Saturday, January 11, 2020

Review: REVERIE by Ryan La Sala

Rating: 1/5 stars

I read this book for the book club at work, and I was hopeful that I’d actually like this one, but alas, this novel falls victim to poor execution of a great idea.

I actually really liked the concept of Reverie: people’s dreams come to life and the protagonists have to keep everyone safe from them. I’ve always been interested in stories set in dreams with the whimsy, magical depictions of dreamscapes, which is what I thought this book would be about. To quote how the book explained it though, “Reveries are what happens when a person’s imagined world becomes real. They’re like miniature realities, with their own plots and rules and perils.” So it’s not like a dream, not really. The full idea of reveries and how they work was never fully explained very well so I’m still only half sure what they are.

The execution of the plot here is not what I expected it to be, which isn’t a bad thing within itself, but I wasn’t enjoying what was happening and it was just bad. I found the plot to be very slow-moving and I felt like I was constantly waiting for something more to happen. It wasn’t until page 150 that we finally get an explanation that I think should have been delivered within the first few chapters.

At the start of the book, Kane wakes up with amnesia, so both he and the reader are in the dark about what’s happening. But after they enter the first reverie and I still wasn’t hooked, I thought it was because I just didn’t know enough information. I kept reading and the plot didn’t go anywhere. Then they entered the second reverie and I was forcing myself to continue reading the book because I just didn’t care and I didn’t know why I should care anyway.

The plot was confusing and underdeveloped and needed to be more fleshed out. Everything felt very messy.

This book just scratched the surface of the story it could have been. Each scene posed questions that we never saw answers to. The characters were so flat and all had the same voice and I can’t even tell you what any of our protagonists looked like. Character motivations were flimsy at best and I didn’t feel like there were any real stakes here. The whole plot felt very disjointed and unbelievable at times.

I honestly just didn’t enjoy the story. I struggled to pick it up to read. The idea was cool but the writing was bland, the characters were one-dimensional and I didn’t feel connected with any of them, and the overall storyline was confusing and not what I expected it to be. Plus nothing was fantastical enough for me in this book. It’s shelved in fantasy but that somehow feels wrong here. I wanted so much more than we got—I really did want to love this book, but all I feel is disappointment.
“Just because something is imagined doesn’t mean is isn’t dangerous. Sometimes the things we believe in are the most dangerous things about us. That’s why people build entire worlds in their minds. Because they think they’re safe, but they’re wrong. Dreams are like parasites. They grow up in the dark within us, and they grow deadly. Trust me when I tell you these reveries can kill you.”

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