Written by: Anna Sheehan
Released: August 9, 2011 by Candlewick Press
Summary: Rosalinda Fitzroy has been asleep for 62 years when she is woken by a kiss. Locked away in the chemically-induced slumber of a stasis tube in a forgotten sub-basement, 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 dead, 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.
I tried to explain this novel to a friend just after I finished reading it and I did the story absolutely no justice. So I’ll try to better capture it in my review.
I really enjoyed this novel. I thought that it was a very different take on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale; definitely one that I never would have ever imagined before. Once I was able to really get into the story (it took a few chapters) it took a lot for me to put it down. This, of course, resulted in long periods of reading and one really late night. The only thing I really had a problem with was the slang used – obviously made up to give that futuristic feel, but slightly annoying to translate nonetheless.
Rose was an interesting character to get to know. You could tell that she had missed out on most things in life but what was really fascinating was how it didn’t affect her in the ways that one would think. Instead I was surprised to see how she embraced it and even flourished in it. Her artwork and artistic abilities was one coping mechanism of hers that really showed just that.
The story and the entire concept of it was so, so different to read. I’ll admit that I’m not one to actively go in search for the more scifi novels out there, but the fairy tale aspect really drew me in. Plus, with the added dystopian undercurrent and the intriguing summary, I couldn’t help but need to know what this novel was about. I also never imagined that this novel would touch on some rather questionable subjects, but I loved it’s take on genetically modified organisms, the constant quest humanity has for the cure for the common cold, the repercussions of society achieving everything that they could ever want, and exactly what defines humanity. And that’s just the top layer. There’s parenting issues involved, human slavery, age-differences in relationships, and so much more. It’s a novel that will make you think while you’re sucked into the action.
As far as debut novels go, this one is top notch and I don’t think that I could have asked for more in a novel. In fact, I almost hope that there’s a sequel because there were a few questions left unanswered which are eating at me a little. But I would be able to live if there wasn’t an accompanying novel... though it would be nice.
Overall, this isn’t a debut to be overlooked. I really enjoyed it and I’m giving it an 8.5/10.
My eARC copy of this novel was graciously provided by Candlewick Press and netGalley.