Reverie by Ryan La Sala
Sourcebooks Fire, 2019, 384 pages
Trigger Warnings: Death, violence, minor gore
About the Author: Ryan La Sala grew up in Connecticut, but only physically. Mentally, he spent most of his childhood in the worlds of Sailor Moon and Xena: Warrior Princess, which perhaps explains all the twirling. He studied Anthropology and Neuroscience at Northeastern University before becoming a project manager specializing in digital tools. He technically lives in New York City, but has actually transcended material reality and only takes up a human shell for special occasions, like brunch, and to watch anime (which is banned on the astral plane). Reverie is Ryan’s debut novel. You can visit him at www.ryanlasala.com.
“Just because something is imagined doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous.”
Kane Montgomery, a self-identified “local gay miscreant, burner of buildings and crasher of cars,” awoke in the hospital five days after driving his car into a river, but now he can’t remember what actually happened the night of the accident or the details of his life beforehand. A woman is missing and it’s probably Kane’s fault, he has no memory of the people who claim to be his friends, a mysterious (but cute) boy seems to know more about Kane than he lets on, and a possibly-evil-and-manipulative drag queen needs his help locating a magical artifact. On top of everything else, Kane is responsible for unraveling reveries: the culmination of people’s hopes and fears that turn into usually-fatal dreamscapes. Oh, and he has the ability to shoot ethereal rainbows from his hands.
Ryan La Sala has created an impossibly cool, dangerous fantasy world that blends reality and the stuff of our dreams into one wild ride of a book. I was immediately drawn into the mystery of Kane’s accident, and the following discoveries and events kept me turning page after page long after I should have already been asleep. Every single character felt real and true with their own struggles and personalities, which only added to the stakes of the story as tensions soared and danger loomed in the not-so-far distance. Most importantly for a book like this, the world-building of Reverie is breathtaking; every reverie Kane and his friends enter is intricate, unique, and downright terrifying. La Sala has successfully created a thrilling LGBTQ+ fantasy that the YA world is sorely lacking.
PRR Writer, Caroline Ross
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