Saturday, August 14, 2010

Review: Sleepless by Cyn Balog


By Cyn Balog

Publication Date: July 13, 2010

Won from Random Buzzers

Not Recommended

Summary from Goodreads….

Eron De Marchelle isn't supposed to feel a connection. He is a Sandman, a supernatural being whose purpose is to seduce human charges to sleep. While he can communicate with his charges in their dreams, he isn't encouraged to--after all, getting too involved in one human's life would prevent him helping his other charges get their needed rest.
But he can't deny that he feels something for Julia. Julia, with her fiery red hair and her sad dreams. Just weeks ago, her boyfriend died in a car accident, and Eron can tell that she feels more alone than ever. Eron was human once too, many years ago, and he remembers how it felt to lose the one he loved. Eron has always felt protective of Julia . . . but now, when she seems to need him more than ever, he can't seem to reach her . . .
Sandmen are forbidden from communicating with humans outside their dreams. But will Eron be willing to risk everything for a chance to be with the person he loves?

I was really excited to read this one, loved the idea of a Sandman~something I haven’t read before~ and thought it had the potential to be a unique and imaginative read.

Not so much.

See, Eron has been a Sandman for almost 100 years, helping his charges go to sleep (referred to as “seducing” them) and seeing into their dreams. So far so good. Where it all started to fall apart for me was when he acted surprised at seeing cars and the way girls dress “nowadays.” You would think after watching people for so long, these things wouldn’t be so shocking. He’s had YEARS to see the changes so this just didn’t sit well with me, not believable at all.

I was really disappointed with what we get to see of the life of Sandmen too. The author had a chance to build a whole new world for them to exist in, but all the Sandmen do when they’re not seducing their charges is SIT IN TREES. Good God, how dull. Such a missed opportunity here. It would have been infinitely more interesting if the Sandmen actually had a world all their own, but no. There they sit. In the trees. Day after day.

As for Julia…the book hints (for a very long time before the reveal) that she went through something traumatic when she was seven years old. Because of this, she has been somewhat of a social outcast, not fitting in and having no friends. Again, I found THIS very unbelievable as well. Teenagers are not the horrible people they are so often made out to be in YA books. Considering what happened to Julia, I think most kids would have way bigger hearts and be better people and actually befriend her. I have a teenage daughter and neither her nor her friends would be so awful to someone.

To be completely honest, by the end of the book I didn’t even LIKE the idea of a Sandman anymore. There is one scene where two Sandmen are watching over Julia as she sleeps and it was actually, well…icky. The idea of two guys you can’t see in your room at night felt just downright creepy.


I can’t finish up this review without mentioning one other thing that bothered me. Julia’s boyfriend dies in the first chapter of the book and ends up becoming a Sandman. Now he never comes across as having been the greatest guy while he was alive, but as a Sandman he’s downright psychotic. See, his best friend wants to get involved with Julia and yeah, he’s a little pushy about it. We never quite know if he’s actually dangerous or just in love with Julia, but he (Julia’s now dead boyfriend) freaks the hell out and want his best friend KILLED. Seriously? This felt so extreme and out of character that I almost stopped reading. It’s one thing to be upset about something, but to have a pretty normal guy decide he wants his best friend dead was just too much for me.

So to sum it up, sorry, just can’t recommend this one. It was a great initial concept that just didn’t live up to its potential, damaged by poor characterization and lack of creativity.


Midnyte Reader said...

Thank you for your honest & humorous post. I picked up another book by the same author from the library. Hopefully, it will be better.

brizmus said...

Despite your lack of recommendation and how icky you found the Sandman, I'm super intrigued by the concept. I loved Neil Gaiman's Sandman comics so much that I feel like I have to read anything Sandmanesque.

Vampires and Tofu said...

Oh how could I have forgotten Gaiman's Sandman!! THAT was brilliant!

GMR said...

Interesting review. I must say, this isn't actually the first time I've heard the "creepy" factor mentioned about this book. I remember seeing mention of this mone a few months back and thinking how interesting to use Sandmen as characters. I agree, so much potential....too bad it sounds as if it never quite reached the heights it may have been destined for. Cie la was an adventure at least. Thanks for sharing...and happy reading!

Moonsanity said...

That is creepy and extreme- It's one thing when it's an adult and their partner wakes up, then lovingly watches them sleep vs. sneaking into the room/house and unknowingly watching them and sometimes even touching the person. I agree that the boyfriend thing is also over the top. I've never read a book with a Sandman either. I love the concept!

Violet said...

Thanks for sharing your review. I've been curious about this book because the Sandman concept seemed intriguing, but it sounds like I should check out Neil Gaiman's Sandman series instead.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to be off the subject. This is a delete-after-reading message. We did a link exchange earlier this year and when my blogger ID changed, it went kapoot. I've got you back up there. My new url is bypen-or-bysword.blogspot(dot)com