Series: The Reverians #1
Pages: 227 eBook
Publisher: One-Twenty-Six Press
Release Date: August 15th 2015
Buy it From: Amazon - Amazon UK
In the happy, clean community of Austin Valley, everything appears to be perfect. Seventeen-year-old Em Fuller, however, fears something is askew. Em is one of the new generation of Dream Travelers. For some reason, the gods have not seen fit to gift all of them with their expected special abilities.
Em is a Defect—one of the unfortunate Dream Travelers not gifted with a psychic power. Desperate to do whatever it takes to earn her gift, she endures painful daily injections along with commands from her overbearing, loveless father. One of the few bright spots in her life is the return of a friend she had thought dead—but with his return comes the knowledge of a shocking, unforgivable truth. The society Em thought was protecting her has actually been betraying her, but she has no idea how to break away from its authority without hurting everyone she loves.
I completely adored Sarah’s first series, The Lucidites, so I had high expectations for this first instalment in The Reverians. Still set within the Dream Traveling world, Defects follows Em as she discovers not all is as it seems within her cosy little hometown of Austin Valley.
On the outside, Austin Valley seems to have the perfect set-up. Secluded from the outside world, everyone is cared for and treated well, given a profession and a purpose. At least, that is what the citizens believe. Underneath the ‘fair’ rule of President Vider, there is something much more sinister at work.
Em is a Defect, a Dream Traveler who, for some unknown reason, has yet to discover her gift. Every day of her life, she must receive an injection that she hopes will allow her gift to surface. Without it, she feels held back and not able to fulfill her true purpose, which isn’t helped by her older sister’s constant taunts, and her parent’s disappointment.
If I expected The Reverians to be anything like The Lucidites, then I was extremely mistaken. Although this series still focuses on the Dream Traveling ability, that is where the similarities end. Austin Valley is like a completely different world, one that is a lot darker than anything in The Lucidites series.
There is always something creepy about towns and societies that shut themselves out from the rest of the world, and this town is no exception. The President is a terrifying character, especially with the influence he has on most of the people around him.
The pacing of this novel is perfect. At first, we get hints here and there that something isn’t quite right, but then as the plot unfolds, we start to realise just how wrong the situation in Austin Valley really is.
I can’t begin to describe how well written the more sinister characters in this novel are. Em’s father made my skin crawl with how vile he was. He’s one of those characters that remains eerily calm as creates chaos. I really couldn’t decide who I hated worse, him or the President.
Em is a wonderfully developed protagonist. When the events start to unfold and she begins to realise how much her father has deceived her, she takes on a whole new and feisty personality, one that is strong and determined to seek justice for the poor people of Austin Valley who have no idea what is happening around them.
The rest of the characters are all fantastically written. Rogue is the President’s son, and Em’s best friend whom she believed to be dead. He returns to Austin Valley and tells her and their friend Zack the secrets that his father has been hiding. Secrets that were awful enough to make him run away and allow his friends to think him dead. I fell a little bit in love with Rogue from the moment he was introduced. He’s witty, but serious when he needs to be. I can’t wait to discover more about him in the series.
I liked how Em wasn’t completely alone within her family. She had support from her younger sister Nona, and her grandma, Tutu. They’re both hugely important to Em, and I’m hoping to see more of the bond between the three of them in the future.
There was one other thing that tied this series to The Lucidties: Ren. He was one of my favourite characters in the previous series, so I was thrilled to see him and his sharp, sarcastic commentary once again. He is brought to Austin Valley by the President to record any changes in the Defects’ lack of abilities, and he also happens to be Em’s uncle. I’m excited to see what part he’ll play throughout the story.
This is a strong start to what I predict will be a thrilling series. Eerie from the very start, every chapter has a new revelation that keeps the reader hooked. It’s dark, it’s twisted, it’s full of surprises, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.