Thursday, July 11, 2013

Review: Slumber, by Tamara Blake


Title: Slumber
Author: Tamara Blake
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pub. date: July 16, 2013 
Once upon a time, Ruby believed in magic…

When Ruby volunteers to take her mother's housecleaning shift at the gothic Cottingley Heights mansion, she thinks it's going to be business as usual. Clean out the fridge, scrub toilets, nothing too unusual. But nothing could prepare her for the decadent squalor she finds within. Rich people with more money than sense trashing their beautiful clothes and home just because they can. After the handsome Tam discovers her cleaning up after him and his rich friends, Ruby has never felt more like a character from her sister’s book of fairy tales.

Tam sees beyond Ruby’s job and ratty clothes, and sweeps her off her feet, treating her like a real princess, but Ruby is sure this beautiful boy is too good to be true. And as one tragedy after another befalls Ruby and her family, Ruby painfully learns that magic is all too real, and it always comes with a price. -Goodeads

I've read quite a few books on the topic of Fae- although this book is different from the others. Whether that’s a good or bad thing, I’m not entirely sure, as my feelings for this book are very mixed.

Slumber is a novel that is categorized as fantasy, and rightfully so. But, I found values in this book strangely reminiscent of a coming-of-age novel, stressing the importance of family, going into the nature of relationships, and displaying the growth of a teen girl.

While I appreciated this, it kind of took away from the fantasy feel of the novel I was looking forward to. I’m not saying I don’t like these kinds of teachings in my novels, I just wish the author handled it better and somehow made a balance between the two. As a chiefly fantasy reader, I was missing that magical feel these types of books tend to have. To be more specific, I was hoping that Ruby would venture into the actual world of the Fae, instead of merely having a glimpse into it.

Which brings me to my next point. The Fae weren’t very developed, and I didn’t learn much about them. The author didn’t exactly delve into this, unfortunately.

The third person POV, I felt, was unsuitable for this novel. I’m used to books with first person POV, and I’m glad for the change, but it didn’t really fit this book very well.

Personally, I wasn’t terrified of Violet. Sure, she was pretty mean, but that’s not the only trait villains have. She’s kind of pathetic and I just couldn’t take her very seriously.

The protagonist, Ruby, is a heroine I greatly admire. She actually uses her brain. She doesn’t easily fall for Tam, is not unbelievably naïve, and actually has a lot of strength. But what I find most interesting about her is her devotion to her family, which I find quite lacking in most other characters in books. At first, I was scared that Ruby would fall head-over-heels for Tam the moment she set eyes on him, but thankfully, that didn’t occur. It was easy to sympathize with her, and I didn’t find that she was too whiny or anything.

At first glance, it may seem like I have many more complaints about this book than likes, but as a whole, Slumber was pretty good. A solid debut, and while I was confused for a majority of the book, it still managed to entertain me. This is perfect for anyone looking for a short, easy fantasy read. In fact, I even think that lovers of contemporary would enjoy this book.

2.5-3 stars


  1. Yeah,I understand why you had mixed feelings for this novel. When I go and pick a fantasy novel, tarts what I want to read. That's what u want that novel o be like. I'd read a coming of age nivel if I wanted to read that, so it's pretty annoying that you didn't get what you were expecting. I prefer first person POVs too! Glad this book wasn't a terrible book, since it's a debut, don't think it would be my sorta thing, but great review! :)

  2. I was thinking about reading this but I did not have the time to read it. But I'm glad you liked it :)
    Great review!