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In Ageless Sleep

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  86 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Mal is a spy, a misanthrope, and a coward; growing up in the brutal Reaches has taught her that honor is a quality best left to the dead. Her latest mission: to hijack a cryo-ship carrying the brilliant daughter of the Sovereign King, and deliver her straight into enemy hands.

But when a vital component of the ship’s cryostasis system malfunctions, the only person who can
Published April 12th 2017 by Less Than Three Press (first published April 10th 2017)
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I'm not a big fan of short stories or novellas, especially those as short as this at only 17,000 words. How much of a story will I get ? But this is my favorite genre: lesfic sci-fi, a tiny niche sub-genre in the already tiny, niche lesbian genre. And the gorgeous cover...I figured even if I didn't like the book, I can always gaze at the artwork.

But boy, was I surprised. It's impossible to put the book down. This is the perfect example of a well-written short story/novella that has all the impor
"It must have been nice to be dead to the world, to know there was nothing you could do but sleep. She and Mal weren't so different in the end. They were both in stasis, hanging between one state and another, with no way of knowing what the world would look like when they woke up."

God, I really didn't want this to be over.

It was impossible to ignore this book when I saw the cover on NetGalley. Seriously, this cover is so gorgeous. And thankfully, the synopsis seemed interesting too — sci-fi with
Lexxi Kitty

*I received this book from NetGalley, and Less Than Three in return for a fair review.*

This is a really really good short story. The story snuck up on me unexpectedly. It just kept building, my heart actually was racing there at times.

Not really sure what to say, though, without saying everything.

The universe: Colonists, mainly the lower classes (or however that was worded), headed off to new planets. Only to find that they'd been tricked. They promptly decided to return 'home', but the homewor
Elise (TheBookishActress)
Reading novellas is a new trend for me, and it's one that's definitely yielded some good results. Every Heart A Doorway, The Devil You Know, and now this.

In Ageless Sleep follows two girls on the opposite sides of a war. Mal is an agent from the Reaches on a mission to hijack a Sovereign spaceship. Aurora, or Rory, is the daughter of one of the Sovereign Kings and Mal's kidnapping target for this mission.

The strength of this little book is undoubtedly the character work. Most of the chapters a
3.5 stars

This is a well written story with a rather simplistic plot. Considering the majority of characters are in stasis (deep asleep) and events unfold on the ship, there aren’t too many opportunities for subplots, not that I’m saying that’s a bad thing, far from it in fact. The ship comes under attack which is enough to keep the reader flipping the pages.

Mal is an interesting and likable character, as is Rory. I really enjoyed their interaction and the fact I didn’t know how things would eve
Apr 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
Impressive world building in such a short story. Malev Doma , an agent from the Reaches knows just enough coding to hijack a cryo-ship containing the daughter of the Sovereign King. The race is on to get to the rendezvous point where Mal can hand over her hostage to her countrymen. Damage to some of the ship's systems forces Mal to wake up Aurora every day for weeks to reset the computers. The Sovereigns and Reaches might be at war, but on The Royal Arc a battle of wits along with a growing attr ...more
Mar 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-s, ya
You couldn't trust beauty when it came from a place like that. But that didn't stop Mal's eyes from sticking to that face like hull-sealing glue.

* * *
3 / 5

In Ageless Sleep is a tiny little sci-fi/lesbian novella clocking in at about 17,000 words. Mal is a spy, grown up and grown old in the Reaches; Aurora, or "Rory", is the daughter of the Sovereign King and in cryostasis on the way to a scientific mission when Mal hijacks her ship. When a system disasters strikes, Rory is the only one who might
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Heck yea that was a lot of fun. Thanks for the recommend Jem :)
I don't know how to rate this novella. The author had an interesting premise and the story was written well but the ending felt rushed and unsatisfactory. There wasn't an established bond between the two characters.
Alexis  (TheSlothReader)
This was interesting but just too short. The world felt incomplete because the author had too few pages to work with. This could have been another pages of history and politics to help flesh out the world and Mal's backstory. The romance occurred in the blink of an eye and felt very underdeveloped. Again 100 more pages would have allowed the romance and characters to fully develop. I'd definitely be interested in reading a longer, more developed version of this story.

I would like to mention that
☙ percy ❧
this was the most satisfying novella i have ever read.

i have no idea how arden ellis managed to get so much character development, world-building and plot twists into a story that's like 20,000 words long, but she did. the main character, mal, was a stunningly rendered character who underwent more development in this novella than most characters do in an entire series, and although the plot twists were slightly predictable, i found them interesting nevertheless.

highly recommended; READ THIS BO
There's been a few movies in the past few years that use the 'what happens while everyone's in cryosleep trope and to varying successes. Air (2015) with Norman Reedus and Djimon Hounsou went down the psychological thriller route, whereas Passengers (2016) with Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt aimed for romance and ended up with creepy, stalker horror movie.

In Ageless Sleep is what those movies could have been.

Plot and World Building
Ooooo.... It's so simple and yet so good. The reawakening/slee
dystopian fairytales
In Ageless Sleep is a futuristic story with a simplistic plot which makes the story very easy to follow. Mal is a spy tasked with hijacking a cryo ship so she can deliver the Sovereign King's daughter, Rory, to her people. However Mal and Rory are the only people awake on this ship and therefore the story spans within weeks, showing us the most important scenes. I found it very surprising that the repetition of the days weren't dragging or dull which keeps the pacing of the story on a realistic ...more
Adiba Jaigirdar
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read the last half of this book like...

eating popcorn in suspense

The book definitely kept me at the edge of my seat. I was invested! For someone who really struggles to focus, keeping me focused for that amount of time is pretty impressive!

I also love hate-to-love relationships so I really liked Mal and Rory's relationship. Ellis managed to develop it pretty well despite having only a short few pages to do it. I also think the worldbuilding is pretty impressive, considering how short the book is. There's enough to keep
Anja V
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbtqia
Okay, I'm just not one for short stories. I know it's obvious, but compared to full novels they are just so ... short?

I feel like there are a few topies that just don't work for short stories, because they need more time to be explored and people falling in love is one of them. The concept of In Ageless Sleep is good, though not new, but I just didn't get into it. As soon as I started to get interested, it was already over. And Mal and Aurora's 'relationship' just happened too fast for me. They
C. Mack
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Totally just wow. I've read reviews singing the praises of this novella and they are totally correct and well founded. This is an outstanding short read that sucks you into another world in surprisingly few words. Totally loved it, it was perfect but I can't help but want more!
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

This is an incredibly well written short story. It only has 17.000 words, but despite its shortness stretches over weeks and manages to portray this passing of time incredibly well. The story is mostly focused on the developing friendship and feelings between Mal and Aurora. Due to it being set on a ship where everybody else is caught in stasis and thus asleep they are of course the main focus. Since they
Apr 27, 2017 rated it liked it
I sometimes complain about the small number of narratives with intense, even dangerous, lesbian relationships. With "In Ageless Sleep" this number became a little bigger. Yes, the worldbuilding is interesting (even if the fairytale references feel a bit forced), but it's Mal and Rory who drive this story forward, and both do it with full force of their personalities.
Līga Sproģe
Dec 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: f-f, read-2017
It wasn't bad... but it also wasn't good. Needs some fleshing out otherwise I'm just sitting here and feeling nothing and wondering if maybe I should make a snack.
K Walton
Ellis secures her audience’s attention with sharp wit and masterful characterization. Her command of written English had me gobbling sentences like candy, and her viewpoint character, Mal, is captivating: funny, flawed, and just unreliable enough to give you the sense that what she tells you is not always the full story—especially when it comes to herself. Which made her seem very…well, human. The depth of her character impressed me, particularly given the brevity of the story itself.

Rory’s also
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not usually interested in fairy tale re-tellings, but Arden Ellis builds on an interesting premise with strong character development to draw the reader in. The world building makes everything come alive, and helps create tension as well as inform decisions. Ultimately I wish it were longer, but I definitely recommend it.
Mar 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: anglés, godi-gsrdi
I don't usually go for science fiction but seeing that the main characters were queer intrigued me and I decided to go for it and read this novella. I must say that I don't regret reading it at all.

The thing that should be pointed out is the characterization of the protagonists. That is definitely one of the strenghts of the story and I would recommend this to people who love character-driven stories because it does not disappoint. I find it really interesting the way Mal, the narrator, expresse
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In Ageless Sleep is a great novelette. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a short sci-fi romance with no cliffhanger.

This is a character-driven story, and Mal and Rory are really brought to life well. The world creation is also intriguing. I would love to read more books set in this world. There is good sci-fi suspense as well as some romantic suspense. This is a complete story with a satisfying ending.

Now and then I come across a short story that is completely satisfying as far as pl
Melissa Clark (The Lesbian Bookworm)
Originally posted at The Lesbian Bookworm:

Normally I am not a huge fan of sci-fi type books. But I was presently shocked by In Ageless Sleep by Arden Ellis.

I went into this book think that it wasn’t really for me but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I like how it blended traditional fairy tale with modern sci-fi. It was a quick read of about 52 pages. But the author was able to make the characters come to life for me. I particularly liked the character Mal. She was just the right amount of snark
This novella might be short but the pacing is great, the voice is sharp and unique, the world building as the story goes along works really well, and I like both characters and their relationship. If you like sci-fi stories or "enemies become reluctant allies due to Circumstances" stories I'd highly recommend.
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is actually a really good short story! I really like it alots. Love it. And also this is also that i read about spaceship. Seem interesting enough. And i really like Rory :) idk but she seem so sweet to me.
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hope the author is considering writing more of this, maybe a sequel? A whole new novel with the same writing quality please? This seriously left me wanting to read more and more. My first attempt at novellas in this genre and most definitely not the last after this :)
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lesbian-fantasy
Wish there were more to this. Loved it.
Rating: 2.0/5.0

Honestly, this was a very boring novella revolving around two characters in a ship. Nothing more needs to be said about it. The whole story had one dimension to it.
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
General rating: ★★★★
Diversity rating: ★★★☆ (POC, LGBT+ (lesbian), minority (Russian?), disability (limp))

In Ageless Sleep by Arden Ellis is a short novella that you can read in less than two hours that takes place in space. It's a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, but then ten times more awesome than the original. It's a book that I believe is meant as an adult book, but might as well be YA.

I loved the characters in this book, both Mal and Rory (Aurora) were diverse characters with different backgr
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