Susan (Wastepaper Prose)'s Reviews > Sleepless

Sleepless by Cyn Balog
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's review
Dec 25, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: ya, otherworldly
Recommended for: Anyone who dreams of someone special.
I own a copy

It’s taken me a long time to write this review. I should have posted it weeks ago, but I couldn’t figure out what to say about this book. I had some strong likes and dislikes and just couldn't figure out how to reconcile them.

Since the moment I heard about this book I had wanted to read it. Sandmen, an existence somewhere between life and death, and a strange love triangle. I was instantly enamored, and, at the same time, concerned this book wouldn’t live up to my expectation.

After all, reading about a book on Amazon is like having a virtual love affair. When the two of you meet, you might have nothing in common. Sometimes you hype someone or something up so much that the reality can’t live up to the fantasy. And a paranormal without vampires, werewolves, or any other traditional creepy crawlies had a lot to live up to. I'm such a skeptical, picky reader that I was pretty sure one of us would be calling a cab mid-date.

Well, I was wrong. It didn't just step outside the box. It shattered the box.

Normally, it takes me a while to sink into a new world. I was shocked at how quickly I was consumed by Cyn Balog’s Sleepless. Her writing is captivating, the concept is unlike anything I’ve seen, and overall it was a quick, fun read.

I was thrust directly into the story, which I always love. Balog wastes no time getting the reader up to speed on what had happened prior to page one. She effortlessly weaves background information and bits and pieces of her mythology into the plot, crafting a beautiful yet lonely world that exists on the fringes of our own.

All Balog's characters have distinct identities that set them apart from one another, but Eron DeMarchelle was by far my favorite. He was well developed within a matter of chapters. I felt like I really got to know him, past and present. By about chapter two or three, I was secretly wishing he was my sandman.

The only problem was that this rapid, in-depth development Eron went through overshadowed other characters, namely Julia and Griffin, who I felt like should have been tracking along with him. As I read, I waded through Julia's chapters while anxiously anticipating Eron's. I couldn't wait to see him again.

Julia failed to engage me in the same way. I didn't feel like I knew as much about her or her motivations. Griffin's character was nearly stagnant, but he had no point-of-view, so I am more forgiving in his case. However, it did contribute to the only other major problem I had with this book.

About six chapters from the end, I thought I was going to walk away satisfied in a way that I hadn't been with a book in a while. It had this beautiful potential for a bittersweet ending, but, in a matter of pages, all of that changed.

In sight distance of the finish line, one of the major players did a total 180 and ruined all hope that the ending would be as original as the premise of the book. I could literally see things changing course, and the worst part is that I cannot attribute this character's change of heart to careful development throughout the book. It came out of nowhere and was less than believable. The sudden turn around made for an ending that was too neatly tied up for my taste.

Sleepless was an enjoyable read, but it left me wanting something more.

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