Being Very Angry in A Long, Long Sleep

A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

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3/5 STARS

A Long, Long Sleep

Genre: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Author: Anna Sheehan
Published: August 2011
Publisher: Orion
Pages: 352 {paperback}

Original review on Goodreads


Initial Thoughts

That was both beautiful and terrifying. There’s so much going on in this book and it was an awesome, if sometimes weird, read. Be warned: there are A LOT of intense and highly emotionally strung moments so brace your feels, guys. This is also top heavy on the sci-fi elements. I’ve got a few mixed feelings about this but overall it was good.


A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

This was somewhat of a strange but enjoyable novel. It’s sci-fi down to the core and one of the most interesting spins on a fairy tale that I’ve read. Perhaps not quite my favourite, it’s definitely still worthy of applause with the cool ideas that Sheehan has put up against Sleepy Beauty. I did enjoy reading the book and I certainly had many a nail-biting moment and I really want to continue the series. But (and knew that was coming) having had a while to think on this since finishing it, I realised just how wondrously creepy this book is and this did occasionally make the book feel uncomfortable for me. The villain of this book is genuinely a terrifying thought. Nonetheless, I think it’s a great read for someone who enjoys fantasy and, again, a really cool take on Sleepy Beauty.


Level Achieved: Science Fiction

A Long, Long Sleep follows a young girl, Rose, who’s been in a sort of time capsule (‘stass tube’), if you will, for the past 62 years. All her family is gone and she’s completely alone in this world that is radically different from the one she knew. Her parents are big wigs in the important company who were involved with the handling and improvement of these stass tubes. What these do, was that when someone was put in one they would ‘sleep’ for a certain period of time and effectively be preserved. The chemicals that the tube emitted kept them healthy – although staying in one for 62 years certainly took its toll on Rose, understandably. From page one there’s clearly something a little fishy about Rose’s parents and it was very bittersweet to explore her past through her memories and see the childhood that she missed out on.

Even more heartbreaking, was her best friend/love interest, Xavier. I really liked Xavier’s character and I thought it was pretty tragic how because Rose’s parents put her in stass so often he began to grow up without her. He was certainly a good dose of relief from Rose’s constant depressant attitude towards herself and painful compliance to everything. You eventually understand why – but oh wow I just wanted to reach into the pages and shake her awake (no pun intended) because she needed to use that little brain of hers to think independently sometimes. Mamma mia, I tell ya.

There’s some fantastic action, creepy villains, twists and turns, and a blended concoction of sci-fi within these pages, so I think this is definitely an enjoyable ride. But of course I do have my problems with it.


World Building Lego

Clunky is a good word here. I don’t know what exactly it is about this book’s setting that had me a bit eehhh but it wasn’t great in my mind. The company’s name, Unicorn Estates (or something), really frustrated me. Sometimes I felt that the plot shuddered and jolted occasionally because this world that Rose is in is a little mishmash. She’s 62 years in the future and the world had collapsed and rebuilt itself after the Dark Times in that space of time – and nefarious companies are rubbing there hands together to capitalise on the world’s problems. It’s a really great concept but I just felt sometimes that it hadn’t quite been crafted overly well which served as an annoying itch on my brain throughout the book.


Heart Attack Worthy Events

Despite this, the intense plot of the book really held it up and kept the story pedalling on. It’s so suspenseful as you really don’t know who to trust and who wants what so of course you’re going to keep flipping through the book – itchy brain and all – because this is not a book you’ll be wanting to put down half way through. If you do, I imagine you’ll be eternally frustrated at not knowing how everything was resolved. I was stressfully concerned about Rose and her welfare – especially as her situation is somewhat more than precarious and her guardians that she’s put with really suck. If there’s one thing I could say about the plot of this book is BEWARE OF TREMENDOUS PLOT TWISTS. Ahem. Anyway, I won’t go much further into the details because you need to read it for yourself!


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What Was Awesome in This Book

Moving on I really want to address something that I thought was done spectacularly well in this book: Otto. Otto is a very interesting character who I loved to pieces. He’s a scientific creation, so to speak, as the very company that Rose’s parents were a part of have tried to create humans in a laboratory. I loved this idea because I don’t think it’s that far fetched – I reckon there’s some crazy scientist out there that have probably entertained this (woeful) idea. Of course, creating life (as Victor Frankenstein could tell you) is somewhat unpredictable and very difficult. Otto and his ‘siblings’ have incredibly short life expectancies and several deformities. For example, Otto can’t actually speak. Whatever it is that allows you to speak didn’t form right in him BUT he has another way of communicating. By touching other people he can access their thoughts and place thoughts in their minds in reverse – a very intrusive and somewhat terrifying form of communication – but this is pretty unique, right? Of course, this completely freaks Rose out, which is fair enough, and for most of the novel we communicate with Otto via texted messages (well, not texts but some futuristic form of them). Anyway – you get the idea.

What I loved so much about his character was the way that he seemed to represent all the problems with the world. Whether we’re talking selfish pursuit of knowledge, racism, bullying, you name it, it all just seemed to be there. He’s constantly rejected by his school peers because he (admittedly) has a creepy element to him and the fact that he’s at the school on a scholarship (which, try as they might, the school couldn’t deny him of) – he’s just straight up labelled as an outcast. He’s a very tragic character and I thought that Sheehan represented all this in his story really well. Not only that but he makes a fabulous friend for Rose and I’M SHIPPING THEM SO BAD. Please let this be a thing in the next book. PLEASE.


So Why 3 Stars?

In the end, as much as I did enjoy this book, it just wasn’t a standout piece of YA fiction for me. There were lots of things that my brain flagged up along the way and Rose really does get on your nerves sometimes. I think there were some brilliant ideas in this book and I’m curious to see if these wrinkles are ironed out in book two. This book is by no means bad, it’s just perhaps not quite ‘great’.


Summary

In short, this book was enjoyable. It was hardcore sci-fi and extraordinarily interesting. I would recommend this to those of you interested in reading this (give it a go!) but I would not recommend this to someone who struggles with sci-fi or is persnickety about their perfect world building. I had a lot of fun reading the book and I would definitely pick up more books by Sheehan in the future. I certainly am very curious to see where the story goes in book two.

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 Have you read A Long, Long Sleep?

What did you think?


End Note

~~ Kirstie ~~

 

2 thoughts on “Being Very Angry in A Long, Long Sleep

  1. As per usual, very entertaining review. That cover is gorgeous! I would have pegged it as fantasy from the cover. I haven’t read much sci-fi, and it’s definitely a genre I want to explore further, but I’ll probably start elsewhere first.

    Liked by 1 person

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