Authors XP, Book Review, Dystopian, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Series, Urban, YA Fiction

Sleeper (The Waking Sleep #1) by Lucy Adler

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In The Great City of Progress, miracle-drug Sendrax has nearly eradicated the need for sleep. 

The future is bright, and productivity has never been more highly valued…

So why is it that all 16-year-old Daria Grayson feels like doing is taking a nap?

She wasn’t always this way. She used to be an overachiever. Perfect grades, star of the track team. Now, she’s the school’s running joke – figuratively and literally.

Of course, more than anything, Daria just wants to be normal. So when her parents have her hauled off to the Caxton-Meyers Institute for rehabilitation, she gets over her outrage pretty quickly. If they can ‘fix’ her, why not go along with it?

That is, until she discovers that things at the CMI aren’t exactly as they seem.

A darkness is rising behind the shining lights of Progress.

And the last thing it wants… is for Daria to fall asleep.


In addition to a fantastically eye-catching cover, this books gives a new meaning to “catching your zzzzz’s”.

Daria “Dasha” Grayson is tired. Tired of being bullied by peers and teachers. Tired of trying to be the best for her overbearing father. And tired physically even though she sleeps the required 45 minutes each day and takes more than the recommended daily dose of government approved pills. After all, sleep is the enemy.

I commend Daria on her perseverance in her struggle to do better even though everyone is so unsupportive except for her best friend, Brix, and friend and long-time crush, Jake. And even when she discovers she is not who she thinks she is, her determination to overcome is inspiring to witness considering she has to learn her “new gift” much faster than everyone else because lives are at stake.

I always enjoy a dynamic character who rises from maltreatment and becomes a champion for her friends and for an oppressed society.  Daria is this character and along with her loyal friends, Brix and Jake, and her new friends, Corey, Max, Aury and Julia, it is a thrilling uphill battle full of danger and menace.

Also, I found a kinship with Daria. I need my 8 hours of sleep and my four food groups to function properly as well. 🙂 

Even though there was some confusion about present day versus past in the novel, this is a slow-building and exciting YA fantasy with impassioned characters and thrilling action. A promising start to a new fantasy series.  If you like YA fantasy with action and adventure, give this book a try. 

Thank you to Ms. Adler for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.



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I’m not sure where she comes from, or where she goes. All I know is that I often open my laptop and find whole books already written – exciting stories about interesting characters I’ve never heard of before. And there, at the end, the same line always appears: “by Lucy Adler.” If I ever meet her someday, I’ll thank her.

Follow Lucy Adler on her website, Bookbub, Goodreads, Facebook, and Instagram.