Reality – Konn Lavery
Series: Mental Damnation
Author: Konn Lavery
Author Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Find it here: Amazon
Back cover copy
Having her family murdered during her people’s banishment from the surface world by the humans, Krista and her only friend, Darkwing, struggle to keep alive as street scum in their newfound home, the City of Renascence. The two find themselves at odds when Krista puts her faith in their leader’s goal of unification and Darkwing chooses to stand with a notorious gang known as the Blood Hounds for their anarchist views.
This separation in their friendship forces Krista to persist on her own just as their leaders, the Five Guardians, become crazed from an unknown disease called Mental Damnation. They develop a bizarre interest in her, claiming they must reap her innocence for their newfound master, the Weaver.
Their leaders infected, a rise of military dictatorship and politically driven gangs at every street corner leaves Krista with a limited number of options for survival: Does she fend for life in the City of Renascence against these forces or risk leaving it entirely and enter the uncharted realm of the underworld?
I met Konn Lavery, the author of the Mental Damnation series, before I read Reality. I’ll admit, his elevator pitch game is strong, and I was really excited to dig into this horror fantasy book.
It would be wrong to talk about this book and not mention the gorgeous illustrations in the book, which Konn did himself. What’s better than a talented author? A talented author who can illustrate their own books. The art Konn included adds curiosity and emotion to the story—the book would not feel the same without these images.
Book one in the Mental Damnation series follows Krista and her friend Darkwing as they are banished to the underworld with the rest of their species by humans. It is definitely a coming of age story for Krista as she learns to take care of herself as the City of Renascence and its leaders become corrupt with Mental Damnation.
Krista heavily relies on the help and support of Darkwing to get by in the underworld, but when he’s arrested for being part of the Blood Hound gang she has to learn how to fend for herself. She has to learn how to defend herself, and to accept the fact that sometimes fighting is necessary.
I think, at some point in life, everybody can identify with Krista in the latter half of the book. She’s struggling to make a life for herself in a really difficult situation, and doing the best she can to fight for herself instead of letting others do it for her. I’m excited to see how Krista grows as a character through the rest of the series.
The first half of the book is a little slow, but the second half more than makes up for it—I read the second half in only two sittings because I didn’t want to put it down. Make it through the set up in the first half, and you’ll be greatly rewarded with the second half. I can’t wait to read book 2, coming out this September!
Ellen is a freelance fiction editor, book reviewer, research assistant for Simon Fraser University, marketing coordinator for WCSFA, and member volunteer for Editors’ Association of Canada. As of September 2017, she will also be a master’s student of publishing at SFU. You can contact her via ellenmichelle.com for any editing queries and at firstname.lastname@example.org for book review queries.