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?
I have been wanting to read the sequel to Meridian for a long while now but only just got around to it. Despite it getting mixed reviews, I really liked Meridian and thought it presented an intriguing mix of magic and a new twist on the overdone and very stale trope of angels in YA novels. But unfortunately Wildcat Fireflies suffers greatly from second book (in a series) syndrome. While the book does not suck horribly, it does have several things that bothered me a whole lot.
The first thing was the length of the novel. I don’t mind reading long novels. In fact, I would go so far as to claim that I prefer reading thick tomes that tell a story well and unhurriedly rather than thin books that rush through the narrative. However, Wildcat Fireflies, at 528 pages, was unnecessarily long. It could have easily been shortened by more than a hundred pages. There were whole unnecessary portions where the horridness of the mistress was reiterated once and again. Then there was Juliet. I don’t know what Kizer intended. Was she trying to develop Juliet as some kind of paragon of mercy by laboriously describing the horrors she went through under the mistress of the care house/orphanage?
Because let me tell you, Juliet was insufferable. She made me detest the novel a whole lot. I like Meridian, I still do. And I liked the development of her relationship with Tens. It was interesting to observe a relationship that was already underway and not have to go through that “he likes me, oh he really likes me!” brouhaha again. I thought the mythology was well developed and carried on where Meridian had left off.
However, considering my considerable (insurmountable, perhaps) distaste of Juliet’s character (she is TSTL) and the dragging pace of the novel along with the fact that the next novel stars Juliet as an important character making more stupid decisions, I believe I’m done with the series. I might read book four if a new character comes and replaces Juliet but until then, eh.