Paranormal Young Adult
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Charlotte Westing has a gift. She is an Oracle and has the ability to tell the future. But it doesn't do her much good. Instead of using their miraculous power, modern-day Oracles are told to fight their visions—to refrain from interfering. And Charlotte knows the price of breaking the rules. She sees it every day in her wheelchair-bound mother and the absence of her father. But when a premonition of a classmate's death is too strong for her to ignore, Charlotte is forced to make an impossible decision: continue following the rules or risk everything—even her sanity—to stop the serial killer who is stalking her town.
Sleep No More is a dark and violent murder mystery with a paranormal twist, the visions that plague Charlotte as an Oracle ensuring (aptly per the title) sleep is as difficult to find for us as it is for her. For those readers who don’t handle gore or horror well, the descriptions of the various murders are detailed without being obscene–leaving our minds to fill in the blanks with information that’s most likely far more gruesome–and we find ourselves all the more horrifyingly engaged as a result. The fact that Charolotte is an Oracle and not simply psychic is an intriguing twist, the history of Oracles and their changing role from ancient times to present day hinted at without being fully explored, but where that might typically be frustrating, Ms. Pike balances the known and unknown perfectly to make sure we reach the last page both satisfied and yet still infinitely curious.
Charlotte is a loner thanks to the inconvenient timing of her visions and the fact that they render her immobile and unaware of anything around her for the few minutes she lives them, earning her a reputation that keeps friends largely at bay. Her loneliness, combined with the terror we feel when we see what she sees, reaches out and grabs us from the beginning, turning us from passive observers into active participants as we become one of the few very few people who know what she’s going through. Though Charlotte is guilty of the all-too common heroine-keeps-secrets-rather-than-telling-those-around-her-what’s-going-on habit, the fact that so much about her and her role as an Oracle is being deliberately kept from her by her aunt Sierra makes her decision to not entirely open up an understandable one.
The romance in Sleep No More is at first glance one that seems as though it’s going to play out in familiar fashion, Charlotte’s long time unrequited love for Linden making us root for the slow progression of their relationship every step of the way. Ms. Pike takes the path less traveled when the Charlotte/Linden romance reaches its fork in the road however, and we can’t help but appreciate her decision (as well as Charlotte and Linden’s) to do the unexpected. Their relationship is a subtle one though, the murders and the increasing forcefulness of Charlotte’s visions staying firmly front and center, but their moments together show us facets of Charlotte's character we both respect and admire given she proves just how much of a level head she has even when the boy she’s loved for a good part of her life finally shows interest.
Overall, Sleep No More is a page turner in every sense, keeping us on edge as the length of time between Charlotte’s visions and the reality of them dwindles with increasing speed, and robbing us of breath as we wonder when she’s going to run out of time to make the difference between life and death. We’re left with the murderer caught and punished and his reasoning made clear, but the aforementioned questions as to the role of Oracles and the mysterious Sisters of Delphi remain a bit more open-ended, room for further exploration a definite possibility but yet we’re also perfectly content when we close the back cover should Ms. Pike keep this novel a stand-alone.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.