Title: A Long, Long Sleep
Written by Anna Sheehan
Series: Unicorp #1
Published by Candlewick Press
Publication Date: 2011
Genres: Dystopian, Fairy Tale Retelling, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Source: Los Angeles Public Library
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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.
Fast forward to three days before the book was due and I received an email from the library that the book was due. I started reading it that same day and I enjoyed it.
The story is that Rosalinda, daughter of one of the most powerful families/rich corporate CEO’s of the day, is woken up from a 62-year sleep by Brendan, a grandson of the current CEO of Rose’s company. She wakes up to a world after the Dark Times, which I compare to the Dark Ages. In fact, it is like the Dark Ages, where the Bubonic Plague and Tuberculosis outbreak resurface. Naturally, everyone Rose loves, even her boyfriend Xavier, are long gone. Add in a Plastine (a robot with a human corpse for a body that is programmed to be an assassin) who tries to track and kill Rose, and a dark secret that ultimately transforms Rose into a strong young woman, and you have a recipe for a really awesome book.
As much as I liked this book, I had a few problems with it. One was the non-sci-fi element of the book. Sure, it was set in the future and there were future tech stuff that was mentioned (e.g. hover cars that travel over water, a techie notepad/tablet) and future slang like “this is so sky”, “coit”, “noid”, and “I comm”, it didn’t feel like a true sci-fi novel. The book also lacked description. I wanted to see what the world looked like post-Dark Times. For a sci-fi novel, this lacked a lot of description.
Another thing that I did not like about it was that this book was basically about Rose moping about, trying to navigate the futuristic high school, developing her art, and falling for Brendan. I expected to read about how Rose would investigate the dilemma that is the reason why she had a long stasis sleep. I expected to read about her taking over her parent’s company that was under the influence of a slimy CEO. If Rose did not redeem herself by the end of the book and stood up against her attacker and destroyed her stasis tube, I would have given this a 2! Oh, and Rose’s voice sounded like a little girl. I really had problems with that. For a 16-year-old, she seemed pretty immature to me.
What was iffy about this was when it was revealed in the end that Ron, Brendan’s grandfather and CEO of the corporation is, in fact, Xavier, Rose’s boyfriend! Ick! Although I was expecting this to be the case, I still thought it was very, very, very weird. Plus, Rose demands that he becomes her guardian!
What I did like about this, however, was how the author showed us the emotional abuse that Rose went through – the detachment of how her parents treated her. I actually liked that the author hinted at the abuse and how we were gradually introduced as to Rose’s actual age. Apparently, Rose has been in and out of stasis all through childhood. In fact, Rose practically raised Xavier since she was about 7 when he was a toddler.
Another surprising character that I liked was Otto, the blue alien/human that has powers but is unable to speak. Rose and Otto have a very interesting relationship via the web where they have long conversations between each other. The only thing I had problems with was that Otto had a girlfriend that he broke up with probably because he was falling for Rose.
All in all, this was a quick read for me that I recommend to those who love non-sci-fi YA sort of romance.