Sunday, February 19, 2012

Novella Review: Never to Sleep by Rachel Vincent

Title: Never to Sleep
Series: Soul Screamers #5.5
Author: Rachel Vincent
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Necromancers, Reapers, Bean-sidhes, Demons
Publisher: Harlequin Books
Format: Kindle Edition eBook
ISBN: 978-1-4268-3414-1
Release Date: January 1, 2012
Source: Purchased on
Rating: 4/5

Tagline(s): Don't Close Your Eyes

Summary: Sophie Cavanaugh is not going to let her freak of a cousin's strange psychiatric condition ruin high school for them both. Not after all the work she's put into cultivating the right look, and friends, and reputation. But then, Sophie sees something so frightening she lets out a blood-curdling scream—and finds herself stuck in a bizarre parallel world where nothing is safe and deadly creatures lurk just out of sight, waiting for her to close her eyes and sleep...forever.

Could this world be real? Or does insanity run in the family...?


I was really excited when I heard about this novella in the Soul Screamers series. Never to Sleep takes place during the If I Die timeline from Sophie's point of view. I'd like readers to note that this review contains spoilers from If I Die. 

Sophie's going about her day a usual--wading through the social hierarchy and political intrigue, while trying to avoid her cousin, Kaylee at all costs--when she meets Luca, a new student. After he literally smacks her with a classroom door (accidentally), he offers to help her carry the dance uniforms back to the gym. They take the long way back to the gym and that's when they happen to come upon Tod and Kaylee's PDA moment and the beginning of the ensuing fight between Tod and Nash. Not wanting to be involved in Kaylee's drama, Sophie leads Luca back the other way and that's when things start to get weird. 

Out of nowhere pops a boy with no irises or pupils in his eyes. Sophie is so terrified she lets out a blood-curdling scream--transporting her and Luca to the Netherworld. 

Now the question I had while reading Never to Sleep was--Is Sophie really a bean sidhe, or, because she's half-bean sidhe, does she only have half the powers of a full-bean sidhe? It seems that Sophie is only able to open a way to the Netherworld when she's really terrified.

I never liked Sophie as a character and I still don't really like her. She showed great strength and intelligence while in the Netherworld, but her ego and arrogance upon returning home overshadowed those qualities. If she had stayed humble I may have changed my mind about her. 

I can't wait to see how Sophie's attitude changes when she finds out the truth and that her tiny little victory in the Netherworld doesn't even compare to all that her cousin, Kaylee, has been through. It'll be interesting to see if her view of Kaylee changes at all in Before I Wake. 

Now Luca, as we find out, isn't exactly normal (no one new who comes to town is ever 100% normal). Turns out he's a necromancer--and not in the raise-the-dead way, but more like he's able to recognize and communicate with the dead. We don't really know if he's a good guy or a bad guy, but it definitely seems like he's got some kind of ulterior motives. I don't think it's such a good idea for Sophie to trust him as much as she seems to at this point. 

Though Never to Sleep didn't change my dislike for Sophie, I did enjoy getting a closer look at things from her POV. I'm looking forward to seeing how it all translates into Before I Wake. 

About this Author:

A resident of San Antonio, Rachel Vincent has a BA in English and an overactive imagination, and consistently finds the latter to be more practical. She shares her workspace with two black cats (Kaci and Nyx) and her # 1 fan. Rachel is older than she looks-seriously-and younger than she feels, but remains convinced that for every day she spends writing, one more day will be added to her lifespan.

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