By Cyn Balog
Published 2010 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Eron is a Sandman, watching over humans and seducing them to sleep and dream. He is not supposed to have feelings for the humans he is responsible for, but he does. He cannot deny that Julia holds a special sway over him. As he comes to the end of his time as a Sandman and transitions back to the human world, can he find a way to be with Julia? And can he save her from the menace that she doesn't even realize is following her?
I'm pretty sure the notion of an actual Sandman, falling in love with his human charge, is what caught my eye about this book. Even though I don't really remember being told stories about the Sandman when I was a kid, I'm always fascinated by legends and mystical beings. This one caught my eye from the shelf again recently, and I figured it would be a quick read so I took it home. I like the lore of the Sandmen that Balog has created in the story - though, honestly, she may not have created it and may just be repeating bits and pieces of different Sandmen lore, as I'm not too familiar with it. Either way, I liked the way she put it together here. While I found Eron an interesting character who I liked reading about, I thought Julia was a pretty flat character. This was made more frustrating because Eron couldn't really seem to articulate what it was about Julia that drew him to her above all his other charges. I suppose readers are to believe that Eron sees something of himself in her, as well as being reminded of the girl he loved before he became a Sandman. Overall, though, Julia never struck me as a noteworthy character. The whole of the novel pretty much hinges on the fact that Eron is in love with Julia, though he shouldn't be, and will do anything to protect her, particularly once a menacing presence arrives in her life. Surprisingly, the fact that I did not care much about Julia did not entirely ruin the book for me. As I said, I liked the mythology that Balog put together here and I did enjoy Eron. I liked the ending as well, melodramatic as it may have been. I would be interested to read some of Balog's other work, as it all seems to be inspired by fairy lore and mythical beings. Recommended for a quick suspenseful read.