Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Review: A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

From the Back Cover:

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 existance, Rose must face the ghosts of her past with open eyes -- or be left without any future at all.

My Thoughts:

This is a futuristic story of a girl, frozen in sleep for sixty years, who wakes up to discover a different world where everyone she knew and loved is gone. We follow her as she struggles to assimilate back into a very different society, and it's tough going for her. Awkward and alone, confused and depressed--and at the center of a media maelstrom and a power struggle for control of her parents' giant corporation--Rose doesn't have anyone to depend on. She forms an attachment to Brendan, the boy who found her and woke her, and over time she develops a really sweet friendship with Otto, an alien genetic experiment who can't speak, but who can communicate telepathically. (Sounds strange, but he was actually a great character.) Rose is plagued by bad dreams and tough questions. Why was she allowed to sleep so long? How could someone just forget about her? How can she come to terms with the dark truths revealed about her parents and her former life? And on top of everything else, Rose's awakening has triggered the activation of an assassin. But who wants to kill her, and why, and is there anyone who can help keep her safe?

I really liked this story, but I had a couple of issues that kept me from rating it higher. I had a real hang-up with the terminology surrounding Rose's long sleep: the use of both stasis and stass throughout the novel. I kept trying to figure out: Why is it stasis here, but stass there? I don't get it! And it's bothering me! And getting the POV of the programmed machine hunting Rose bothered me, too, though I realize it was pretty much the only way Sheehan could work that angle of the story, and it did build suspense, but I thought it was odd. I wasn't crazy about Roses' crush, Brenden, either, though he stepped up a bit toward the end.

For me the best part of this story was Rose. I think Sheehan painted a very realistic portrait of what a girl would feel like in Rose's position. She was such a sad girl and the things that happened to her were just awful. I must have cried a half dozen times for her. But I also got angry with her--for being so submissive, for letting her parents do what they did to her. And all the while I wanted to shout at her for being so silly when it came to boys, and to tell her that she was chasing after the wrong guy! Though it sounded weird to say, I'm on Team Blue Alien, I totally was. I thought Otto's character was fascinating, and I could read a whole book about him alone. Sheehan has a talent for crafting characters that reach out and grab you by the heart. And after a pretty gripping story with a heart-pounding conclusion, I thought the epilogue was such a fitting ending. That last paragraph was so powerful and poignant--uplifting and despairing at the same time. A very strong, resonant, and realistic ending to a surprisingly emotional story.

My Rating:  4 Stars out of 5

*Please note:  This review references an advance digital copy received from the publisher via NetGalley, and therefore the final published copy may differ. Though I received this book from the publisher, these are my honest and unbiased thoughts, and I was not compensated in any other way for reviewing this book.


  1. This one sounds like a great read. I love futuristic books, and I can just imagine what she thinks when she wakes up. Great post!

  2. sounds like a fascinating book! i might have to check this one out. i hate it when the leading male character doesn't live up to how awesome the female leading character is or vice versa.


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