My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to the author Megg Jensen and the publisher, DarkSide Publishing.
In the world of Sleepers, the first book in The Swarm Trilogy by Megg Jensen, there are people with fiery red hair, piercing blue eyes and magic and on the other hand there’s… the not-so-cool average folk. For years, there has been tension between the Fithians and the Dalagan – the Fithians being your average human folk and the Dalagan being a magical group of people who were conquered by the aforementioned. Lianne, a Dalagan adoptee and personal handmaiden to the Queen of Fithian, gets her world turned upside down when she turns sixteen and discovers that she is capable of the magic of her people. When the Queen gets accused of treason and is sent to the dungeons to await her execution, Lianne, enraged and capable to fight, has to make life-changing decisions to help save her dear royal friend.
Like so many other books that I’ve read recently, I was drawn to this book because of the cover. Say what you will, but if a book’s cover is not enticing, it’s easier to skip over. The bright red in this cover was enough for me to be interested, and once I’d read the synopsis, I requested the book. In general it was very enjoyable, I liked it a lot and it was a relatively quick read. The storyline did not plummet down to boring moments, which I was really happy about. It sort of progressed very quickly, there was no moment to catch your breath because something was always happening and I can appreciate that in books if it is done well.
The main character, Lianne, was a good main in my opinion. Although, because I am getting a bit older, I am having a harder time connecting to fifteen/sixteen year old characters, her reactions were usually believable and didn’t bother me. She did have a momentary case of “look at how plain I am” syndrome, which apparently is very popular in YA books nowadays. Female characters seem to spend an irrecoverable amount of time comparing themselves to other, “prettier, curvier, smarter” ladies and it’s a shame. Thankfully I only picked up on something like that once or twice throughout the entire book, so it wasn’t too annoying.
Where there are pretty special ladies, there are pretty special men – the two gentlemen in this book were Kellan and Bryden. Kellan is introduced as Lianne’s boyfriend who is also Dalagan. Together with Bryden, the three of them are all Dalagan adoptees. Bryden and his family had an unfortunate accident when Bryden was five, and as a result has a permanent leg injury that keeps him from doing many things. After the accident, Bryden and Lianne – previously good friends – grow apart and Lianne never understood why. I enjoyed the dynamics between the three, though I did grow to dislike Kellan very quickly (and I do mean this very quickly, it might’ve taken me fifty pages or so).
There was a lot of kissing and making out and that could’ve been limited a bit. I really don’t mind reading about steamy make outs, but if the main character visits the other and my first response is, “Please have a conversation and don’t make out this time”, that says quite a bit. I didn’t pick up on any grammar errors or anything like that, which is always a plus, but there was a line that got repeated several times in a short amount of time. It was something along the lines of, “There was still so much I needed to learn/didn’t know.” I came across it about three or four times in a short time span, so that was a little bothersome towards the end.
The side characters were all pretty okay, I wasn’t bothered by any of them (not even by the ‘evil’ ones) so that was all well done. I did feel like the story progressed a little fast towards the end, so I would’ve preferred the book to be a little longer in order to get that rushing feeling out of the ending.
Like I said, I really enjoyed Sleepers and I will be moving on to read the sequels (and prequels?!) if I can manage to get my hands on them. 4 out of 5 stars for Megg Jensen’s Sleepers, a fantasy story about magic, a war based on confusion and lies and the colour red – be it the colour of someone’s hair or the colour of blood.