A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

A Long, Long Sleep
by Anna Sheehan

ISBN-13: 9-780575-104730
Published: August 9, 2011 by Candlewick Press
Rating: 4 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I really liked it

Rosalinda Fitzroy has been asleep for 62 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.

Sleeping Beauty is one of my favourite fairy tales, so when I heard about this modern and futureistic retelling I was hooked. Rose is woken from a 62 year sleep to find everyone she knows and loves to be gone, and the world around her completely changed. In addition to trying to fit in to a new school, foster family and time, Rose finds herself dealing with a mysterious assassin and running for her life.

Rose is a great character. She’s at once a typical teenager and yet an old soul, resigned to the fact that she was sent away to sleep in stasis, never woken, and forgotten about though in plain view to anyone who cared to look hard enough. Rose is tough, brave, scared and damaged all at once. She feels so alone, but doesn’t know how to fit in. Bren, the boy who found and woke her, is friendly and does his best to make her feel accepted and comfortable. Her relationships with Bren and the students in his group at school are well done and believable.

Through flashbacks into Rose’s life, we find out why she was in stasis in the first place. This book is so much more than just a sci-fi-ish fairy tale; the story behind Rose and her family is so much more intense, darker and sadder than I was ever expecting. Her parents really did a number on her when she was young, and were not fit parents at all. As the people in her new life begin to make her face what happened when she was younger, Rose really begins to come into her own. I think this aspect of the story was my favourite and what really kept me interested, especially since the mysterious assassin ties into it.

The pacing of the action and the discovering of the mysterious assassin is perfect. I was kept hooked into the story and wanting to know how everything turns out for Rose, and if she ever finds out what happened to her childhood love Xavier. I wasn’t expecting some of the revelations in the end, and I was happy, sad and surprised all at once. I highly recommend this one, especially if you like fairy tale re-tellings and/or sci-fi.

Copy provided by Candlewick Press and Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!