Format: Paperback (288 pages) Source: Publisher via Blogging For Books
My Rating: 4 Umbrellas
Insomnia has claimed everyone Biggs knows. Even his beloved wife, Carolyn, has succumbed to the telltale red-rimmed eyes, slurred speech and cloudy mind before disappearing into the quickly collapsing world. Yet Biggs can still sleep, and dream, so he sets out to find her.
He ventures out into a world ransacked by mass confusion and desperation, where he meets others struggling against the tide of sleeplessness. Chase and his buddy Jordan are devising a scheme to live off their drug-store lootings; Lila is a high school student wandering the streets in an owl mask, no longer safe with her insomniac parents; Felicia abandons the sanctuary of a sleep research center to try to protect her family and perhaps reunite with Chase, an ex-boyfriend. All around, sleep has become an infinitely precious commodity. Money can’t buy it, no drug can touch it, and there are those who would kill to have it. However, Biggs persists in his quest for Carolyn, finding a resolve and inner strength that he never knew he had.
Kenneth Calhoun has written a brilliantly realized and utterly riveting depiction of a world gripped by madness, one that is vivid, strange, and profoundly moving.
Actual Rating 3.5
*I received this book from Blogging For Books for this review*
One thing is for sure, I will never ever take sleep for granted. I love to be able to get into the state of rest, even if I have bad dreams. I suffered from a bit of insomnia while my mom was sick, and a little after she died. I just don’t know how people who have it constantly, do it. And this form of insomnia in the book, is quite freaking scary. What if this happened for real? This freaks me out more than a zombie apocalypse.
This book is full of violence and I’m not even sure that some people can even read it. It’s focus is on what a body without lack of sleep goes through. The hallucinations, muddled speech patterns, irritability and viciousness of the sleep deprived people, make for a great take on the dystopian genre. Killing anyone who is still able to sleep and turning the world into pandemonium, seems like a great objective to lean towards. However, my problem is the way that the author ended this book.
In introducing these survivors into this chaotic world, the author left loose ends everywhere. There was no resolution to about 40% of the circumstances that he brought forth with these characters. What happened to them? Did they live? Die? Happily ever after? Find what they seek? Or succumb to the insomnia before it all ended? These are things that every reader takes into account when there are characters brought forth into such a devastating world. You can’t give us all of these plot points and not follow through without closure. The book is written beautifully, even with the violence in the forefront. I’d say that the world building and processing were spot on, but if there’s no rhyme or reason to the characters who play a role in it, then that kills everything else.
A good take on this genre, but I need more. I was left feeling disappointed because this book could have been great. Recommend? I can say yes and no. Simply because there’s something that I think everyone who reads this genre will love. And there’s a part of me that wants to say no, because of how the author chose to end it all. I’d need a second book to see if this is just not what the author intended to do. Character development is the key to enjoying this book, but I don’t see how one could really get around the lack of purpose the author gives the characters.