A Long, Long Sleep
This debut novel by Anna Sheehan was an amazing read. It is a cross between Sleeping Beauty and a dystopian future. Set in a future after a second Dark Times, where more than a third of the world's population was eliminated, the story has a very unique feel. Earth and its colonies in space are now prospering again after the dark ages. And UniCorp is one of the largest and most powerful companies in the universe. Now Roselinda Fitzroy had been lost in a suspended sleep for over 60 year. Upon waking, it is revealed she is the heir to UniCorp and all of its subsidiaries. But Roselinda is just a 16 year old girl. Her life was different from most before her long sleep and now she is an outright freak, living in a world she could not have imagined and a world that has gone through a second dark age and recovered. But how old is she really and how many times has she had been put to sleep like this by her parents? Rose has wakened after a long, long sleep to a world she does not know or understand and as the days and weeks pass she seems to have more questions than answers.
This story is wonderfully written, with a unique mix of modern fairy tale, science fiction and dystopia all rolled up in one tight package. The characters are in this story are amazing, especially as we watch Rose evolve and grow as she must because this time she has been removed for sleep and going back is not really an option any longer. The author's description of how Rose works through her issues and problems, through her artwork, is inspiring and a little reminiscent of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Her mourning for what has been lost and her slow discovery of what really happened to her and why, is fascinating to watch as the ploy unveils. For a first novel I was blown away by the skill and talent shown by Sheehan and look forward to reading more books by her, and if we are really lucky maybe a continuation of Rose's story! This is one of the best books I have read in the last year.
(Note: I received an electronic galley of this book through NetGalley, courtesy of Candlewick. The book was read on my Kobo eReader. As per my general disclaimer, free books have no impact on my review.)
Books by Anna Sheehan:
A Long Long Sleep (2011)
Author Profile Interview with Anna Sheehan