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Profile for Laila Murphy > Reviews

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Content by Laila Murphy
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Laila Murphy

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Can't Keep a Dead Man Down - 2014 ABNA Entry
Can't Keep a Dead Man Down - 2014 ABNA Entry

4.0 out of 5 stars A good beginning, 3 Jun. 2014
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This story has a promising start. The main character was interesting and I am keen to read on and find out how the story develops.

A Long, Long Sleep
A Long, Long Sleep
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great YA sci-fi for all ages, 8 Jan. 2013
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YA sci-fi is a genre on the rise, which is a great thing. I've also noticed a trend emerging within the genre - authors blending fairy tales with science fiction. It's a fascinating idea.

A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan can be summed up as Sleeping Beauty in space. The main character, sixteen year old Rose, wakes from stasis, an artificial sleep, after sixty two years. Everyone she knows is dead and the world completely changed.
We follow Rose and she tries to make sense of her life. She's the sole heir to her parents' interplanetary company UniCorp, she misses her long gone boyfriend Xavier whom she feels like she saw only yesterday (which technically, she did), struggles with her new crush and has to dodge an assassin.

Though there is plenty of teen angst as you would expect to find in a YA novel, the story thankfully isn't bogged down with whining. True, there's a lot of Rose trying to fit in in school and about her crush on the `prince' whose kiss awoke her - brilliantly done in the opening chapter.

The secondary characters are well drawn and three dimensional. Bren, her `rescuer' and handsome prince, Xavier, the true love she can't forget, Guillory the smarmy is-he-or-isn't-he-a-villain and Otto the friend she connects with, in a truly original way.

Sheehan's vision of the future was believable and imaginative, particularly the technology. I can just imagine tablet computers evolving into the holographic notescreens Rose and her friends use and cars becoming like hovercraft. There wasn't too much `world-building' at first - you just get thrown into the story - but details come trickling over the pages without overloading the reader with information.

One grip - the novel is written in the first person but there are moments when the narrative shifts to the assassin's third person perspective. I've never encountered this way of mashing the two in a single book before and I'm still not sure how I feel about it. On the whole, I think Sheehan gets away with it.

There's so much to enjoy in this book. This is a fairy tale without the typical fairytale happy ending. The revelations at the end, involving her parents are amazing. The deeper theme of parental abuse raised this book well above average for me.

The cover is very pretty and bland like a thousand others but don't let that put you off. This is a great read that I devoured on my Kindle during a long coach ride over the Christmas holidays. I highly recommend it.

Land of Midnight Days (The Silver Flute Trilogy Book 1)
Land of Midnight Days (The Silver Flute Trilogy Book 1)
Price: £0.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great YA fiction, 20 Aug. 2012
This is a dystopian YA fiction, a genre which has been on the rise since the success of the The Hunger Games. The story here is original and there are plenty of interesting characters involved in an alternative world. Even if you wouldn't normally read YA fiction, this is worth a go!

Broken - 3 short stories
Broken - 3 short stories
Price: £1.91

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great anthology, 14 April 2012
A well written collection of stories set in Merseyside. Each story is about 1500 words long which I think is a good length. I would recommend this collection if you like hard-hitting stories about real people. As a Scouser I like to read works by local authors and I would definitely read more of Cath Bore's fiction.

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