Monday, August 15, 2011

Review: Sleepers by Megg Jensen

Book: Sleepers by Megg Jensen
Series: Swarm #1
Genre: Fantasy / Young Adult
Buy A Copy: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Available Formats: Ebook / Paperback
Publication Date: July 20th, 2011
How Did I Get This Book: From Author, For Review.
First Sentence: "I'd never seen the three men with their necks in nooses before toady.."
An adoptee raised in a foreign land, sixteen-year-old Lianne was content with her life as handmaiden to the queen, until a spell cast on her at birth activated. Now she's filled with uncontrollable rage and access to magic she thought had been bled from her people years ago. Even her years of secret training in elite hand-to-hand combat and meditation can’t calm the fires raging inside her.

Her heart is torn between two boys, the one she’s always loved and the one who always ignored her. But when the kingdom threatens to tear itself apart due to rumors surrounding the queen’s alleged affair, who will Lianne protect and who will she destroy?

So there were things about Sleepers that I loved and there were things that I didn’t.  My major complaint lies with the plot twists. Now, I love a good curveball as much as the next person, but I felt like a lot of the plot twists were not explained very well. At least, I didn’t understand why they were included. They did not always make sense with the story arc and they often felt forced. I really do not want to give the storyline away, but the main twist just did not make any sense whatsoever to me. It’s a shame really, because I see where Jensen was trying to go with it, but I was never provided with a believable reason for it. Unfortunately, it left a bad taste in my mouth, even though I enjoyed the majority of the book.

One of the elements of the book that I truly enjoyed was the pacing. It was spot on – as was Jensen’s writing. She has the uncanny ability to craft stories that press a sense of urgency onto the reader. You want to know what happens next; you instantly get caught up in the story.
Lianne is a character that I found likable, but my heart was absolutely stolen by Bryden. To me, he really stole the show. Where Lianne is still coming into herself and trying to find confidence, Bryden has it all figured out. He is much more comfortable with himself and I just felt more of a connection with him. Like I said, Lianne was likable enough, but she did not really make a lasting impression on me. I am hoping that as the series progresses, she will emerge as a stronger presence. She possesses physical strength, but she doesn’t really have that commanding attitude yet. I think she will get there, though. 

Speaking of characters, I have to say Jensen did a remarkable job with the entire cast. She created a great base for future books, and can now take the story in so many different directions. I really cannot wait to read more about Mags, Lianne’s secret BFF and the Dalagan Queen.  I would even read a spin-off book featuring Mags – her storyline is certainly intriguing enough.
On a final note, I want to give mention to the excellent world building. For those of you who have read Jensen’s Cloud Prophet books, it comes as no surprise that Sleepers features a topnotch setting.  Everything is just incredibly intriguing and complete. Jensen doesn’t just create a setting for her story; she creates an entire world. You really believe what you are reading – you buy into the total package.
I had a difficult time rating Sleepers; it made me really wish I gave out ½ stars. In an ideal situation, I would give it 3 ½ stars, but I am going to go ahead and round it up to 4. What can I say, I'm a "glass half full" kind of girl. The book definitely had some issues but I did enjoy it. Hopefully the minor kinks will be worked out for the second book! I have a lot of faith in Jensen as a writer, so I am really hoping that the next book in the trilogy will knock my socks off!

Favorite Quotes:
"If magic hadn't been bled from our people after the war, I would swear he had cast a spell over me."
"You are more dangerous than anyone here. You will be our salvation, Lianne, and I will stand beside you when that day comes."
"I fell asleep afraid. I woke up with hatred in my heart."
"I wanted revenge but I wanted to protect my friend who sat in the middle of it all."
"I felt a tug in my heart, but I couldn't tell which direction it was pulling me."
"His hands laced through my hair as I felt the sweet crush of our lips, moving together and searching for something we'd both lost and desperately needed to find."
"I hovered over him, my hair falling down the sides of his face, a curtain hiding us from the rest of the world."
"All of this for the love of a friend."
"Don't ever underestimate love." Then he chuckled. "And a determined boy with magic."
"Like any man he does as he chooses."

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