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Khanh the Killjoy

Meridian Six - Jaye Wells "'How can you say you want to run? They took your mother. They took your life. They took your choices away. How can you just run when you have every cause to turn around and fight back?'"This was a quick, mostly enjoyable vampire dystopian novella. It is far from perfect; I had numerous questions as I read through it, and there were plenty of errors. This novella could have benefited a great deal if it had an editor (or one that's better at doing his or her job). The problem here is one from which many books of its ilk suffers: IT'S A NOVELLA.It is an ambitious premise. It would be an ambitious full-length book. The author said, in the preface, that this novella was originally published before, and was even shorter before she fleshed it out. My mind boggles. Seriously. I can imagine a book with this premise as a full-length, 300-page novel, with fleshed-out characters and a well-built setting. It certainly has a lot of promise from what I've read. And what I've read was not satisfying; this little book was around 70 pages (text size: extra-small!) on my ebook device.Wha...what? 70 pages to build a new dystopian world, to explain how said world came about, to create compelling characters and backgrounds? A novella? No. It doesn't cut it. At all.Before I go further off-topic ranting on the awfulness of the novella and how it should be restricted to, say, books 1.5 or 2.7 in a series, let's get back to the story itself.Meridian Six is the name given to our main character, a 23-year old human girl whose actual human-given name is Carmina Sargosa. Before the Blood Wars, she led a life with her mother; after the wars, she was captured by the vampiric Troika, and used as propaganda, since her mother was the famous rebel, Alexis Sargosa. Carmina suffered tremendously under the Troika, and her reputation is left in shreds among the surviving human rebels. She has no one to turn to, she is of no use to the vampires besides her role as a poster-child for human obedience, and the rebels hate her because of her image. They despise her; to them, she is a pampered, spoiled, well-fed sycophant, living well against their hardship and suffering."'While you were sucking the Troika's cocks, my daughter was murdered and hung to bleed out from the window of our apartment building to serve as a warning to the other vampires who were considering mating with humans.'" Despite what the rebels believed, Carmina's life inside the Troika, as their toy, was nothing but pure torture."In exchange for my services to the Troika's propaganda machine, I was passed around like a trophy among the highest level vampires. It was something of a badge of honor to vein fuck Alexis Sargosa's daughter."The Troika tortured her physically and mentally, anything from benignly making her clean their houses to putting a gun to her head just to smell her fear. Finally, they put her through one final act of invasion that she could no longer withstand, and thus, she formulates a flimsy, idiotic plan to run away. My sympathy for Carmina is real, but it doesn't diminish the fact that she's a moron. I have to give credit where it's due, and so I will say that it's probably not out of character that she acts the way she does. She's had no formal education besides what little her more benevolent vampire masters choose to give her, and everything she has is given by them. Therefore, I suppose it's not really her fault that she decides to try and outrun a squad of Troika police in a green silk dress and high heels. And I suppose I can forgive her for not having the slightest bit of a clue what to do once she escapes.Ok, maybe not.First things first, let's get back to the world at hand here. This is not our United States; the US is now split into 3 parts, and New York is now Nachtstadt (apparently, vampires speak German?). There has been a Blood War. There are fucking vampires living on the planet, outnumbering humans. What little bunches of rebels there are exist on the edge of nothing. It is a hard life to be a rebel. It is a hard life to be a human, because as a human, you are either a) confined to a labor camp or b) hooked up and drained for your blood à la Daybreakers style, which, as you can imagine, diminishes your lifespan pretty quickly. Everything is run by the Troika. Before the war, they bought out all the media companies, so all they had to do to immobilize humans and take over was flip a few switches and kill off the phones, internet, TVs. That's actually really effective, now that I think about it. Props to the evil vampiric masterminds, yo.So, in the midst of all this, humans are all but extinct and there are pretty much none living on the fringes. So where in the actual fuck would our intrepid heroine go once she's escaped? Once she's actually revealed the Troika's plot? Yeah. To say that Carmina doesn't really think things through is understating it. Sure, she'll escape in her silk dress and high heels, meet the rebels (who hate her from reputation), tell them of the plans, and then go on her merry way."'None of this has anything to do with me. I just want to move on and try to cobble a life together...I didn't escape the Troika only to get involved in some scheme that would put me back into their crosshairs.'"Um, yeah. Tough shit, you walked right into it, sister. A little foresight wouldn't hurt, for future reference. You don't go into a mob of angry rebels after being the poster child for human obedience and expect to walk away scot-free after you've seen their secret lair.My complaints about Carmina aside, she does manage to grow up somewhat throughout the novella. The rebels themselves are not likeable characters, but they're not intended to be likeable characters. They're tough as rocks. They've had horrible things happen to them. In some cases, they've had their entire families killed. We don't learn too much of them, but from what I've read, Dare, Icarus, and Saga all have backgrounds that can easily be built-up to fully sympathetic and complex characters IF THIS WAS AN ACTUAL BOOK.I was left with too many questions for this book to fully work for me. Who are the Troika? We know they're vampires, but how are they different from the other vampires from before the Blood War? We know of the Blood War, how did vampires come into our knowledge and live alongside us before that? Why are certain blood types more valuable than others? Why and how did they use Meridian Six as propaganda? What do vampires look like? From what I read in this book, they either look normal or have fangs that make them look like "saber-toothed tigers." How are they able to reproduce with humans? Why are some vampires able to go around in the sun like Dare did? Why are some vampires alongside humans? And so on and so forth. Too many questions, too few answers. It's a decent little book, but it leaves me unsatisfied and frustrated.Oh, I forgot to add one element which greatly pleased me. NO UNNECESSARY ROMANCE IS FORCED UPON US. Hallelujah!