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The Long Sleep Kindle Edition
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|Length: 182 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
This isn't a spoiler, because it's in the description.
Back on Earth, we're presented with a dystopian future where the world is run by the Executive Council. Lize Carr, the youngest member of the Council (and step-daughter to the man in charge of it all) wants an investigation into the sabotage of the colony ship, but she's stymied at every turn. Instead, she enlists the help of private detective Kem Logan to figure out what happened.
For the first third-to-half of the novel, you'd be forgiven for thinking that this was sort of a moderately-paced detective yarn set in the future for no discernible reason. My biggest concern with The Long Sleep is that the initial investigation seems so routine that I'm worried that some readers might put it down before the twist happens.
Don't do that.
For spoilery reasons, I won't go into exactly what the moment was when I realized that this was not the detective novel I thought it was. Instead, it's a science-fictional examination of human psychology wrapped in a detective novel. I won't go into exactly what aspects of psychology are covered (because it's spoileriffic) but just to say that once that twist happens, The Long Sleep suddenly finds its feet and rockets toward a fascinating (and satisfying) ending.
If you enjoy reading science fiction for reasons more than spaceships and lasers (which are more than enough for anyone, am I right?), if you're the type of reader who loves to see characters and worlds react to technology and power far beyond our current grasp and to explore the dark sides of technology while still being entertained by a pretty solid noir detective yarn, you really should read The Long Sleep. Don't let the first few chapters fool you. This is a truly fascinating story.
On the technical side, I found that the book was very cleanly edited (with only a few minor typos throughout). The prose was very readable and rarely distracting.
When I read a book, I look for it to surprise me. I want to be truly taken aback by the turn of events, because frankly, I've become a little jaded when it comes to fiction. I've begun to be able to see through the veneer of formula and trope, and I don't like to be bored. The Long Sleep was genuinely surprising, and for that I must congratulate Mr. Mellor on a job well done.
The only thing that kept this book from reaching five stars was that I felt the opening chapters could have used something -- and to be honest, I'm not sure exactly what -- to draw the reader more deeply into the mystery before the defining moment occurs. That aside, this is a truly entertaining read with a twist you'll never see coming.
(Note: Because Amazon does not allow half-star ratings, this 4.5 star review was rounded up to 5 stars.)
For sci-fi fans, there are many classic genre conventions to be found: colony ships, arcologies, artificial intelligence, holographic avatars, neural jacks and virtual reality. But these are handled without resorting to impenetrable technobabble, and are presented with such a deft touch that you quickly accept them as just a part of the world in which you're being immersed.
As for the detective side of things, Kem Logan is a classic private dick in the Chandler mode, right down to the sassy, drop dead gorgeous secretary (even if she does happen to be an AI). More importantly though, Mellor doesn't fall into the trap of thinking that "hard-boiled" or "noir" necessarily has to equal a hostile and unpleasant protagonist. If anything, the central characters of "The Long Sleep" are nuanced, believable and likeable. Apart from the villains of the piece, obviously -- those characters are just as twisted and irredeemable as you would want them to be.
The plot is engaging and contains some great twists, working in genuinely unexpected plot elements (themes of gender identity playing a surprising part in the story). Perhaps most significantly, the writer's style is engaging, making this one of those books where you always want to read just one more chapter to find out what happens next.
An enjoyable read with a highly satisfactory denouement and conclusion, "The Long Sleep" tells a tight, compelling story and is an excellent addition to the field of sci-fi/crime novels.
A great Sci-fi/detective/thriller, with a twist in Ch 18 that puts the story way above most books of this genre.
Very good indeed. Recommended - to anyone, not just to Sci-fi readers.
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