Ren: The Man Behind the Monster by Sarah Noffke
Publisher/date: One-Twenty-Six Press (March 7, 2017)
Genre: Psychological fantasy thriller
Series: A Dream Traveler Saga
"I'd be forced to really live without walls. I'd be forced to live on an edge where things might actually be good, and every day I'd risk having it ripped away. Nothing lasts forever. Everything is fleeting, and yet that's the very reason that life has meaning. When things cost effort to gain, and are finite, they have value."
Ren is a dream traveler, a secret race of people with the power to travel out-of-body to anywhere. Some dream travelers have other powers. Ren was born with the unique ability to both read and influence minds. He has far too much power for any mortal.
But even a monster can develop a conscience. And with the people who love him, will he be able to turn his curse to good? Or will he truly become the monster he's always believed he is?
Are you in to morally ambiguous characters? I AM. Give me a Victor over an Eli any day. I don't want a hero, I want a broken man who chooses good over everything in his life pushing him to do bad. I want a redeemed man. A deeply troubled smartass of a redeemed man. And this quote endeared him to me forever:
"I ignored the first knock. A minute later it came again.
'Go away!' I said from my armchair. My feet were propped on the mahogany coffee table, Brave New World opened and nestled in my lap. I detested being disturbed when reading. Hell, I detested being disturbed period. Some people have a preference for being alone most of the time. For me, it's an absolute necessity."
I mean, relatable AF amiright?!!
But first he needs to be very, very bad. Ren fits this bill excellently. After a few chapters, his personality seemed very much like Lucifer from the hit Netflix series. He loves to be bad, but deep down, somewhere in the dark pits of the heart he doesn't believe he has, there is a place where all he wants is to be normal, to be loved.
Luckily for our Ren, he is loved. But loss makes him run from love, and the people he runs to have the potential to make him the biggest villain the world has yet seen. I was on the edge of my seat waiting to find out if he could overcome his demons, or whether he would embrace them instead.