Sunday, August 16, 2015

Book Review: A Long Long Sleep

I forgot I read this book about a week after I finished it. Normally that's a bad sign except, well, I have no idea why I forgot this book. Thank god I'm doing the summer reading program at the library (yes folks, the DC system has kids, teens, AND adult summer reading programs, I got a free burrito and baseball tickets from doing it!) which has me logging all of my reading and I was able to look it up this way. 

A Long Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

One day Rosalinda went to sleep in a stasis tube and then woke up to a kiss, 62 years later. In that time, she was assumed dead, her parents passed away, the world was ravaged by disease, and science marched on so humanity is no longer as human or Earthbound as it used to be. No one has ever been in a stasis sleep as long as she has and she's now the heir to her parent's large corporation so the whole world is watching this shy, quiet girl try to refigure out a world she never got to know in the first place.  

It's funny that I almost forgot about this book since it reminds me a lot of When We Wake by Karen Healey but I like this take on the "character wakes up 100 years in the future and the world has gone to hell" idea much better. My big problem in WWW was that the future seemed unfixable, there was no way to make it even a little bit better and that the world was also actively trying to kill the main character, it made any possible kind of ending where the characters weren't dead feel at odds with the setting. Here plenty of people still want Rosalinda dead but the world is coming out a terrible period, vs being in the middle of one, so there is generally more hope.  So I liked this "version" of the story a little better, there were more options for where the plot could go, what the characters could do, and generally felt like fatalist.

There was a rather large love polygon in the series by the end however which I found, well, "anime weird" by the final pages. I will tolerate most love triangles since the ones I usually find are "a potential couple and a not-very-serious-threat to one character" but this one I wasn't actually sure which direction Sheehan was going to go which was nice but like I said, some of the choices involved were very strange. One other major difference between this book and WWW was how our heroine's stasis sleep was treated and I thought this was an interesting take here. Most of the time when I see it in science fiction it's either in a "closed" environment (like a space ship) and rarely I see it like I did in WWW where the main character actively has to deal with mourning her old life which adds a really good reason for the isolation and lack of connection YA characters usually have (read, lack of parents involved in the story). LLS takes this one step further and shows Rosalinda's many forced stasis sleeps as part of her larger life, how this can be both coping and abuse and that level of detail really helped make the book for me. It's a story with many big, sci-fi concepts but it never stops thinking about how these ideas and these settings affect its characters which is exactly how to write a good setting. It appears that this book has a sequel which makes me a little hesitant, I rather liked the open-ended wrap-up here, but I do plan to give it a shot and see what happens next.

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