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4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic That Needs To Be Reprinted, 30 Nov 2002
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Slaves of Sleep (Paperback)
L. Ron Hubbard was truly an unusual man, and he was just as truly a fantastic writer of science fiction and fantasy. It is unfortunate that great books such as this one, by one of the preeminent authors in the field, can be so hard to come by these days. Slaves of Sleep is a brilliant takeoff on the mystery of sleep and the age-old question of where we "go" while we are sleeping. Jan Palmer is a meek, bookish sort who finds himself in the unfortunate circumstance of crossing paths with a jinn, a demonic genie of lore. The jinn, having been trapped in a jar for thousands of years, takes out his frustration on the maniacal doctor who breaks the seal, then invokes the curse of "eternal wakefulness" on poor Jan. Our mild-mannered protagonist finds himself charged with murder, and then--when things could not seem to get worse--finds himself in another world in another body at the exact moment he falls asleep. As he comes to grips with the dual nature of his soul, he shifts back and forth between the two worlds, and he gradually learns to meld the best qualities of the two. His other self is a renegade pirate in a world run by the jinn with the help of human slaves. These slaves are not supposed to know about their dual existence in the real world, and Jan thus becomes a threat to the jinn in this other realm. Using the wit of his real self and the cunning of his other self, he is able to get his hands on the powerful talisman known as the Seal of Sulayman; this gives him a secret weapon to use in his struggles to save himself from imprisonment and death in two worlds.
While this was a leisurely, enjoyable book, I must say that I was not totally satisfied with the ending--somehow it seemed too abrupt. The resolution took place almost wholly in the dream world, which disappointed me because the most compelling facet of the story for me was the strange love story between Jan and his assistant. The only thing that sort of annoyed me was Hubbard's seeming delight in using nautical terms to describe the pirate boats that are a mainstay throughout the story, but this is just quibbling on my part. The unfamiliar terms slow you down a little bit at times, but the action maintains a steady pace from beginning to end.
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Slaves of Sleep
Slaves of Sleep by Hubbard L Ron (Paperback - 1967)
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