Slumber by Samantha Young
Series: The Fade #1
Published by Indie
Published on: May 17 2011
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult
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Molded by a tragic childhood, nineteen-year-old Rogan finds it extremely difficult to trust people. Now Haydyn, her best friend and the one person she does trust, is dying and only Rogan can save her.
Setting off on a journey to retrieve the plant that will cure Haydyn and subsequently the ills that will befall them all if she dies, Rogan is stuck in close quarters with a protector she distrusts above all others.
The son of the man who destroyed Rogan’s family.
At a constant battle of wills with the handsome Captain of the Guard, Rogan just knows this adventure together will be fraught with tension. She never imagined, however, that the quest would be so dangerous… not least of all when she finds herself falling for a man she could have sworn was her no.1 enemy…
(New Adult, Fantasy Romance: recommended for ages 17+ contains mature situations and some strong language)
Slumber by Samantha Young has one of the best first lines I’ve ever read:
“When I was a child the world smelled of summer.”
It’s nostalgic. It’s foreboding. If the world still smelled of summer, of bright things, of happy things, there would be no need to remember what life was like when you were young . . .
Rogan comes from a magical people much like the Fae. They removed themselves from the human world millennia ago after creating a new world—Phaedra. Among her people are the Dyzvati who fill those around them with peace while draining all negative emotions. There are the Glava who have myriad magical gifts, including, but not limited to power over the elements, foretelling and intuition, and telekinesis. Then there are the Azyl who, like Rogan, can be asked to find a thing, anything in the world, and their magic will lead them to it.
Over time magic has begun die out, until only the princess of the Realm, Haydyn, is left of the Dyzvati, who are responsible for keeping the world at peace (or emotionally lobotomized depending on how you look at it). The use of a Dyzvati’s magic is called the Evocation, and while it is weakened after the death of the Kral (Haydyn’s father), an evil man, Syracen Stovia, free to pursue his vices for the first time, seeks out other magic users in the realm. Syracen does this under the guise of securing stability for the young princess, but his method is by indiscriminately slaughtering any who stand in his way . . . including Rogan’s family.
Fast forward eight years, and a now nineteen year old Rogan is the “Handmaiden of Pheadra,” thus named by Haydyn (her BFF). Syracen has been brought to justice years ago (and by “brought to justice” I mean EXECUTED, and good riddance), and Wolfe, Syracen’s son, is captain of the guard.
Rogan hates Wolfe.
But when Haydyn contracts the Somna virus, a rare disease in which the victim falls asleep and never wakes (Ohhhhh, the iiiiironnyyy), Rogan demands that someone, anyone (except for Wolfe) command her to find the cure (the believed-to-be-extinct Somna plant), enabling her magic to find it, if it exists.
It does exist, at the mythical Pool of Pheadra, and Rogan is commanded by Haydyn’s advisers to allow Wolfe and 50 of his guard to accompany her on the journey.
Rogan is furious. Because she H-A-T-E-S Wolfe.
And thus begins the best paranormal romance/fantasy book I. Have. Ever. Read.
Slumber wasn’t the first Samantha Young book that I read, but it is my favorite. I looked it up in my Amazon history and over several weeks, I purchased and read every single book she had available. I’ve done that with several indie authors—Kristen Ashley (and that took a while), R.L. Mathewson, and Elizabeth Hunter to name a few—but Samantha Young was the very first.
I remember reading the teaser chapters on her blog for On Dublin Street, and I remember the first time I saw that same book sitting on a shelf in Target. Samantha Young, an independent writer from SCOTLAND, had her book for sale in one of American’s biggest discount retailers<—–THE FEELS.
The point is that I have a special place on the bookshelf of my heart for Samantha Young, and this book is IMO her best. Rogan is the perfect, prickly, know-it-all-who-painfully-learns-she-doesn’t-know-it-all-BUT-is-big-enough-to-admit-it heroine. Wolfe is a leader of the pack (heh) on my the-book-boy-is-mine list. I love the secondary characters, I love the relationship development, I love the individual character growth, I love, love, L-O-V-E the story.
So if you liked Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Cinda Willaims Chima’s Seven Realms series, or Kristen Ashley’s Fantasyland series, I order you to immediately purchase and devour this book in one sitting. Then you can be hooked on Samantha Young too.
And if you haven’t read any of those books, but you like Fantasy and/or Paranormal Romance, I highly recommend you give Slumber a go. It’s a perfect blend of both genres, and as indie books are notoriously cheap (this one is like a dollar), even if (youaredeadinside) you don’t like it, you won’t have to regret spending a bunch of your book allowance on a book you didn’t like. The potential gains FAR outweigh the potential losses (IM humble O).
I really enjoyed On Dublin Street, my first book by Samantha Young, I’m glad this is a good one too that happens to be already on audio YAY! Thank you, I will be adding it to my wish list. I need to listen to Dublin Street # 2, but I’ll be moving this one up closer to the top.
Thanks for reviewing! You got me 🙂
I like this cover so much more than the one on the audiobook, I think this cover would have made me add it right away to my list.
Yeah, I loved On Dublin Street too (and how amazing is it that that was her very first non-paranormal book—girl can write 😉 ).
And YAY!! I really hope you like it. This is the cover it had when I read it the first time, so I’m partial to it myself. You’re right—the new one is meh.
I know the author by name, and I think we even have some of her books in French but I confess I haven’t read any but I heard great things about them. I didn’t know this one though, so I’m surprised! But I just love the cover. You made me curious about the characters and the new ideas we can find here, I’ll have to keep an eye for this one. Thanks Jessica!
Yes, it’s a beautiful cover. And I’ve never even thought about how difficult it would be to get indie books in a foreign language. The On Dublin Street books (NA Romance) aren’t indies, but everything else that Young’s written so far is. Hmm . . . maybe one day 😉
Honestly, I LOVE the amazeballs one, lol
Me too, LOL.
Wow, Jessica, way to talk me into reading a book! I have seen this author’s novels floating around the blogosphere and was interested, but honestly never paid that much attention to them until now. I REALLY liked the first line of the book that you quoted, though (thanks for that!), and the comparison to SHADOW AND BONE is pretty tempting. Anything that makes you grin that big has got to be fun, too!
Wendy @ The Midnight Garden
Excellent! I know you have multitudes of to-be-read books, but I hope you get the chance to work this one in. I’ve read it three times (at least), and every time I start it again, I have to take a moment and just absorb that first line. I’m glad you liked it too!
aaand it’s not even 9 am and I am buying books! Wonderful review Jessica. I look forward to diving into this world 🙂 It sounds like it has a lot of elements I love and your descriptions sold it.
WOOT! Mission accomplished, and thank you 🙂 I hope you love it.
Hi Jessica, thanks for this review. Samantha Young is coming to the love letter convention in Berlin, Germany, in may, and I do want to read some of her work first. I have zero interest in her NA books, but this one may be for me.
How fun! Slumber would be a great place to start b/c it’s a stand-alone, so you wouldn’t get bogged down in a series before deciding whether or not you like her. If you DO like her, she has three other paranormal series—Fire Spirits is about Djinn, Warriors of Ankh is Egyptian mythology based, and Lunarmorte which is mostly about werewolves, but has an element of most supernatural creatures. And now you have been subjected to my overzealous enthusiasm 😉
Okay, yeah, that first line is awesome! I’ve seen a lot of Young’s books around Goodreads and such but personally never read anything by her yet. And your “if you enjoyed Shadow and Bone..” totally hooked me, I’ve got to read this one.
Yeah, Slumber has that same darker fantasy/save-the-world feel that I got from Shadow and Bone. And HOORAY for being hooked LOL. You’ll have to let me know what you think about it 🙂
So could this be a different kind of re-telling of Sleeping Beauty, Jessica? The world sounds really good, I love magic, and I love fae-like creatures as well. And hey, does Rogan really hate Wolfe, or is there something more to their relationship?
Great review! Thanks for sharing 🙂
While Slumber does have an overall fairy tale feel to it, it’s not really a re-telling of Sleeping Beauty. Haydyn sleeps b/c she’s sick, and she wakes up when she’s given the cure. She’s also a secondary character—the story is really about Rogan and Wolfe, and YES there is definitely something more to their relationship 😉