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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
If you love to read epic fantasy adventure stories, grab yourself a copy of Lance Lee's Orpheus Rising. Ten-year-old Sam lives a humdrum life alongside his father, John. Feeling isolated and lonely, Sam and John start having nightmares where they share the same scenario. After the newspaper delivery man, Mr. Nicholas, hands over a mysterious book to John, Sam discovers that whatever he draws or writes in the book comes true. When a dancing elephant in an Edwardian suit comes to life, Sam and John realize that they live in Sam's imagination. Sam names the elephant Lepanto, and the three of them undertake an epic quest to rescue Sam's mother, Madelyn, from Dread City while traversing a Far Land of Fear. But they must brave an Upside-Down ocean, a Sea of Faces, a riddle-loving snake, and much more.
Author Lance Lee's whimsical fantasy adventure tale blurs the line between imagination and reality, enchanting you through a wide range of emotions. Orpheus Rising fills you with a sense of wonder and awe, deftly showcasing the importance of believing in your dreams and pushing yourself to attain them. The contrast between Sam's and John's personalities makes for an interesting dynamic. While John, at times, seems to succumb to the struggles of their journey, Sam continues to carve himself a path out of sheer will and vivid imagination. The illustrations by Ellen Raquel LeBow provide an added visual aesthetic to the story. I thoroughly enjoyed Orpheus Rising, and I highly recommend it to young adults.