Saturday, June 26, 2010
Review: Sleepless by Cyn Balog
Eron is a Sandman, a mythical creature who seduces his charges into sleep. His 100 years of service are almost up and he can return to being a human, but first he has to train his replacement…who happens to be the recently deceased boyfriend of Julia, one of his charges whom he feels inexplicably drawn to.
Griffin cannot seem to accept the fact that he isn’t human anymore and thus cannot have Julia. When trouble finds Julia, Griffin tries to help, but that also turns out the wrong way. Perhaps it may be up to Eron and his approaching re-humanity to protect the human girl he’s discovered he cares for.
SLEEPLESS is a unique and delightful supernatural read that combines romance with suspense, the real with the mythical.
The story travels along in a gentle yet always engaging pace, as we learn about Julia, her history with Griffin, and Eron’s backstory. Julia is appreciably complex: oftentimes we might find ourselves wondering why she ever dated Griffin in the first place, but Cyn Balog masterfully weaves together the different parts of a complicated girl who feels like she has to pretend to be someone she isn’t in order to protect herself. Eron, too, is a sweetheart, though perhaps less developed. It’s easy to see why he’s different from others of his kind, and we find ourselves cheering for him and hoping that he gets the girl and everything turns out alright.
Cyn Balog does a marvelous job with the supernatural element of SLEEPLESS. I had only vaguely heard of the Sandmen, but I like how Cyn puts together a complete portrait of a mythical people who have more complex motivations than legend says. Alongside the supernatural, the “real world” element is also well done. SLEEPLESS is a bit light on the grief stage, but—without giving away any spoilers—it does a great job of blending so many different things together, from Eron’s struggles with his too-human feelings, to Griffin’s inability to get over the past, to…the thing that Julia has to deal with.
SLEEPLESS is an easy but enjoyable read, with just the right touch of romance, human struggle, and heart to make it a story that lingers in your mind.
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Cover discussion: 3.5 out of 5 - Cyn gets lovely covers. This one could've been just another black-background cover, but, I dunno, I really like the tiny moon, and colors on the flower. It could be rotting or it could be sweet (or both). There's a lot of symbolism I can read in this cover.
Random House / July 13, 2010 / Hardcover / 224pp. / $16.99
Received from Traveling ARC Tours.