Saturday, 15 October 2011

Review: A Long, Long Sleep - Anna Sheehan

Rosalinda Fitzroy had been asleep for 62 years when she was woken by a kiss.

Locked away in the chemically-induced slumber of a stasis tube in a forgotten sub-basement, sixteen-year-old Rose slept straight through the Dark Times that killed millions and utterly changed the world she knew.  Now, her parents and her first love are long dead, and Rose - hailed upon her awakening as the long-lost heir to an interplanetary empire - is thrust alone into a future in which she is viewed as either a freak or a threat.

Desperate to put the past behind her and adapt to her new world, Rose finds herself drawn to the boy who kissed her, hoping that he can help her start again.  But when a deadly danger jeopardises her fragile new existence, Rose must face the ghosts of her past with open eyes - or be left without any future at all.

Visit Anna Sheehan's website more information.

Rose has spent the last 62 years in stasis, completely forgotten about and left in a basement her stasis tube is discovered by accident and she wakes up in a world that she knows nothing about.  Her family and friends are long gone and she finds herself the heir to a powerful company that she doesn't want.  Rose struggles to fit in and find a place for herself in this strange situation but she will be forced to deal with issues from her past if she is to have any hope of moving on with her life.

I love fairytale retellings and I love futuristic dystopian worlds so as soon as I heard about A Long, Long Sleep I knew I had to read it.  I was hooked in from the beginning and it was one of those books that I read in just two sittings (it would have been one but I made the mistake of starting it at midnight and had to stop at 3am because I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer!).  This is an impressive debut from Anna Sheehan that makes it to my top books of 2011 list and has me excited to see what she will come up with next.

It is easy to empathise with Rose when she wakes up, nothing is familiar to her and she finds out that all of her family and friends are long gone, not an easy thing for anyone to deal with.  On top of that she has to cope with the physical effects of so long spent in stasis - her muscles have wasted away so she is weak, her body is unable to process food properly and even her eyes struggle to adjust to daylight again.  Add to that the constant media pressure from being the long lost heir to her parent's empire and it's not surprising that she finds it difficult to cope.  With a mysterious enemy intent on taking her life she doesn't know who she can trust or where to turn to for help.  Even before her 62 years in stasis she didn't have a regular upbringing and as you learn more about the things she has gone through it is impossible not to feel sorry for her.  The story touches on themes of child abuse and isolation that are heartbreaking to read.

Slowly Rose starts to settle in at school and make friends and I have to say how much I loved Otto, I'm fascinated by him and his siblings so although A Long, Long Sleep works as a standalone story I really hope Anna Sheehan is planning on writing a sequel.  There is so much about this world that could be touched on in another book and I would definitely be first in line to buy a copy.  The plot is much more complicated that it first appears and you get to unravel the various threads slowly watching things twist and turn along the way.  I don't want to give anything else away so I'm just going to tell you that if you like fairytales or dystopian novels this is a must read so get hold of a copy as soon as you can.

Source: Received from Gollancz in exchange for an honest review

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  1. awesome review. I've seen mixed views on this but I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    The Cait Files

  2. Oh, I can't resist a retelling of a fairy tale. Even if sleeping beauty is one of my least favorites. At least this starts with the waking up and she gets to do something afterwards. Dystopian societies actually aren't high on my list. I'm not sure why. A lot of them I've found are based on the same essential concepts. I'm almost never sure the here would get you there.

    I hope I don't feel sorry for Rose, no matter what she went through. I don't like pitying my characters. I want them to have enough umph so that while I empathize, and sympathize, they've got too much guts and heart for me to do anything else.

    I actually prefer stand alones. I've noticed this lately--that I may be in the minority, but to me they are the essence of a book distilled till one sip gets you drunk.

  3. Great review, I'm really intrigued by this one!

  4. I had mixed feelings about this one. I thought it was a bit slow to get off the ground but the revelations about the family are just staggering and I might have had a bit of an inkling but not to the extent that was eventually revealed.
    Lynn :D

  5. @ Cait - it always amuses me how different people's opinions are of the same book :o) I definitely enjoyed this one though

    @ Bets - I love fairytale retellings too, it's always nice to see a different interpretation on a well loved story :o) I think there has been a lot of dystopian on the market recently & I have started to get a little bored with it but some of them have been fantastic. I don't always think that they are realistic (as in that we could end up living like that in the future) but I do find it interesting to see what the author has imagined. I have to admit that it is nice to read a stand alone sometimes, so many books at the moment are part of a series & the cliffhangers can be killers lol

    @ Raimy - I loved this one, I'll be interested to see what you think of it if you do read it

    @ Lynn - I agree competely, I knew something dodgy was going on with the family but wow was it a lot worse than I expected!



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