Blog Tour & Book Review: “Sleeper” by J.D. Fennell

Title: Sleeper

Author: J.D. Fennell

Published: April 28th, 2017

Publisher: The Dome Press

Find the Author: Goodreads 

I received this book for review on my blog! As always, my reviews are fair and unbiased.

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.

First Thoughts

I love a good thriller as much as the next reader, but when it’s a YA Historical/Thriller that sounds like a fast-paced book straight from the movies, Sleeper just got a lot more exciting. I was extremely excited to be asked on the Blog Tour for this awesome book! 


As soon as I start reading Sleeper, we’re delving right into the action. I was intrigued to read such in-depth meets fast paced compulsive reading from a Historical Thriller from the get-go. First we meet Will Starling, our main character. He’s intelligent and memorable, and has been training since he was in his early tween years as an agent of VIPER, an organisation that not only had multi-worldwide facilities and connections, but more power than anyone could comprehend. 

It’s 1941 when we first meet Will in England. He’s been trained for this day, and knows exactly what he had to do: steal a notebook packed with codes among other things, to give to VIPER, commanded to kill anyone that means to stop his mission. But Will is hiding a deadly secret of his own: he’s never going to give it to them. He’s planning a whole other kind of plan with the information within the pages. But before he can do just that, the chase is on. He ends up battling for his life at sea, only to be rescued with a blank slate of the boy he was. He doesn’t know why people are chasing him, who he really is, or why this notebook seems to be the only thing that will help him now.

Just WOW. This book had more turns and twists than I could keep up with. The action was played out comprehensively and effortlessly and I loved that there was a puzzle and mystery within the story lines. Will was an exceptionally memorable character, alike the kind of Mission Impossible and Andy McNab books with white knights and heroes worthwhile of their screen – or book – time. The pace was perfect for the novel and kept me reading until the early hours of the morning, unputdownable. 

Overall, Sleeper is a thrilling and one-of-a-kind novel with an enthralling edge and mystery-driven plot. It had a certain kind of magic that makes a book just work. Even though at times Will’s character made choices that perplexed me (this isn’t a totally bad thing – surprises are good!) I would still rate this as one of the best books of it’s kind in YA. I’m so honoured to have gotten to read this book that I might not have had the chance to if I wasn’t on the tour. Completely amazing!


Guest Post

I got the amazing chance to ask J.D. Fennell a subject to write about for my Blog Tour stop! So, I chose: What YA Characters have stayed with you and why?

This was a difficult call, only because there are so many to choose from. Unless they are villains, we want our YA characters to have drive, depth and courage. Those that spring to mind are Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mallek, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Scout Finch – I could go on.
There are two that really stand out for me; two that made me want to keep returning to their world. They are also, controversially, two young adult characters from adult literature.
Aliena – Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett
Aliena is brought up a lady, the daughter of Earl Bartholomew and sister of Richard, a sulky and lazy boy. When we first meet Aliena, her wit and confidence make her popular with the people of Shiring. On the flipside, these traits alienate her from outsiders, specifically Jack Jackson and the evil William Hamleigh, who consider her rude and spoiled. Aliena is my favourite narrator in a book rich with wonderful characters. She is vocal, confident and brave. Without spoiling the story, life gets pretty awful for Aliena. She goes through hell over and over again, yet she gets back up and carries on every time to protect her brother and fulfil her father’s legacy. A small tear is welling in my eye at the thought of her. She is a 17th century Scarlett O’Hara and what’s not to love about that.
Jon Snow – Game of Thrones
When we first meet Jon Snow in the Game of Thrones novel, he is fourteen years old, the bastard son of Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North. Although highborn, Jon’s bastard status excludes him from both sides of Westeros society. Despite being close to his siblings, he grows up an outsider, included, but not included, in the Stark family life. Early on he is perfectly described, by Theon Greyjoy, “the runt of the litter” – a description (which may be from the TV show only) also applied to his direwolf cub, Ghost. I love all of the Thrones characters, however, Jon’s resilience, his grit, courage, his sense of fairplay and his mystery make him intriguing and have me returning to Westeros every now and again to reread one of his POV chapters. 

What do you think of Sleeper?

Will you be adding it to your TBR?

Let me know what you thought in the comments or on twitter @LittleMemoirs or #SleeperBlogTour 

happy reading!

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