Upon listening to Bird Drop Podcast number 15 I was intrigued by the conversation with C.J. Lavigne about her latest work In Veritas, a novel that is also the first work of fiction from an already revered non-fiction author and scholar. Because I am a fan of her work presently and a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy fiction novels I was excited to give this one a try. I began reading with high expectations and was not disappointed. I found the characters to be very engaging and appealing. I was able to relate to them because I am empathetic to anyone who has experienced the trials of feeling different and not fitting in with conventional society.
The book introduces us to Verity, the main character who is a nondescript woman with some fantastic abilities. Verity experiences Synaesthesia, a condition that some view as a disorder while others believe it to be a gift. I will try to define Synaethesia in my own words as simply as I can, although I do not know enough about it and am not a psychologist or expert in the field of neuroscience. People who experience Synaesthesia have a crossing of the senses of sorts, they can taste smells, hear colours and sights, and any other combination of our senses. For Verity, it is a kind of superpower.
This book is written using Verity’s interpretation of the story and is being told as if it were transcribed. The storyline itself is fantastic while being set in an appreciable Canadian setting in Ottawa as well as an imaginative world hidden in plain sight that I will let you discover for yourself. This blend of fantasy and reality makes the story even more appealing and cohesive making it an entertaining work to read.
The only way that this book would have been more entertaining would be if there were some illustrations or images for every chapter. Images are not necessary, however, because all of the descriptions in the book are written in a way that does not limit the imagination. That being said, and speaking from an artist’s point of view I always enjoy seeing other artists’ interpretation of fictional worlds almost as much as imagining them myself.
In Veritas is a very enjoyable novel that I would recommend to anyone who likes to read fiction, especially fantasy and science fiction. It certainly rivals some of the works I have read by popular science fiction authors. I got my copy from the iBooks store, but don’t forget to check your local book store for a copy before going to Chapters or Amazon. Any local sellers would do well to have this book in their store, not only is it written by an esteemed local scholar and backed by her knowledge, it is a welcome diversion from the doldrums of the present world and worth a read.