Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Sleeper by J.D. Fennell @jd_fennell #Review #QandA #BlogTour @DomePress

I am delighted to be involved in the blog tour for Sleeper by J.D. Fennell. Today I have my review to share and also a little Q&A that J.D.Fennell kindly agreed to take part in. 

First of all though let's take a look at the description for the book...

About the book

Sixteen-year-old Will Starling is pulled from the sea with no memory of his past. In his blazer is a strange notebook with a bullet lodged inside: a bullet meant for him. As London prepares for the Blitz, Will soon finds himself pursued by vicious agents and a ruthless killer known as the Pastor. All of them want Will's notebook and will do anything to get it. As Will's memory starts to return, he realises he is no ordinary sixteen-year old. He has skills that make him a match for any assassin. But there is something else. At his core is a deep-rooted rage that he cannot explain. Where is his family and why has no one reported him missing?Fighting for survival with the help of Mi5 agent-in-training, Anna Wilder, Will follows leads across London in a race against time to find the Stones of Fire before the next air raid makes a direct hit and destroys London forever.

Book Links

Q&A with J.D. Fennell

What did you enjoy most about writing Sleeper?

I loved being immersed in Will’s troubled character and fractured memory as he battles do the right thing, while ultimately trying to understand who he is. The time and location were a massive appeal - London during the Blitz was a terrifying period and a perfect backdrop to Will’s dysfunctional world. I could see it all as I wrote it, as if I was sitting in an IMAX theatre and typing up what was happening before my eyes.

What is your favourite personality trait of your main character?

His courage. Will is one of those extraordinary young people who has been through so much yet carries on at whatever cost to himself. I put him through hell, and more hell, and even more hell. I still feel guilty about it. However, despite all that, he has an unshakeable drive, an ultimate goal that he must achieve. No spoilers, in case readers have not read the book.

Do you have a specific place where you write?

I invested in a lovely desk a few years back, however, it faces a wall in my living room and I find it hard to write with a wall in my face. It feels like a barrier blocking any type of creative thought. So now, I write in the kitchen, sitting at the kitchen table, overlooking the garden. It is south facing, which means there is a lot of light in the mornings.

 Do you have any strange writing habits?

There is a downside to writing in the kitchen. If it is untidy, I cannot work. I clean everything up and then start writing. In my head it feels like I am clearing a path to my desk and laptop. Odd, I know.

Can you choose three words that best describe your personality? 

Passionate. Funny (I hope). Calm.

If your were stranded on a desert island what three books would you want with you?

They would have to be weighty tomes: 1. 
Lord of the Rings - unbeatable fantasy that would transport me back to middle-earth and invoke my teenage years when I read this several times. 2. Pillars of the Earth - because the story is so amazing and I love the characters of Aliena, Jack and Philip. 3. The Complete Works of Shakespeare - because there is every type of story that would keep me entertained until a luxury yacht, fully stocked with champagne and all my favourite foods, rescued me.

Is there a book that you wish you could have written?

There are many, however, I am going to choose 
The Silence of the Lambs. Thomas Harris is one of my favourite authors and this book is such a perfect thriller. His writing is precise and so in-the-moment that you cannot help but read on. Hannibal Lecter is one of fiction’s most satisfying villains and Clarice Starling is a smart and resilient heroine. Trivia: I gave Will Clarice’s surname in her honour.

What was the last book you read?

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet. I don’t usually read historical novels, however, my partner has been pushing me to read this for sometime. When I picked it up, I could not put it down. Follet hooks you into the world of Aliena, Jack and Philip and makes it very difficult for you to leave it. Brilliant!

Are you working on anything at the moment? 

I am working on the follow up to Sleeper.

Now onto some Quick Fire Questions where you can only pick one answer...
(answers in bold)

Paperback or eBook 

Classic novel or Contemporary novel 

Cinema or Theatre 

Crisps or Chocolate 

Night out or Day out 

Thank you so much to J.D. Fennell for taking part in the Q&A!

My Review

I have to admit I am always slightly drawn to books set in the past I really enjoyed history at school and to be honest nothing has changed now I am in my *whispers* thirties. So with that in mind as soon as I saw the description for Sleeper I knew I had to read it!

The first couple of chapters are action packed and I was definitely thrown straight into the story. It was a great introduction to Will and his very dangerous life. Many questions are brought up regarding Will's past and it made things all the more interesting that Will has lost his memory. Due to the memory loss that Will has I felt that I got a more tense experience. There was plenty of mystery surrounding Will and I was eager to discover all about Will and his life. He is a strong, resilient and an overall truly likeable character. The question is can Will trust anyone or is he all on his own?

I thought the setting was great as you have the added tension of the events taking place during the Blitz. With lots of action and plenty of adventure this book is sure to keep your interest just as it did mine. I loved how completely I was drawn into the story as Will and Anna put all the clues and information together to find the Stones of Fire. It was so easy to become hooked and I honestly didn't want to put this book down meaning I finished this book easily in two days. Fast paced with a very interesting plot it felt like I was right there with Will. I loved the twists and turns of this book as I was kept on my toes throughout and the addition of the Stones of Fire brought a whole new intriguing layer to the story.

Another thing to mention is the villains in Sleeper as they are equally interesting and ruthless characters. Even though this is a YA crossover I was just as engrossed reading this book as I would have been reading a typical thriller. The best thing about Sleeper is that there is a great mix of mystery, thriller and adventure all rolled into one and it works so very well! A very promising start to the series, I am already looking forward to the next book.

Intrigue & mystery with a character that you will be rooting for!

With many thanks to Dome Press, J.D. Fennell for my copy of the book & also to Anne Cater for the information regarding the blog tour. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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