Sleeper(s)

Sleeper(s) - Paul Kane, David Moody, Joe (Crystal Lake) Mynhardt Sleeper(s) has a sweet blurb, a great opening, much with the creepy-assed ‘here be monsters’ feeling town, and a solid threat against life on Earth.  It moved fast, it ratcheted up the threat level, and demanded your attention for all 184 pages. It’s also nicely copy-edited and proofread, and has a neat cover to boot.

Even with the fact that I pretty much loathed all the characters except for two (neither being the main), I was still interested in the story. The main character, Andrew Strauss, made me want to punch him in the face. That, or hire someone to give him the Wedgie from Hell every single day of his existence, and once more before he was buried. I understand why he was written the way he was, and it just goes to illustrate to me that I was never meant to have a Prince Charming, because I’d have decked the guy before three days were through.

The way Paul Kane described everything that happened in Middletown was fantastic. It had some serious Silent Hill vibe-age going on. I’m pretty sure the first time the infection showed it power, I would have screamed, pissed myself, and ran off like the half-naked chick in the opening scenes of a slasher flick. The man can set a scene like you wouldn’t believe. Sweet baby Cthulhu. Too bad this was a fairy-tale retelling instead of a straight-out horror tale. Because as straight up horror, not bowing to the rules of fairy-tale, I would have liked it a lot more.

For most of the story, Sleeper(s) is a fantastically twisted fairy-tale re-imagining. In fact, it’s too easy to forget at times that this is a Sleeping Beauty re-telling. As a reader being guided along the plot by Kane, you can’t help but expect the feces to hit the fan in a grand fashion. Until he reminds you, abruptly, that it is a fairy-tale retelling. And then all your hopes and dreams for the story seep out of you in the painful imitation of the morning visit to the loo after a Taco Bell and beer binge. Okay, so it wasn’t quite that bad, but there was disappointment to be had!

There was a lot about Sleeper(s) to like. I think it’s admirable that Paul Kane managed to keep me interested enough to read the whole book even with his cast of thoroughly irritating characters. And it’s a short, quick read that you could pick up over a week’s worth of lunches at work. However, my blackened, shrunken little heart just isn’t meant for fairy-tale retellings. And I’m a grouch about epilogues in general, so the end of the book took a lot of the enjoyment out of it for me. It’s not for everyone, though, and I’m unfortunately one of them.