: HL630L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

AMBER KIZER is not one of those authors who wrote complete books at the age of three and always knew she wanted to be a writer. She merely enjoyed reading until a health challenge, beginning in college, forced her to start living outside the box. After one writing workshop, she fell in love with telling stories; a million pages of prose later she still loves it. When she's not reading from a huge stack, she's coaxing rosebushes to blossom, watching delightful teen angst on television, or quilting with more joy than skill. She takes her tea black, her custard frozen, and her men witty. She lives in the Seattle area on a veritable Noah's Ark, with a pair of dogs, a pair of cats, 15 pairs of chickens, and uncounted pairs of shoes—without the big boat and only some of the rain.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

“Pulloverpulloverpullover!” I screeched as we approached the outskirts of another small town.

One more bump, one more pothole sitting in this beater truck, and I was going to lose my mind. Tens and I were just past three weeks from leaving the wreckage of Revelation, Colorado, on our Divine-tasked quest to find other Fenestra. More people, girls, like me. More Protectors like Tens. Supposedly, there was one, somewhere in the state of Indiana, who needed our help.

“Pleasepleaseplease!” Now at the tail end of January, it had been nearly a month since Jasper’s granddaughter brought us the newspaper article about a cat who predicted deaths and a girl called the Grim Reaper.

It was impossible to think in the bouncing, flouncing truck. I refused to inhale any more hay dust, mud particles, and springs of decades past, not for another second. I heard my brain rolling in circles around the inside of my skull like a Super Ball. “We’ve been driving for lifetimes, Tens. Pull over!” I shouted.

Unflappable as always, Tens didn’t take his eyes off the road. “Meridian, we’re almost there. It hasn’t been that long today. You’re exagger--”

I cut him off. “Long enough. I need to stretch. Just for a minute. Here’s good.” I reached for the door handle as we passed a sign proclaiming Welcome to Carmel, Indiana.

“Here?” He slowed, but didn’t stop the truck.

I needed out.

Right.

Now.

“Here.” I leapt out. As Tens parked the truck along the curb, I breathed in warm pre-spring air, huffing and puffing like I’d been running instead of sitting.

Custos sprang out of the truck bed, disappearing into the shadows. If I glanced around, I knew I’d see her. But knowing she was watching from the periphery was enough for the moment. I hadn’t truly figured out whether she was more than dog, more than wolf. But I suspected.

Tens unfolded and walked around to the front of the cab, waiting for me like one of the Queen’s guards. I knew that expression. All patience, calm, and deliberation. He used it with wild animals in traps.

I closed my eyes against the irritation with him I felt bubbling up. “I have a feeling about this place.” I knew it as truth, as soon as the words left my mouth.

Tens brushed the area with his glance, taking in every detail, assessing our safety in a blink. “Good or bad?”

Frustrated, I blew out a snort and rubbed my palms on my thighs. Our third day on the road, the newspaper article had mysteriously gone blank, the ink disappearing. Now all we had left was flimsy newsprint and our memories to guide us. I kept expecting another sign. Something I recognized, something that told me we were on the right path. Only nothing presented itself. Each day flowed into the next and failure frayed my edges.

Where was she? This mysterious girl like me, hunted by the Nocti, needed by the good, by everything that was light, clean and pure. What was she thinking? Was she wishing someone would fall from the sky and tell her she wasn’t a freak? Or did she understand her destiny and feel confident in herself?

“Meridian? Good or bad feeling?” Tens loped toward me, carefully keeping his distance. I didn’t bite, but I’d been cranky enough lately that I understood his reticence.

“I don’t know yet.” I turned away, trying to puzzle out the gut feeling twisting me up. “Why don’t you sense it, too? Why can’t you sense her? What good is your gift if we can’t count on it? What if we don’t find her? Are we supposed to drive every road in the state, and the next state, and then . . . what? Canada? Mexico? I can’t believe we’re supposed to drive around for the rest of our lives eating burgers and sleeping in crappy motels.” We had plenty of money, thanks to Auntie. What we didn’t want to do was grab the interest of authorities--the last thing we needed was a Good Samaritan wanting to rescue a minor from life on the road. Although sixteen and old enough to drop out of high school, I still resembled a barely pubescent girl. I didn’t look a day over fourteen, and Tens’s intimidating nature screamed criminal. Not a good combination for keeping a low profile.

“You’re tired.” He said this like it explained everything, including my volatile attitude.

Pissed, I hissed up at him, “Don’t patronize me.” Of course I was tired. We never ceased driving, not for more than a few hours at a time. We’d been to every retirement and nursing home from the southern Indiana border to the middle of the state. I walked in circles, kicking the truck’s tires.

I craved a bit of balance, stillness for my soul. Direction wasn’t enough on this quest; I wanted a clear purpose. What was the point of sending us out in blind ignorance? Not for the first time I wished for a conversation with the Creators--the rule makers. I wanted one of those comment cards. Fenestras shouldn’t have to operate alone and vastly outmatched by the community of Nocti, who had each other and leaders and clear mandates to destroy and bring suffering. Me--my team? We simply had journeys and lessons and growth. Yee-haw for the good guys.

Tens sighed and leaned over the hood of the truck. “Fine, you’re not tired. You’re thinking clearly and you’re not wailing like a toddler who didn’t get the lollipop. Tantrum much?” He rested his face in his hand, huffed a breath, and straightened toward me.

My mouth gaped. Then I choked back an utterly bitchy retort. He was right. He was always right. “Wow. Harsh.”

“Yeah, sorry. No excuse.” He softly brushed hair off my neck and kneaded the muscles knotted in my shoulders, successfully turning my claws into purrs. “I’m hungry. You have to be hungry. Let’s go in there.” He kissed the top of my head and turned me gently toward the restaurant behind us. He patted my butt flirtatiously, shocking a giggle from my throat.

 

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 32 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2014

    Ignis

    He swoops down into a steep landing, his bloodred scales glittering coldly.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2014

    Leviathan

    Flies above the clouds, her body blending in with the clear blue sky.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2014

    ~Fantasy Rp Dragon Camp~

    ~Cordelia

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2014

    The book had a great plot and I loved her new friends she finds

    The book had a great plot and I loved her new friends she finds along her journey. I really enjoyed seeing how Juliet and Meridian have different experiences in their life as Fenestras. I do have concerns about how young Meridian is. It's very easy to forget she's only 16 because usually she carries herself in an adult manner, but sometimes I find it a bit disturbing when I do realize how young she is. I love her confusing relationship with Tens, but the youngness factor makes it slightly creepy. Overall it is an amazing book and it can get slow, but I love the action once it starts to get going.   

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2012

    Bored

    I bought this book because the first ended so abruptly and I had truly enjoyed that one but I was so bored during this one I could barely finish. Things were not explained and the transition between books was awkward. Major plot points were not explained in the beginning of this one and I never connected with Meridian which is odd since I liked her initially. I won't even waste time or money on the next one.

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  • Posted May 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I read the first book before I started blogging and really loved

    I read the first book before I started blogging and really loved it. The whole world building as well as the characters capture my imagination an set me on a whole new path to discover.


    What I loved most about this book is the character growth. Meri is growing in who she is and what she is meant to do. There are times where she feels so incapable of doing things that I could feel her frustration. I could see the time away from her family as well as always being on the run is taking a toll of her.

    The love interest really grew as well. Their relationship is sort-of on a stand still being that they are always on the run but it definitely grows in trust and strength. The have late night talks that really bring a smile to my face as I watch them become so much more than friends. The jealousy issues is bound to catch up being that they haven't really gotten in further in their relationship with trust in that area. Their sort of like just going with flow, assuming things. And we all know what happens when you assume.


    The action of the book is great. I loved reading about other characters who are the same as Meri and going through the same troubles like her. Meri has such a big responsibility. She takes everything in with stride putting everything aside for what need to be done.


    Wildcat Fireflies explodes with so many new possibilities! Exciting new characters, new revelations of being a Fenestra, and the darkness that surrounds them. Wildcat Fireflies is great!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2013

    It was ok not my favriote

    It wasok no my favroite

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

    Crowfeather to Ravenkit

    Hello can i talk to you?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Good book...long

    This book was good but I thought it was a little long and at times the author just rambled on too add pages to the book. If you like books that explain every detail down to the color of the car seats then this shouldn't bother you. Aside from that the book was great and I can't wait for the next one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2011

    Great book

    This book has Everything you would want. A great and refreshingly honest romance with a wonderful storie line to tie these uniquely suprising characters together.

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  • Posted September 9, 2011

    I love this series!!!!!!!!

    This is a really good series, I recommend it to anyone fans of the Hush,Hush series or Fallen series.

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  • Posted August 21, 2011

    Live To Read

    This book is the continuation of Meri's tale concerning her new discovery that she is a Fenestra, one of the few who can literally open up a window to allow souls to go through. Meri is just as resilient as ever; she lost her family and now her mentor, but she still holds on-partly due to Tens's comforting presence. Meri and Tens discover that there may be another Fenestra who needs their help. They travel to find her, quite by accident though. They encounter quite a few interesting secondary characters, some who appear as if they should be Meri's enemies...but aren't, and some who Meri has yet to make up her mind about.


    Tens and Meri continue to develop their relationship through this stressful time. Meri isn't sure what Tens wants...she's not sure if she wants to give him "something more" quite yet. Tens appears content to remain as they are, openly loving Meri. This frustrates Meri, who is on the fence whether to take their relationship the proverbial step further or not. The reader will enjoy watching their relationship unfold and grow i the pages of this novel.


    Juliet, the other possible Fenestra in trouble, is in an orphanage. She is ill-used and her safety is compromised in her current situation. She is caring and sweet, helping the younger kids and, like Meri, is very resilient. She recently lost Kieran, a boy she thought she had a crush on...until she learns that he is changed later in the novel. She desperately needs the help and guidance that Tens and Meri can possibly provide for her. The secret of her parentage is also discussed in the book...leading to a shocking ending.


    The plot is the same as the first novel's, just as entertaining and unusual. The events are fairly fast-paced, some of the scenes are charged with emotion while some are more low-key. The characters are all fairly likable, the main characters will probably become almost like friends to the reader. This is a huge book, plenty of chapters to sift through, but the reader will finish quickly as it is not an easy book to put down. This book is recommended to young adults/teens who enjoy fantasy mixed with romance.

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  • Posted August 11, 2011

    143

    The numbers that merdian and ten say to each other is 143 , which the author tells us that it's secret code for i love you.

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  • Posted July 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Bit Disappointed

    Meridian and Tens are back again in Wildcat Fireflies, on the road to Indiana looking for another Fenestra, and, of all things, a cat. While searching for this Fenestra (who is a sixteen year old girl named Juliet) they unexpectedly make some great friends and learn some shocking secrets. The reader also finds out a bit more about Tens's background. This book is written a bit differently than the first as the story is told from alternating perspectives of Meridian and Juliet.

    I had such mixed feelings about this book. The first book in this series, Meridian, blew me away. It was simply amazing. So of course I expected to fall in love with the next one too. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. First off, for most of the book Juliet's story is so completely depressing, the kind of depressing that stays with you after you put the book down. I'd be eating dinner and all of a sudden I'd think of Juliet and say "God, her life really freaking sucks!" I sometimes dreaded reading her chapters because they were always almost guaranteed to be sad and depressing. But I have to say that Juliet was a great character. I felt bad for her but I also felt like she had an indomitable spirit. I rooted for her all the way throughout the book, just waiting for her to taste happiness, true unfettered happiness. Lord knows if anyone fictious deserves it, it's her.

    Meridian and Tens did grow a bit. Tens opens up more and Meridian is more cautious and doesn't want to be the damsel in distress, but the damsel with the sword hacking at her enemies. Some of the scenes in this book deals with Meridian wanting to have sex with Tens, and there was one or two pretty graphic (for a YA novel, at least) scenes with them together. I don't really have an issue with that but this book might not be suitable for anyone under 15.

    (On a side note, what's with the cover? It's almost identical to the one on Meridian. The green butterfly pattern is pretty but for some reason the girl on the cover looks kind of creepy to me.)

    Okay, so wrapping it all up here, it was an okay book. At the end I had some questions like: what the HECK happened to Nicole and what was the number thing Tens and Meridian said to each other on the last page? The author didn't explain it at all, it was completely random. Did I miss something? Though Wildcat Fireflies had its faults it wasn't terrible. It was a page turner and worth the read. It didn't put me off from reading the next book in the series, but I hope the next one will be better.

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  • Posted July 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A little long, but entertaining story

    In this second novel, readers first meet a young girl by the name of Juliet Ambrose, who resides at the Dunklebarger Rehab Center in the middle of nowhere. Dunklebarger is literally a prison. Half of this huge, creepy building serves as the "last chance" for old people who come to Dunklebarger to die; while the other half of the institution plays home to children six to sixteen years of age, where they are made to clean, cook, take care of the elderly, get yelled at constantly.basically, they're inmates. Juliet is frightened because she is about to turn sixteen and will be thrown out of the place, leaving her younger friends to fend for themselves against a woman who is determined to abuse them all. Feeling alone and unwanted all her life, the only thing Juliet is quite good at is helping the dying. When people are about to pass, she goes to their room and allows them to have a safe journey by leading them to their loved ones on the other side. Meridian and the love of her life, Tens, are working their way across the country trying to find this fenestra who is in danger. Meridian knows that she exists and that someone is hunting her - one of the evil Nocti. The Nocti are the nemeses of the fenestra's; their sole purpose on earth is to cause chaos and destruction - to stop the finestras and suck souls into the lightless place. When Meridian and Tens pull over on the highway to take a break from their journey, they walk into a shop where they drink tea and eat a little something before continuing on. But the ambiance of the place is strange. There are glass balls hanging from the ceiling that light up mysteriously when Meridian sits beneath them; there is an old rehab center that Meridian is drawn to for a reason she doesn't yet understand; and a town, itself, that seems to be teaming with energy. Meridian and Tens stay in a cottage behind the tea room exchanging work with the shop's owner, Joi. Things begin to go a little crazy when they meet up with Rumi, the glassblower in town, who speaks of with balls, spirit stones, and old Native American tales about fireflies that once gathered together to save a missing child. Meridian and Tens must find a way to help this unknown fenestra and discover what evil is going on within the walls of Dunklebarger, while Juliet Ambrose - a girl who is about to be taken over by a pretty evil plan - must find a way to believe in angels in order to be saved. As with the first Meridian novel, this is an excellent story that focuses on faith, friendship, thrills and chills, with a bit of romance thrown in for fun. Although the story goes on a little too long, the premise, characters, and intense quest that Meridian is on, will have readers riveted until the very last page. Quill Says: A good continuation to a strange, but entertaining story. It will be interesting to see where Meridian and Tens head next.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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