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.
A Long, Long Sleepby Anna Sheehan
An intriguing take on the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan is one part dystopian, one part science fiction, and one part fairy tale retelling. With all of these different genres represented, this novel will surely appeal to many, as these elements are well-woven together to create a new and fresh take on each genre. True to the original, Rose is woken up from decades of slumber by a kiss. However, this sleep was the result of a self-induced coma, called a stass, in a special glass tube that kept her 16-years-old for decades.
Rose steps into a changed world, not quite sure of her place in it, only to find out that not only is she the recognized heir of a multi-planetary corporation/empire, but that because of that she has a target on her back. This makes for an action-packed novel as she tries her best to be a moving target and evade those that want to terminate her. As if evading death is enough, Rose has to learn to get around in a world that has altered completely in the 60+ years she's been asleep, but more importantly, she needs to learn who to trust and to whom she can turn for help.
Rose, as a character, is one part emotional, somewhat irrational teenager and one part evolving heroine who is coming to know herself and take control of her destiny as she becomes more self-reliant. Throughout the novel, she actually becomes more likable as a person, not only because she shows how strong she can be, but because her history is explained, which sheds light on where Rose is coming from. While there's mystery, action and even a little romance, it is the coming of age story that seemed to shine and made A Long, Long Sleep such an intriguing novel.
Profanity/Language: 15 religious exclamations; 16 mild obscenities; 4 derogatory names.
Violence/Gore: Robot-like zombie is instructed to terminate a person (repeated multiple times throughout the novel as it remembers the initial instructions); secondhand report of food shortages leading to deaths (starvation and rioting); secondhand account of a disease running rampant and causing millions to die (2 different accounts); character dreams of bloody corpses chasing them; robot-like zombie attacks a character and ends up tasing a dog (3 page description); character gives account of being a result of a genetic experiment and having his friends die because of it including seeing one die of a brain hemorrhage; character accused of suicidal behavior by putting herself in a self-induced coma; robot zombie attacks two characters and tases one, knocking them unconscious; description of how robot zombies are created from human cadavers; robot zombie tears off door of vehicle it is stealing and pushes driver aside; character repeats rumor she was told of mistreatment, including whipping, starvation and sexual molestations, that presumably happen in boarding schools; robot zombie attacks two characters, killing one, hitting and knocking the other down; character mentions that he wants to kill someone, because really they aren't human to begin with; character says he'll kill another for something they've done; in a rage, character throws and breaks someone else's belongings; character slaps another; character says he wants to hit someone; character is grabbed and shaken roughly by another; robot zombie enters a building leaving destruction behind; mention of someone being found beaten to death by the robot zombie; robot zombie breaks character's arm by grabbing them roughly; robot zombie catches a character and puts a controlling collar on them as they struggle to get free.
Sex/Nudity: Boy kisses sleeping girl; mention in matter of fact, almost scientific way, the fact that a bad genetic trait is passed through men's sperm making it difficult to get pregnant, and therefore if they weren't having frequent sex or if the woman wasn't fertile in the exact moment, the chances of getting pregnant were slim; girl hugs boy (12 times); boy and girl hold hands (3 times); girl caresses boy's face; boy strokes girl's hair (2 times); boy kisses girl with description of him using teeth and tongue; boy kisses hair and neck of girl (7 times); boy kisses girl (7 times); girl admires picture of boy with his shirt off, shown to her by his mom; woman described as "hot looking"; man alludes to having an affair.
Mature Subject Matter:
Death, abuse (both verbal and mental), war, disease, famine.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Many mentions of being in or going into 'stass', which is a voluntary drug-induced coma and also includes descriptions of the blissful effects of the 'stass' drugs; adult offers minor a wine cooler; champagne given to a minor; man gets drunk in the presence of a minor.
Reviewed By Sally