I enjoy this series and I look forward to the new installments, but this one wasn’t my favorite for a few reasons. The book is called Chimera, straying a little from the tradition of naming the story after the title character. Chimera is the love interest, but Renee is the main character. I guess the Powers That Be didn’t want a book named Flex. But I digress.
Flex is the blue chick whose powers make her kind of like Plastic Man, or at least they did before terrible burns ravaged her body, severely limiting her abilities. As a result, this became more of a story about how an almost powerless Meta could stand in the face of all that is happening, surrounded by others who could crush her with a thought. Add to that, all the baggage that comes with being a Meta, and a horrible, abusive history to boot, and you’ve got Renee. She is intensely loyal to her team; she has a huge chip on her shoulder about the Banes; and she is nursing a broken heart over William’s death. It doesn’t exactly set the stage for romance.
Of course, there is a romance brewing here. It’s with (former) Bane, Derek Thatcher, AKA Chimera. It seems his long-lost son is using his telekinesis to break the law. So Renee and the other Metas get him off the prison island to help track the boy down. The young man, Landon, isn’t the villain he first seems, however. We come to find out that he is part of yet another conspiracy regarding covert Meta groups and the manipulation of their powers.
I will take this moment to address one of my two main issues with the book. The series has past confusing and landed firmly into the camp of convoluted. There are so many characters and factions that I stopped even trying to connect the dots and remember who everyone is. Even the recaps left me feeling lost and I have read all the books. I can only imagine how a new reader would feel. I honestly had to just ignore the holes and roll with it in order to stick with the story. It bothered me. (On a small, more specific note, it bothered me when we started separating Ace and Noah as two different people when I thought they had kind of merged into one… and when he (they?) referred to him(them)self as different people by name, my head threatened to explode.)
My other issue was that I wanted to spend more time with the romance. It had really good set-up, at least on Renee’s side. We never got past the superficial on Derek, though I did like what we were able to see of him. I wanted more. And I definitely wanted more of them together, more stuff with their relationship. Instead, we got a scene or two and more conspiracy, secrets, brooding, and pain. It’s not that those things shouldn’t have been in the book, I was just too overwhelmed through much of it to enjoy the parts I liked.
I will say I am glad we got a resolution on the dangling Noah/Ace/Dahlia story. Thank you, Kelly Meding, for addressing this situation. And the last line of the book was great. But I really hope this series will stop expanding and focus the next book on a smaller level. Let’s deal with the bad guys we already know about before adding more, and let us enjoy watching our heroes have a little more time balancing the light in their lives with the dark.