Author’s Note: so the morning after I finished this draft, Sam pinged me like “YO DO YOU REMEMBER THAT ASPIRING YOUNG AUTHOR WE MET AT BOOKCON WHO WAS EXCITED TO SELF PUBLISH HIS NOVEL THIS IS IT DREAMERS IS IT HE DID IT”
So I said, “Sam, pls lower your caps I can hear you just f-OH YEAHHH HE WAS THE COOLEST I CANT BELIEVE HE DID IT NO WAIT YES TF I CAN WHY AM I CRYING ARE YOU CRYING??”
and Sam, too, was leaky-eyed.
All this is to say, Ja-Mel, we are soso proud of you. Congratulations on publishing your debut novel. Here at WRFB, we can’t wait to see what other worlds you show us. Thanks for being dope. Keep Dreaming.
**Editor’s Note: He is not lying. This happened. I’m still leaky-eyed about it. Thanks so much, Ja-Mel, for the opportunity to read and review this in advance. This book comes out on March 19th and you can get it here!* – Sam*
Dreamer is the fantasy debut I hope to have when I grow up and finally decide I’m a writer. Ja-Mel built a rich, magical world with layers and layers of tradition, mythology and mystery. Dreamer makes a super fun YA novel that will push younger readers and feel full enough for older YA enthusiasts. There are walking-on-clouds, plasma ball-tossing battles and best friends working out how to manage their new lives as college freshmen. Dreamer has it all.
We first meet Maya in her dreams, terrified and fleeing for her life. Over the subsequent pages we learn much about her: She’s a Lilac, the recipient of the genetic blessing of being a True Dreamer– an uber powerful manipulator of time/space/the universe, the strongest of the few billion Dreamers on Earth. the jig is, she doesn’t have powers, and she’s terrorized by a cloned version of herself who does. some bullshit, amirite?
Maya, her Mom, her (dead, and accessible through a magic portal their, like, bible provides) grandma, her best friend, Rosemary (the physical embodiment of Mother Nature), and half-cat-half-angel guardian (totes adorbs) battle forces that bounce between reality and the dream world, and across different versions of the universe, including the aforementioned clone and some Game of Thrones Night King looking dude whose sole purpose in life is to kill Maya. There’s a lot going on.
In the midst of attempts on her life, Maya and Rosemary are brand new freshmen at the D.R.E.A.M. Academy, learning for the first time, about the fullness of the universe(s). Her family and her persona history have complex histories, which are multiplied infinitely by visits from other Mayas and minor characters from throughout the multiverse. Real quick– the astronomy nerd in me lovvvveessss a YA novel that brings in the idea of the multiverse. Maybe it was a little to much to drop on us in the first few chapters, but then again, I appreciate fantasy that makes me earn my wins as a reader, and I’m juiced to read the Dreamer sequels so this vast skeleton can get fleshed out.
Pairing: Fireball because the protagonist is just going to college, and when i first when to college, that’s what I drank. Judge all you want.