Title: Sleep No More
Author: Aprilynne Pike
No. of Pages: 352
Genre: Fantasy; Young Adult
Release Date: 29 April 2014
Bottom Line: Skip it.
“Oracles see the future. But they are never supposed to interfere. Charlotte learned that the hard way. If she hadn’t tried to change one of her childhood visions, her mother wouldn’t be in a wheelchair—and her father would still be alive.
Since that fateful accident, Charlotte has tried to suppress her visions. But when she receives a premonition of a classmate’s murder, she knows she can no longer sit idly by.
Then she meets Smith, a man who not only knows Charlotte’s secret but who also claims to have a way for her to manipulate her visions to change the future. But doing this means Charlotte must put herself in the path of the murderer.”
Thoughts: To be successful in the paranormal genre within the young adult category these days, one needs a strong main character, an original story, and plenty of plot twists to prevent predictability. The paranormal aspect should not involve any of the familiar myths and legends used to excess in recent years. Unfortunately, Sleep No More falls short of achieving most, if not all, of that.
Sleep No More suffers most because of the parental figure trope it uses. All of Charlotte’s problems occur because the adult figures in her life keep from her key information about her powers. The less-is-more policy is never going to end well, and indeed, it does nothing but cause problems for Charlotte. As always, the adult means well and does this to keep the child/teen safe, and as always, it causes more problems than it does prevent them. This misguided attempt at protection makes even less sense because Charlotte is one of the few teen heroines who has strong parental figures. This is one of the more frustrating elements of the story because it is so obligatory.
Then, there is the mandatory introduction of a love interest. While teenagers’ hormones are at an all-time, leaving them very interested in physical relationships, it should not be a requirement for every female heroine to lust after and obtain the perfect boyfriend. This archetype is tiresome and implies that a girl can only find happiness with a boy on her arm. While Ms. Pike does not follow this exactly, the fact that there is the existence of a love interest at all and that he plays such a key role in the unfolding drama is still disconcerting.
Sleep No More is a lackluster entry in an already over-crowded genre and category. It follows an all-too familiar, much used, and tired cliché that fails to inject a much-needed breath of freshness into the story. Ms. Pike does not delve deeply enough into the oracle mythology to make Charlotte anything extraordinary, and even Charlotte’s powers of foretelling are not exciting enough to refresh the staleness of the story.
Thanks for your review -it’s well written with clear and relevant points. I am using this novel to get a student ‘reading for pleasure’ as she loves this genre. Tomorrow I’m planning to show her your review as a building point for writing her own review! I’ll letyou know how it goes, if you’re interested!
You are very welcome! I hope it was useful and the lesson worked!