A Long, Long Sleep
By Anna Sheehan, read by Angela Dawe
Published 2011 by Candlewick on Brilliance Audio
Rosalinda has been asleep for a long time before she is unexpectedly awoken by a kiss. And the world in which Rose awakens is markedly different from the one she remembers. No one seems to understand just what Rose is going through, instead looking to her as the heir of an empire. But when things turn dangerous, just who can Rose trust in this unfamiliar world?
Once again, this review is coming at quite a remove from my actual reading (or in this case, listening) of the book. And once again, I find many of the details a bit hazy.
I downloaded this one because it's a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. I'm a sucker for a retelling, particularly when it goes in a completely unexpected direction. This, a science fiction version, was exactly that. It's not a perfect book - Rose is quite frustrating as a heroine and the ending certainly left something to be desired - but it was pretty enjoyable as I listened. What I think this book did best was capture the incredible struggle Rose faces after she is woken. She must process that the world she knows has been gone for over sixty years - everyone she cared about is long gone and she is expected to take her place as the rightful heir to an international empire. As Rose begins to uncover more of her past, it's heartbreaking to discover why she was asleep for so long. I really loved the relationship she developed with Otto. She struggles to relate to people her age and this friendship is clearly a good thing for her.
The pacing of the book is not quite as strong, however - I sometimes lost focus while I listened because it just didn't keep me engaged the entire time. And, as I mentioned, Rose is often quite frustrating. Sure, as the book goes on, we begin to understand her a little more and it helps explain why she might be frustrating, but that doesn't change the fact that she can be a pain to sympathize with. The ending is also not my favorite. Goodreads (for better or worse the website I use most frequently when it comes to books) lists a sequel entitled No Life But This with an expected publication of December 2014. However, in the comments section, the author quite bluntly states that this is probably not accurate because the process of bringing a sequel to light appears to have not gone smoothly. I'd be interested in seeing what a sequel would look like, but I suppose it's the waiting game for now.