(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)
Once upon a time, Ruby believed in magic…
When Ruby volunteers to take her mother’s housecleaning shift at the gothic Cottingley Heights mansion, she thinks it’s going to be business as usual. Clean out the fridge, scrub toilets, nothing too unusual. But nothing could prepare her for the decadent squalor she finds within. Rich people with more money than sense trashing their beautiful clothes and home just because they can. After the handsome Tam discovers her cleaning up after him and his rich friends, Ruby has never felt more like a character from her sister’s book of fairy tales.
Tam sees beyond Ruby’s job and ratty clothes, and sweeps her off her feet, treating her like a real princess, but Ruby is sure this beautiful boy is too good to be true. And as one tragedy after another befalls Ruby and her family, Ruby painfully learns that magic is all too real, and it always comes with a price.
[Full disclosure: I received a free ARC ebook through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]
I decided to request Slumber through NetGalley despite my misgivings about it being a typical Cinderella fairytale romance where fairies are only said to be vicious but are actually pretty tame. Boy, was I wrong.
Tamara Blake’s fairies go back to the roots of their legends and are really, truly vicious bordering on sadistic. Well, maybe passing into sadistic quite frequently rather than just bordering on it. They live a spoiled party life and have exactly zero morals or qualms about treating humans like dirt for their own amusement. It doesn’t take Ruby long to figure this out and although she slips down to their level a couple of times she actually comes out of the story with her human values intact. Trust me, considering she lived with the fae in Cottingley for a while, that is an enormous accomplishment.
Ruby was an awesome narrator. She falls in love with Tam slowly but never, ever puts her love for him ahead of her family. When her family gets in trouble and she learns that living with him at Cottingley is her only choice, she does. And although she loses sight of her goal through something not entirely her own fault, she remains loyal to her family in the end. As I said, she still retains her values by the end and I was incredibly impressed with that. So many narrators in YA books lose sight of their old lives when they’re swept up into a magical world of parties and riches, but not Ruby! She was truly amazing and carried the story on her shoulders.
At the same time the plot was actually quite fast-paced without leaving out character development. There is no sort of middle bloat as the middle is actually where Ruby discovers that she’s the cause of her mother’s illness and that there’s only one way to save her life. And just when you think things have settled down at the end, Tamara Blake threw a huge twist into the happy ending that leaves me with no doubt there’s a sequel coming. Tam and Ruby’s story isn’t finished and I can’t wait for the sequel, even though Slumber was technically just published three days ago.
I give this book 5/5 stars.
*Only available as an ebook.