Publisher: One-Twenty-Six Press
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy
Release Date: November 21st 2015
Buy The Book: Amazon - Amazon UK
Born with the power to control minds, hypnotize others, and read thoughts, Ren Lewis, is certain of one thing: God made a mistake. No one should be born with so much power. A monster awoke in him the same year he received his gifts. At ten years old. A prepubescent boy with the ability to control others might merely abuse his powers, but Ren allowed it to corrupt him. And since he can have and do anything he wants, Ren should be happy. However, his journey teaches him that harboring so much power doesn't bring happiness, it steals it. Once this realization sets in, Ren makes up his mind to do the one thing that can bring his tortured soul some peace. He must kill the monster.
He’s the snarky, arrogant, and all-round grumpy character that keeps appearing in Sarah Noffke's stories of Dream Travelers, but this time around, Ren Lewis has a story all of his very own.
We first met Ren in The Lucidites series, when he was working for Trey at the Institute, and despite his not-so-pleasant personality, I couldn’t help but adore him. His sometimes harsh honesty and the way he clearly didn’t care for the thoughts of others made him stand out from the very beginning. And when he appeared again in The Reverians series, and we discovered he had a sister and nieces, I realised there was so much more to his story, so much that we didn’t know.
So needless to say, I was thrilled when Sarah revealed she was telling Ren’s story. There’s nothing I adore more than wonderfully complex characters who are mysterious at first, but then allow you to understand them through a compelling backstory, and Ren Lewis is one of those characters.
We learn about his childhood in his desperately small hometown of Peavey. Feeling stuck and bored within its borders, Ren feels the need to spread his wings, to live his own life under his own rules. So he ends up moving to London, and falls into a not-so-legal lifestyle, becoming rich and breezing through life by using his abilities on others.
He is content jumping from fling to fling with women, always knowing exactly what to do to please them with his power to read the thoughts of others by mere touch. But then he meets Dahlia, a wold-famous singer whose thoughts he cannot read. His powers have no effect on her whatsoever. With her, he finally gets to experience a relationship that isn’t just a one night stand, but nothing ever runs smoothly.
After tragedy strikes, Ren ends up making some less than sensible decisions and we see where those choices take him. We see the bad situations he ends up in, and how each of them play a part in shaping his life.
I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the real Ren, not just the show he puts on in front of others. He believes that he is a monster, that he doesn’t deserve to live a happy life, and I adored seeing his thoughts change throughout the course of the story.
As mean as he is sometimes, he is utterly hilarious with it. His cruel honestly is highly entertaining, and I often found myself fighting back laughter whilst reading on public transport. His bleak outlook on life and the world is what allows Ren to separate himself from everyone else, to force his emotions to stay hidden.
This is a story of change, of acceptance, of a man who believes he deserves nothing, finally learning how to allow himself to find happiness. Ren makes terrible decisions and has to live with the consequences, but everything that happens helps him on his journey to becoming a better man, even though he doesn’t intend for it to happen.
I’m so grateful to Sarah for giving me the opportunity to read this book. Ren Lewis is a captivating character who will stay with me for a long time!