Wednesday, March 24, 2010
by Cyn Balog
Reviewed from ARC sent by SLJ. Publication date: July 13, 2010
(Delacorte Books for Young Readers)
Eron DeMarchelle isn't supposed to feel this connection. He is a Sandman, a supernatural being whose purpose is to seduce his human charges to sleep. Though he can communicate with his charges in their dreams, he isn't encouraged to do so. After all, becoming too involved in one human's life could prevent him from helping others get their needed rest.
But he can't deny that he feels something for Julia, a lonely girl with fiery red hair and 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. In the past, Eron has broken the rules to protect Julia, but now, when she seems to need him more than ever, he can't reach her. Eron's time as a Sandman is coming to a close, and his replacement doesn't seem to care about his charges. Worse, Julia is facing dangers she doesn't recognize, and Eron, as he transitions back to being human, may be the only one who can save her...
Even once they've become human again, Sandmen are forbidden to communicate with their charges. But Eron knows he won't be able to forget Julia. Will he risk everything for a chance to be with the girl he loves?
I enjoyed this book a lot. It was fairly short, but chock-full of new paranormal lore. The Sandmen concept was fascinating. Humans are chosen to fill a Sandman/Sandwoman position for 100 years after they die, then once they fulfilled their term, they can go back to being human at the age they were when they died.
Eron, about to go back to being human, realizes that his favorite charge, the one he should admit he's become way too attached to, is being threatened in a very mortal way. Eron has difficulty protecting her, though, since sometimes he's human, sometimes he's a Sandman (therefore invisible) and the threat comes from another Sandman, someone almost impossible to stop.
Though I am very, very sick of using Twilight as any type of a reference at this point, I have to admit that Twilight fans will eat this book right up. It has an ill-fated, but all consuming love, danger coming from an unusual and hard to understand source, even the friend trying to become more than just a friend! This is not just a Twilight-esque book, though. It is a well done book that any fantasy reader can enjoy.
In a genre that is bursting at the seams right now - often with poorly written, unimaginative books put out just so that teens will keep buying, buying, buying - Sleepless is an excellent addition to the YA paranormal fantasy realm.