cover image Meridian


Amber Kizer. Delacorte, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-385-73668-8

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.)