Title: In Ageless Sleep
Author: Arden Ellis
Series: – –
Genre: F/F Sci-Fi Romance
Available: 12th April
Mal is a spy, a misanthrope, and a coward; growing up in the brutal Reaches has taught her that honor is a quality best left to the dead. Her latest mission: to hijack a cryo-ship carrying the brilliant daughter of the Sovereign King, and deliver her straight into enemy hands.
But when a vital component of the ship’s cryostasis system malfunctions, the only person who can keep the unconscious passengers alive is the woman Mal was sent to kidnap. Alone together on a ship of silent sleepers, Mal must remember that she and Aurora are enemies—or risk them becoming something much more dangerous.
Source: ARC from Less Than Three Press via NetGalley
This is an enjoyable, thoughtful Sleeping Beauty retelling with a bit of Stockholm/Lima Syndrome thrown in for good measure out in the distant reaches of space travel.
It’s a pretty simple tale, focusing mostly on Mal, since everyone else is asleep while she drifts around in her captured spaceship, waiting for the moment when either her own people or the enemy track her down. The only person she interacts with is Aurora/Rory. They’re two very different characters from different sides of the war, yet the longer they spend together, the more they find in common.
It’s a quiet, thoughtful story in which Mal is given far too much time alone to assess everything she knows or has been told, and the doubts that sometimes rise. Mal is instantly likeable, despite her less than positive views of herself, and the choices she makes throughout prove she’s so much more than she thinks she is.
The romance is subtle and slow and the ending is far too abrupt, which is a shame, because this short novella has the potential to grow into something more. As it stands, though, it’s an enjoyable little tale that ponders good, bad and everything in between with an intriguing twist on an old fairytale.
In Ageless Sleep is out April 12th.
Visit Arden Ellis for more details.