Expected Release Date: November 11, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Imprint: Pocket Star
Author’s Website: http://kellymeding.com
My Source for This Book: Edelweiss
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 4, MetaWars Series
Series Best Read In Order: Probably
Steam Level: Warm
Pet Peeves: Flat Hero
Favorite Tropes: Superheroes, Physically Imperfect or Scarred, PTSD, Bad Guy Turns Good
Growing up with blue skin never made Renee “Flex” Duvall feel like an outcast. She learned quickly to find joy in life and to put people at ease with her quick wit and exuberant personality. Nine months after regaining her Flex powers, she’s survived more emotional and physical pain than she thought possible — but despite her burned and ruined skin, she refuses to let her sunny exterior crack in front of her friends. Not while they’re facing a troop of well-trained teenage criminals that may be Recombinants, a new breed of Metas that were genetically manipulated and brainwashed by a shadowy research facility.
After a ruthless battle with a trio of thieves leaves one of their friends seriously wounded, Renee and Onyx follow a clue to Manhattan Island — and to a former Bane named Chimera. But Chimera refuses to help them, even though he admits he may hold the key to stopping these Recombinants and discovering who controls them.
Chimera’s emotional scars are as devastating as Renee’s physical scars, and in this shared pain they find common ground. Against her better judgement, Renee builds a friendship with the man who represents everything she’s been raised to distrust and despise — a man who has something very dear to lose by cooperating.
What Worked For Me:
- Even though I list Derek as one of the things that didn’t work for me, I still liked him. Don’t judge me on my hypocrisy here — even though he wasn’t as fleshed out as I would have preferred, he was still a wonderful counterpoint to Renee.
- I do love a character who has scars — both physically and emotionally — and throwing in Renee’s blue skin, oversized breast implants (she was an exotic dancer at one point, after all), and bombshell blonde hair, she was quite the combination. Going from a woman who had been very in-demand sexually due to her looks, and an asset to the team with her Flex abilities, to a woman very insecure about her extensive scarring and the loss of the majority of her powers was a huge shift for her as a character. I enjoyed watching her try to adjust to taking a back seat on some of the team operations as well as watching her regain her sexual confidence with Derek.
- I also liked watching Renee go from her very black-and-white view of the Metas vs the Banes to seeing the varying shades of gray in between.
- On a similar note, I really enjoyed how nothing was as simple as it first seemed.
- Though there was only one real “love scene”, there was some lovely tension between Renee and Derek, and I liked how their relationship was allowed to develop without taking away from all of the exciting action that was constantly present.
- Speaking of action, I loved seeing the team in action! Though I was a bit lost a time or two because of my own failure to read the previous books in the series, the action was big-screen worthy, and the author’s descriptions really brought the scenes alive.
- I can tell you one thing — this author knows how to end a book! I already want to read the next installment, and I haven’t even gone back to read the last few books yet.
What Didn’t Work For Me:
- As much as I liked Derek (and really, I did like him), he fell pretty flat for me as a character. Perhaps it comes from my having only read the first book in the series, and as such maybe I missed something from an earlier installment, but he seemed almost like a generic character rather than a man that I could really find myself enamored with. He goes from terrifying criminal (based on the way he’s treated at the beginning of the book) to angry/heartbroken father, to sweet and misunderstood guy who almost instantly sees Renee as more than just her physical appearance in pretty much the blink of an eye. Honestly, I think it was the fact that their relationship escalated so quickly — I’m not a fan of whirlwind romances in general — and I don’t think he was really given the proper chance to be fleshed out as a character rather than just a love interest.
I really shouldn’t have skipped the last few books in this series… It wasn’t intentional — I just never really got around to them. Thus I found myself a bit lost a times, even though the author did a pretty good job “catching up” new readers.
I wasn’t too keen on Derek though — he didn’t get as much character development as I would have liked, and the whirlwind romance didn’t help matters any. I did, however, enjoy his relationship with both Renee and the other Metas, and overall, I would say that it was a good read — plenty of action, quite a bit of character development on the part of the our heroine, Renee, and an obvious continuation of the series’ story arc.