Sleep No More
Genre: Paranormal, YA
Publication date: April 29th 2014
The blockbuster film Inception meets Lisa McMann's Wake trilogy in this dark paranormal thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike. This novel is also perfect for fans of Kelley Armstrong, Alyson Noel, and Kimberly Derting.
Charlotte Westing has a gift. She is an Oracle and has the ability to tell the future. But it doesn't do her much good. Instead of using their miraculous power, modern-day Oracles are told to fight their visions—to refrain from interfering. And Charlotte knows the price of breaking the rules. She sees it every day in her wheelchair-bound mother and the absence of her father. But when a premonition of a classmate's death is too strong for her to ignore, Charlotte is forced to make an impossible decision: continue following the rules or risk everything—even her sanity—to stop the serial killer who is stalking her town.
-A copy was provided by HarperCollins for review-
Sleep No More has some good entertaining content and an interesting Oracle premise, but there were many eye-rolling parts as well. I had mixed feelings even before I started this one. The mention of both Inception which I loved, and the Wake trilogy which I loathed made for an odd combination of expectations. Still, I was intrigued and it was fun while it lasted, but it’s not without a list of flaws.
The Oracle lore is what kept my interest the most. It takes a while to get a clear picture of the Oracle abilities and the history is weak at best, but the concept is fascinating and, in many ways, thought provoking. Changing someone’s fate does not come without consequences, thus giving the ability a very bittersweet feel. Seeing the future sounds great and all, but would you save someone’s life knowing another person is likely to take their place? And wouldn’t you feel just as guilty if you did nothing? Seeing as this book involves a serial killer, we get a good dose of situations just like this. Throughout the story, while we learn more about the rules, consequences, and complexities surrounding Oracles, we’ll get a few WTF moments that not only changes everything we thought we knew, but also makes the book exponentially more interesting from one page to the next. Unfortunately, there are also many frustrating parts that added up to make for a very love and hate kind of read.
For one, you just know from the very start when she talks of a guy she’s had a crush on for years, a guy who is on the top of the social ladder whereas she lies on the bottom, what kind of cliché romance we were going to get. To throw another wrench in this overused trope, after he develops a sudden affinity for the lone wolf he admits to only hanging out with her because she takes his mind off his dead girlfriend. And she’s just totally fine with this because he’s just so hot!! With no chemistry and no personality, the romance is definitely the weakest part of this book, and although it serves a purpose and eventually throws its own curveball, the lack of emotional depth made me indifferent to it all.
Then we’ve got a murder mystery in the mix which allows for a bit of suspense, but this is hindered by the protagonist’s obliviousness. Why she trusts certain people or decides to not get help from her aunt after a certain point is beyond me. She meets this creepy 30 year old dude who seems to know all about Oracles on top of him admitting he’s been stalking her for years, yet she immediately puts all of her trust in him, going off with him alone in the middle of nowhere with a serial killer on the loose. Um, oookay. Have fun dying!
In the end, yes I had a few qualms with this one, but its entertainment value is definitely decent and improves as the story progresses. I found myself more and more intrigued as we neared the end, compelled to keep reading by a few baffling occurrences that plays with your mind. It has its ups and down, but it’s an overall enjoyable read.