Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Long, Long Sleep

Almost missed this gem in the long and lovely stack of books my sister-in-law brought back from the book expo in New York City. The cover was pretty enough with thorny roses, but not captivating. The title didn't intrigue me much. Who wants to read about sleep? But, for the sake of giving each book a fair chance, I read the back cover copy. It was somewhat interesting, but what made me actually take the book home ended up being a misconception. The heroine is not an actual princess, as I had supposed, but the heir to a financial empire, spanning worlds. If I had realized that, I probably wouldn't have picked up the book. But, happily, I started reading and gave the book a thorough chance to entice me, and it did.

A Long, Long Sleep, a debut young adult novel by Anna Sheehan, could be described as a futuristic adaptation of the fairytale Sleeping Beauty. Yet it's anything but a fairytale. I would call it a post-post-apocalyptic story, if such a term exists. Post-apocalyptic usually involves a world still in turmoil after world-wide devastation. This story occurs even later, after the world has rebuilt itself and the technology is even more advanced than we know now.

Rose awakes from stasis after a 62-year-sleep, the longest ever known, sleeping through the Dark Times of her world's destruction through epidemic. Lost in a sub-basement, her reappearance is huge because she's the heir to UniCorp, a business empire that basically runs this world and others. Everyone assumes she was put in stasis to protect her from the Dark Times, but all Rose knows is that everyone she loves is dead and she is alone, 16-years-old, born one hundred years earlier. Only Rose knows that she was put into stasis many times before the one that stole 62 years of her world away.

Rose is stricken by the loss of her parents who guided her every step, but she is haunted by the loss of her boyfriend, her only friend. The boy who woke her up from stasis attracts her, but the past won't let her go enough to pursue a relationship with anyone. The executives at UniCorp are reeling from her discovery and what it might mean to their precious positions, and a very old terror has awakened to find and eliminate her. Not to mention she's suffering from stasis fatigue and can't even control her own body without the help of nanos in her brain. Rose is up against more than she can handle.

Once past my cover prejudices, this story captivated me beginning to end and had me in tears for at least the last 50 pages, though there was humor to be found as well. It's definitely one of those, but it has a good ending, if not a completely satisfactory love story. The love story is more about Rose's old love, revealed in memories, than any new loves. Nonetheless, you don't want to miss it just for that. It's a complex story, different from any I've read recently. Definitely not the same-old, same-old vampire, werewolf, angel, or even post-apocalyptic young adult fiction. This is one to pay attention to.

Four and a half stars. Comes out in August.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't think, by looking at the cover that it would be that good. I must read it now! thanks for the great review!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.