Monday, August 8, 2011
A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan
Marketing copy book description : "Rosalinda Fitzroy has been asleep for sixty-two years when she is 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 awake, hoping that he can help her to start fresh. But when a deadly danger jeopardizes her fragile new existence, Rose must face the ghosts of her past with open eyes—or be left without any future at all."
A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan is an incredible, frightening, disturbing, riveting, and hard to put down book. As I read it I realized how confused I was and even stopped a few times to discuss it and other science fiction with my twenty two year-old son. He reminded me that dystopian literature is science fiction but it is usually a commentary on our current society or current state of politics. While I'm not sure if this was a dystopia, his comment helped me understand a bit more but truthfully the further into the book I went the more I understood.
A Long, Long Sleep is unlike any book I've read in recent memory. While not about vampires, witches or angels there is a different force at work and we can only hope that Sheehan's vision of the future is just that, a vision and not a prediction. While Rose starts off as weak and demure her power and intelligence grows faster than her weakened body can heal. Sadly she was treated horribly her whole life by her parents and told that she was not smart, not nice and not able to run the company that would one day be hers. The way they treated her, verbally and by putting her in stasis is cruel and unjust and I can only hope they suffered. But I digress.
Rose is smart. Brilliant actually. And Sheehan has created some other characters that will resonate with readers too. Otto, an alien/human, can't verbalize what he is thinking but communicates by speaking in another's head and by (what we call) IMing or chatting on line. Brendan, the boy who finds Rose and awakens her and protects her is a dreamboat. Xavier, the love of Rose's life is hard to figure out considering how Rose flits in and out of his life due to stasis but their love was deep and sincere. Their story is told in bits and pieces and seems impossible at first (some of my confusion) but becomes clearer. The landscape Sheehan lays out is mesmerizing as are the modes of transportation, the advanced technology and of course the idea of stasis.
While I was lying in bed reading I was tempted to close up the book and save if for the next day. Boom. Major twist. Had to keep reading until I finished! I do have questions though but I won't ask them until the fall when everyone I recommend this book to will have read it and we can sit down and discuss it. Recommended for fans of sci-fi although there is enough romance to keep newbies to the genre interested. Fans of paranormal fantasy will also be drawn to it. Read as an ebook arc courtesy of Candlewick Press via Netgalley.