Tuesday, 17 July 2012

BOOK REVIEW: A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

Title: A Long, Long Sleep
Author: Anna Sheehan
Pages: 342
Published: 11th August 2011

 *Thank you to Orion for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!*

 "It should have been a short suspended-animation sleep. But this time Rose wakes up to find her past is long gone— and her future full of peril.

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 subbasement, 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 gone, 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."

I was blown away by this book, I honestly was. When I first read the blurb of A Long, Long Sleep, I thought, ‘This looks good – I think I’ll like this...’ but I wouldn’t have predicted that I would turn out to LOVE the book. However, that is what happened.

At first glance, A Long, Long Sleep looks like just another fairytale retelling with a modern twist, but it’s so much more than that. Maybe it is loosely based on Sleeping Beauty, but only very loosely – A Long, Long Sleep is a whole different, brilliant story in its own right.

It’s a beautiful, intriguing story, but with a slightly deeper, darker feel to it at times as well. There are elements of mystery in the story, with many questions to be answered, and, as truths are gradually unveiled – about Rose’s past, and about the mysterious robot-like creature that is pursuing her – we begin to discover some haunting things.  (I won’t expand on this for fear of ruining the story for you!)

Rose was a character I really clicked with; I felt like I was right by her side throughout the book, experiencing everything she was experiencing. I can just imagine how terrifying it must be to wake up in a world sixty two years into the future, completely bereft of everyone and everything dear to you. As I progressed through the novel, and as I discovered more and more about Rose, I began to empathise with her and feel sorry for her. It gradually became clear that Rose’s life had been anything but perfect and the image of her as a princess, heir to an incredibly successful interplanetary empire was anything but accurate. 

The world that Rose wakes up into is a very interesting one, and one I enjoyed very much actually. Having read about lots of dystopian worlds recently, it was quite refreshing to visit a world that was more utopian. True, Rose has arrived in a world that has risen from the catastrophic “Dark Times”, which I guess does classify it as a post-apocalyptic world, but nevertheless it is more similar to the kind of ideal, technological future world we tend to imagine (well, at least I tend to image, anyway) – where there are “limoskiffs” and “solarskimmers”, where we have connections with other planets, and where texting is “antiquated technology.” 

Somehow, A Long, Long Sleep managed to really grip me emotionally and I was so caught up in the story that there was one particular point, which took me completely by surprise (and was a stroke of genius on the author’s part, if you ask me), where I couldn’t help myself but start crying. (I had to momentarily tear myself away from the book and go and compose myself.)

Through this book, as well as me, as a reader, learning more about Rose, I think Rose really grew as a character and learned more about herself too. From what we saw of Rose in the past, she was reserved and obedient to an almost disturbing extent; she seemed almost brainwashed in her behaviour, but by the end of the book she seems a much stronger, more independent character.

I’m not sure that I have been able to justify how highly I think of this book in my review; I can hardly find the right words to describe what a brilliant book it was. I think it’s one of those books you have to read to feel what I have tried to describe and appreciate it.  I’m really impressed with the way Anna Sheehan managed to take a simple storyline and use it to weave together an original, complex, brilliant story infused with so much emotion and meaning.


  1. Hi Catherine!
    Wow, this book sounds so good already, and your review makes me want to read it right now! Ahhh!


  2. Amazing review!
    This looked good when I read the blurb, but now it looks AWESOME because you gave it such a glowing review! And I really want to read about this world - it sounds so cool! :D

  3. This book sounds awesome. I'm really going to haev to pick it up and read it! Thanks for the outstanding review! :)

  4. great review, this sounds like a good read!
    new follower!


  5. The cover for this book is so pretty! Great review.

    I am a new follower.

  6. Sounds good, I am now a new follower.
    Thanks for your comment at http://milenasbookcorner.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/gathering-darkness-rising1.html?showComment=1342611695114
    Hope you follow me!

  7. Wow, this sounds like an awesome book! I love fairy tales so I think I will enjoy this. I am now following your blog! Hope you recommend good books in the future, looking forward to it!


  8. Great review! It's great that you could empathize with the character, I haven't read many books like that! :) And the world sounds so vivid and amazing! Must go add to ever-growing TBR list!

  9. I've never read this one, but I've heard of it. Sounds really interesting. Love your review :)

  10. Great review! Thanks for stopping by & commenting on my review of Such A Rush! I followed you via Linky :)
    Chrysitna @Book Liaison

  11. Hey Catherine :)
    Thanks for following me! I have followed you back... and yes I'm Chinese too ^^
    So thank you for commenting! Great Review, I will have to check this book out !
    All the best~

  12. Awesome review, Catherine! I just 'discovered' your lovely blog, so HI! I can't wait to read and comment on some more of your lovely posts in the future. This book seems totally bad-ass. And Rose seems really relatable and like a great MC. And to think that I had never heard of this book before your review! Thanks for putting it on my radar! <333 I definitely get it. Some books I love so much that I can't properly put into words just how much they affected me, and how much I loved it. I guess some books you just have to read to truly understand and appreciate??? Thanks for this beautiful review, Catherine!! :D Nice meeting you!!

  13. Amazing review, Catherine! I have a copy of this that I keep meaning to read. It sounds fantastic! Rose seems like a character that is easy to invest in. I'm glad you clicked with her instantly! I will bump this up the list. ;)

    Thanks for visiting my blog! I'm a new visitor to yours and I love it! :)

  14. Thank you for the fabulous review! The book just won a Hal Clement, so it's good to know I'm not the only one who loved it.

  15. Loved it when you said, "From what we saw of Rose in the past, she was reserved and obedient to an almost disturbing extent; she seemed almost brainwashed in her behaviour, but by the end of the book she seems a much stronger, more independent character." Rose sounds like a great character, and I'm glad you can connect with her so well. The transformation she undergoes in this novel sounds amazing!

    The world Rose wakes up in sounds awesome as well. I really like reading dystopian fiction, but it'll be nice reading a book set in a more utopian-like setting. Awesome review!!!


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