“ Author: Anna Sheehan / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 09 August 2012 / Genre: Science Fiction / Subcategory: Science Fiction General / Publisher: Orion Publishing Co / Title: A Long, Long Sleep / ISBN 13: 9780575104730 / ISBN 10: 0575104730 / Alternative EAN: 9780575104723 „
Rosalinda Fitzroy had been asleep for 62 years when she was 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.
When I was younger the tale of Sleeping Beauty was one of my favourite bedtime stories and also one of my favourite Disney films, so when I stumbled across this futuristic retelling of the fairytale I was instantly intrigued. However, although I am sure Anna Sheehan has taken inspiration from Sleeping Beauty this is far more than just a simple retelling of a familiar classic story.
When I first started reading this book I initially thought that jumping 62 years in the future couldn't be all that different from her present, but then I actually thought about it. 62 years is nearly a whole lifetime and the drastic change in the world from even my Gran's childhood would make present day almost unrecognisable, even much less than 60 years could and probably make any person feel out of place. Anna Sheehan included a lot of little touches that I really enjoyed, such as the change in certain language. I was particularly fond of the use of 'Sky', which I think was akin to amazing, great or some other similar meaning.
Rose was an interesting main character, but she was tough at times to like. I think I might have given this book a slightly better rating, had Rose not started to irritate me ever so slightly towards the middle of the book by not standing up for herself. Yes of course there were a whole host of reasons why she found it incredibly difficult to be anything but passive (which would be a spoiler if I told you!), but I still wanted to scream and shake her into being or doing anything other than wallowing in low self esteem.
However, there were some great slightly more minor characters. I loved Otto who was half human and half alien - he was born using alien cells that were found in a far off moon combined with human DNA. He has had to fight all his life to be recognised as a person with all the rights that would normally be bestowed. He has also had to overcome being an outcast, which his unusual colouring, telepathic abilities and lack of vocal cords have all impeded. He was certainly a memorable character and one of my favourite that I have read in a while.
I really like both of the covers that I have seen for this book, the white background with the rose is by far the more striking (but not shown on dooyoo), just because it is something different than the plethora of similar YA covers that are all over the shelves at the moment. I do also really like the other cover (above) and if I am honest I think that both of these would make me stop and pick up the book.
I would recommend this book, it was certainly an entertaining read from the start to finish, I only wish Rose had a little more personality at times. I will certainly be looking out for more of Anna Sheehan's books in the future as this was a great debut novel.
4 out of 5 stars
Genre - YA, futuristic sci-fi
Published by Candlewick Press (August 2011)
Hardback - 352 pages (£10)