Imaginalis is a young adult fantasy novel written by author J.M. De Matteis, and serves as something of a Spiritual Successor to Abadazad. The origin of the book is rather interesting: After Abadazad was Screwed by the Network for a second time, De Matteis received an interesting idea; specifically, the idea of book characters being trapped in Limbo. One thing led to another, and Imaginalis was created.
The book centers around a young girl named Mehera, a huge fan of a book series known as Imaginalis, to the point that she writes her in Self Insert Fics and has given many book reports over years on the series (much to the ire of her classmates).
Life isn't that great for Mehera. Her mother is dead, leaving her father alone to raise her, and school doesn't help things. The only place for her to go is into her favorite books so it comes as a huge shock for her when she learns that the Imaginalis series has been cancelled. Mehera doesn't take this well, and does everything she can to save the series, even when no one else seems to care (her friend Celeste tells her to "Get over it").
One day after a small argument with her father, Mehera is contacted by Uncle Nossys, one of the characters in the book. Soon, she finds herself with the heroes of her favorite story, trapped in a dark world known as Nolandia, and slowly fading into nonexistence. Their only hope is to follow Mehera to Earth, track down the series' author, and bring Imaginalis back before all is lost. Unfortunately for them, Pralaya, the books' Big Bad, has other plans...
This book contains examples of:
- Author Appeal: Just like the author, Mehera and her dad are Beatles fans.
- Be Yourself: Deconstructed. Pralaya knows that he's the villain, makes no attempt to justify his actions outside of the fact that it's expected of his archetype.
- Big Bad: Pralaya is the obstacle that Mehera must overcome to save Imaginalis.
- Eldritch Abomination: Pralaya, whose true form is a mass of black ooze, complete with thousands of eyes, snake-headed tentacles, and a voice like molten lava. Mehera describes him as being similar to an overflowing toilet.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Word of God states that Imaginalis is modeled after India. The description of the Rajah's palace makes it sound like an Expy of the Taj Mahal.
- Gender Bender: Pralaya, in reality a mass of goop, also takes on the form of a young woman.
- Magical Land: Imaginalis has floating vehicles and is sustained by imagination.
- Magitek: Imaginalis is described as having vehicles known as Transpheres, which function like floating buses.
- Missing Mom: Mehera's mother is dead. She's gotten over it, though. Really. Okay, not really.
- Motive Rant: Pralaya gives one to the heroes while detailing his long term goals.
- Precursors: The Silver Queen, who ruled Old Imaginalis.
- Scare 'Em Straight: Prognostica tells Mehera that she used to help people by telling them the worst possible outcome of their actions, and thereby convincing them to work harder to avert a Bad Future. She later decided that this wasn't nice and instead opted for encouraging people with the more positive outcome, though she adds that nothing is ever set in stone.
- Shout-Out: To Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, Alice in Wonderland, Hans Christian Andersen, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
- Straw Atheist: Mr. Fishbein, the father of Mehera's friend Celeste. Celeste may or may not have traces of this as well. Her mother, on the other hand, is an inter-faith minister.