Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: January 1st, 2020
Synopsis: Inception meets The Magicians, except with better wigs and a maniacal drag queen sorceress attempting to unravel the reality of Connecticut (yes, the state) and replace it with something…well something better than Connecticut.
Ryan La Sala’s debut fantasy is a #OwnVoices story following Kane Montgomery, a gay teenager piecing his life back together after an attack robs him of his memories. As Kane searches for who he was, he uncovers a war for the creative rights to reality itself, each battle played out in an imagined world turned real: a reverie.
Reveries are worlds born from a person’s private fantasies, and once they manifest they can only be unraveled by bringing their conflicts to resolution. Reveries have rules and plots, magic and monsters, and one wrong step could twist the entire thing into a lethal, labyrinthine nightmare. Unraveling them is dangerous work but it’s what Kane and The Others do.
Or did, until one of The Others purged Kane of his memories. But now Kane is back, and solving the mystery of his betrayal is the only way to unite his team and defeat reality’s latest threat: Poesy, a sorceress bent on harvesting the reveries for their pure, imaginative power.
But what use might a drag queen sorceress have with a menagerie of stolen reveries? And should Kane, a boy with no love for a team that betrayed him, fight to stop her, or defect to aid her?
Reverie is about the seduction of escaping inwards, about the worlds we hide within ourselves, and the danger of dreams that come true.
Oh. My. Goodness! I don’t even know where to begin. I’ve read some pretty amazing books during my lifetime, but Reverie is one that I don’t think I’ll EVER forget!
I knew as soon as the synopsis mentioned a maniacal drag queen sorceress, that this book was going to be different than anything else I’d read before and I wasn’t disappointed. The world building is unsurprisingly phenomenal, but underneath all the glitter and glam is the unflinching exploration of how the world views and treats those who aren’t heterosexual.
At the center is Kane, who was outed at a young age. As a result, he’s encased himself in a tough exterior shell, but inside he’s a marshmallow who’ll do anything for his friends or anyone else who needs help, as long as they respect him. The members of Kane’s team, The Others are equally intriguing and all have their own roles in regards to the reveries. There’s plenty of teen angst, but this never takes away from the story. And last but certainly not least, there’s Poesy, the dynamic villainous sorceress, who more than lives up to the expectations set by the premise and perfectly rounds out this diverse cast of characters.
The fun and entertaining storyline itself is complex yet easy to follow, and I finished it in two sittings. I actually found myself purposely slowing down because I didn’t want to come to the end.
In essence, Reverie is a magically flamboyant tale that brilliantly mixes the fantastical with reality. It’s a book that I highly recommend to teens and adults who are looking for something extraordinary and unforgettable. While this is listed as a planned standalone, the ending and its epilogue have me hoping for a sequel!