*I received a free copy of this book, with thanks to the author, Source Books – FIRE Reads and NetGalley. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Inception meets The Magicians in this wildly imaginative story about what happens when the secret worlds people hide within themselves come to light.
All Kane Montgomery knows for certain is that the police found him half-dead in the river. He can’t remember anything since an accident robbed him of his memories a few weeks ago. And the world feels different—reality itself seems different.
So when three of his classmates claim to be his friends and the only people who can tell him what’s truly going on, he doesn’t know what to believe or who he can trust. But as he and the others are dragged into unimaginable worlds that materialize out of nowhere—the gym warps into a subterranean temple, a historical home nearby blooms into a Victorian romance rife with scandal and sorcery—Kane realizes that nothing in his life is an accident, and only he can stop their world from unraveling.
Reverie is a teen fantasy superhero adventure romance… a bit of everything for everyone!
Kane has had an ‘accident’ and has lost his memory of the events surrounding it. Gradually he becomes aware that there is more missing from his life, and embarks, reluctantly and suspiciously, on an adventure that sees him facing down evil, fighting for what he believes in, and making dreams come true – but not necessarily good dreams.
Perhaps more importantly, he makes some friends. The problem is whether he can trust them when he can’t even remember them.
There are elements of the familiar, like X-Men style super-powers and an Inception-like incursion into the imaginations of other people. Ryan La Sala has created a fresh story here though, with some very endearing characters and a fascinating take on following your dreams. I particularly loved that in order to resolve each ‘reverie’ the team had to first identify which literary or pop culture trope it was following and then blend in with it – like a cross between puzzle-solving and an RPG!
A strong theme running through the book is that of otherness, or feeling like an outsider. Alongside that are plenty of positive lessons about learning to love oneself – the bad as well as the good – but the author doesn’t preach, allowing the story to make his points for him organically as the plot unfolds.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and it was great to see LGBTQIA characters represented naturally and with complexity. I would definitely read more from this author, especially in the same fiction-verse, and would recommend it to teens upward looking for a fun fantasy read.
Kane might have noticed Sophia look away too quick if he wasn’t watching a shadow behind her break away from the wall and scamper, huge and spider-like, across a doorway.
“Something’s in here,” he whispered.
– Ryan La Sala, Reverie
Reverie is available on Amazon right now!