- Reviewed by
In the short months since discovering her abilities as a Fenestra—a human-angel creature that helps usher the dying into the next world—Meridian (from Meridian, BCCB 12/09) has met and then saved the life of her Soul Mate and Protector, lost her beloved auntie and fellow Fenestra, and done battle with the Nocti, the dark spirits looking to steal the very souls Meridian is helping. Now, she and her Guardian, Tens, have hit the road, looking for allies, and, in particular, other girls like Meridian. Juliet is one such girl, but she doesn't know it yet; instead, all she knows are the gray, forlorn halls of Dunkelbarger, the institution for foundlings and the dying that has long been her home. As a series of events brings Meridian and Juliet closer together, dark forces collude to prevent their meeting and potentially steal Juliet into the Nocti for good. As with her previous novel, Kizer capably blends a rather complicated backstory with deft characterizations and an evocative sense of place. Narration alternates between the two girls, offering up two distinct but inextricably linked personalities: Meridian, the somewhat older, wiser figure who still stumbles over her own insecurities and Juliet, whose rage at the unfairness of her world is matched only by her concern for those who suffer in it. Fans of the first novel will be pleased to watch the developing relationship between Tens and Meridian, especially as it moves from chaste uncertainty to lusty familiarity. Rich with lore and nuance, the Midwest setting provides both a sense of homeyness and subtle mystery (who thought Indiana could be so interesting?). Since the story focuses primarily on Meridian and her efforts to save Juliet, readers do not need [End Page 526] to be familiar with the previous novel—but they may find themselves returning to the first installment as they anxiously await the next one.