Published by Darkfuse on 12 August 2014
Genres: Apocalyptic, Horror, Supernatural
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The following is based on an eARC from DarkFuse Publishing through Netgalley.
This was my first read from Richard Farren Barber and it came blasting out of the blocks like it had something to prove. Within pages, the reader is drawn into Jackson Smith’s view of a world sliding into madness as people up and take their own lives for no apparent reason. Barber effectively describes one man’s limited view of London succumbing to the chaos and does a quality job of describing Jackson’s torment as he is assaulted by the voices that reason, cajole and demand he too should lay down and die.
Sadly, however, though things never really come together beyond this simple but exciting premise. Jackson and a later survivor he meets do not feel authentic enough as characters – coming across as sketched in with a minimum amount of detail. And the ending was, to be kind, wholly unsatisfying.
Adroitly written and with a great central premise, The Sleeping Dead nevertheless delivers a decent rather than excellent read because of characters that are not real enough to truly connect with and an ending that goes nowhere.
3 Suicidal Tendencies for The Sleeping Dead.