Somewhere In This Picture

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
285 Pages
Reviewed on 11/17/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite

Somewhere In This Picture by P. S. Reyes is a young adult fantasy novel to capture the imagination. It is a blend of a fairytale with a bit of psychology, whimsy, and humor but is also about characters experiencing quirky things like gorgeous witches "sweeping the sky" with their brooms--one named Mim Slimikin. The author has used a lot of devices young readers like such as secrets, mysterious maps, offbeat characters, a kidnapping, an island of goblins, elves, some danger, Minders, Others, and more. The catalyst for this fun romp is a man just finishing up a bath, and he finds himself being recruited by the witch to help search for a missing child.

This is the kind of book you could easily see as a Pixar movie for the family. It will remind you of the fairytales you read as a child and brings out the best in your imagination. You'll fly across the sky with the characters on the witch's broomstick, and enter a fantasy world where you can let go and laugh. You can't beat this book for pure escapism. The dialogue is witty, the writing style entertaining and quick-moving. I like that there is always a new character or creature just around the corner, and always a new twist in the plot development. The cook is an amusing character, but there are plenty to choose from as you read along. The science and technology that Reyes sifts in adds another layer to the story but isn't burdensome. This is a smart book for young readers but isn't over anyone's head. Fans of books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland will love Somewhere In This Picture by P. S. Reyes. This book is the perfect choice for a YA audience.

K.C. Finn

Somewhere In This Picture is a work of fiction in the fantasy and science fiction, fairytale, and surreal adventure sub-genres, and was penned by author P. S. Reyes. Intended for young adult readers and upwards, the story focuses on a whimsical journey and a sequence of events that must slowly lock into place as the adventure continues in order for the protagonist to get out of it all at the end. Adding themes such as childhood fantasy play, storytelling, fables, and nerdy technologies to the mix, what results is a surreal journey of riddles, laughter, and witticisms sure to keep the younger end of the YA spectrum entertained, as adults reminisce over the hidden references.

Author P. S. Reyes has crafted a work that I can only really compare to the likes of Lewis Carroll for its strange beginnings and non-linear narrative moments. It is, admittedly, a confusing read from the off, but this is clearly its intention, and readers who like to be really deeply involved with a text will get a kick out of unfurling its many conflicting messages and coming to the coherent storyline and its many surprising conclusions. One of the things which really charmed me was the dialogue, which offers many witticisms, interesting questions, and intrigues to make you smile. I also found the different fantasy characters to be exceedingly well developed, and leaping off the page in living color in a truly cinematic style. Overall, I would recommend Somewhere In This Picture to those niche fans who are sure to get it and really celebrate it for its unique glory.

Vincent Dublado

Somewhere In This Picture by P.S. Reyes is a unique psychological fantasy tale. The story is told in a first-person narrative where the protagonist manages to elude disclosing his identity. Having tea in a bathtub is a simple luxury that is not so much to ask. But when a witch screeches to a stop in mid-air and introduces herself as Mim Slimikin and gives the protagonist a dainty little kiss, he will get involved in saving a girl in the land of IGEFO, which stands for Island of Goblins, Elves, Fairies, and Others. The girl in question apparently belongs to the race of Others and is the last of her kind, and she desperately needs help. He finds himself a stranger in a strange land as he tries to help the child get back home, and out of this world hostiles are bent on making sure that it does not happen.

P.S. Reyes gives an interesting note on why Somewhere In This Picture was published, and the psychological undertones are very much a part of what makes the plot unique in the fantasy genre. It begins with a casual pace that catches you off-guard when a witch suddenly appears like an anachronism in a world filled with logic. The world of IGEFO might remind you of Pratchett’s Discworld but with its own political, scientific, and cultural issues. Reyes discloses that this work is a form of therapeutic literature that examines dreams and hallucinations that stem from melancholy, and the most mysterious part of this book is your suspension of the search for the protagonist’s true identity. This book commands an audience, and it is worth your time to read and see the nature of creativity under the influence of melancholy.

Romuald Dzemo

Somewhere In This Picture by P. S. Reyes is a rollicking adventure that starts in the bathroom. A man is about to step out of the bathtub and wants to have some tea, but he remembers falling asleep in the tub, reaching for the towel and trying to remember where he left his clothes. But all that is a mirage. Everything changes and he is in a world that is different from the one he knows — the Gorgeous Witch, Mim Slimikin, who gives him a dainty kiss, is the first contact in an adventure that starts with looking for the map to the island called Igefo. He is pulled into another world where he encounters mischievous characters and creatures like Miss Groundhog, Ivin Dying Gown, Little Mischief, Naughty, and a lot of others, including pirates. It is a magical world that follows its own code of ethics and a unique sense of justice. The adventures of this protagonist and the fun characters make for a thrilling ride.

P. S. Reyes offers a beautiful escape to readers and introduces a compelling character caught in the world between dream and waking. I was pulled in by the quirkiness in the narrative voice. It is in the first-person and filled with humor. The author does a wonderful job when it comes to character development. They are interesting and they inhabit a parallel world that can easily fit into our dreams. Somewhere In This Picture blends fantasy and adventure to offer an exciting reading experience to readers. It is one of those books that you read and dream about, thanks to the impeccable world-building that features places and worlds that readers can easily imagine. You will love this book if you enjoy quirky and interesting characters, a sophisticated plot, and a fun world to navigate.

Rabia Tanveer

Somewhere in This Picture by P. S. Reyes is a young adult fantasy that will keep you invested from the moment you pick this novel up till the end. The story opens with our protagonist encountering a witch on a broomstick under some very strange circumstances. This tall, slim and elegant witch called Mim Slimikin wants to find a map so that she can go to an island called Igefo. Mim needs to get there to stop a young girl from being kidnapped and she needs our protagonist’s help. The evil Wincian Man must be the bad guy and so our protagonist cannot just sit back and let a little girl be kidnapped, can he? So he embarks on a strange adventure with Mim the Witch and experiences some life-changing events. Will he be able to save the little girl? Is there even a young girl to save? Will the Wincian Man prove to be too much for our hero? Will our hero ever get back home?

Adventurous and purely fantastical, this is a perfect YA novel that will be loved by most readers who are just diving into young adult fiction. I love that we don’t learn the name of our protagonist, which just makes his experiences personal and transparent at the same time. The story is complex, it takes turn after turn and allows the reader to get lost in it. The plot itself is intricate and the characters are given ample time to show their true worth to the reader. While our protagonist may seem like going with the flow at times, his decisions drive the story forward. I love his reactions and interactions with Mim. They both make a formidable team. The ending is amazing; it leaves room for a sequel that I hope the author writes soon.