Title: Never Sleep
Author: Cady Vance
Release Date: March 15th 2015
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Thora Green had a life once upon a time. But that ended the day her parents enrolled her in a sleep clinic prison. At the facility, her chronic months-long insomnia is observed by scads of doctors, but she is never actually treated for her dire disease. In a feat of desperation, Thora escapes for New York City. Buried deep in the city’s underbelly, there is rumored to be a secret haven called the Insomniac Café: a place where people like Thora can find relief.
As Thora joins forces with Aiden and Florence, two fellow insomniacs, their midnight quest will take them from the dusty bookshelves of The Strand, to the smokey underground clubs in the Lower East Side, to countless taxi and subway rides. Clues leading to their final destination are waiting for them at every turn. But so are Sleepers—a powerful core of sworn-enemies to all Insomniacs—who wish to see Thora and her friends destroyed at any cost.
Insomnia is a very real affliction which can be debilitating and destructive. In Never Sleep, Cady Vance takes us a whole leap further into the world of Chronic Insomniacs, writing at a pace which constantly destabilizes the reader and forces us to share the character’s paranoia and fear.
We soon learn that nothing in Thora’s world is as it seems and as her story unfolds she learns overwhelming truths, not only about her inability to sleep, but her identity too.
Cady Vance builds Thora as a character we want to empathise with. Her and her brother, Odin, conform to the roles of their namesakes; Thora as the fighter and Odin as a protector. Later in the story Thora says, ‘”It’s time for me to be the heroine of my own story, to be less like Sleeping Beauty and more like Mulan“‘, but the reason we want to follow her story is her determination and courage have already got her to this point.
The narrative of Never Sleep is filled with classic dream tropes; chase scenes, being trapped, falling, death, eating food and failing exams. The use of these means that at times we question Thora’s ‘truth’ and that of the clinicians.
I was originally unconvinced by Cady Vance’s choice to incorporate romance into the story and whether it was necessary to the plot. As a character, Lucas is important. He causes mayhem and confusion but is constantly there to assist Thora and her friends. By the time I reached the end of the novel I definitely appreciated the sweetness and comfort of their relationship.
Never Sleep is a gripping novel for readers who enjoy a science-fiction thriller which will keep them on their toes!
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About the Author
Cady Vance is the author of YA and NA speculative fiction. After growing up in small-town Tennessee, she decided to embark on a grand adventure by packing up her bags and moving to NYC. Now, she studies for her PhD in the UK and dreams of seeing the universe.