The Sabbath - Arthur Nsenga, S.K Francis

So, hey, this is being released today! Be sure to check it out at your retailer of choice! Help these guys make a splash (if you're so inclined).

So after a night of over-drinking, Lana and her "It's Complicated", Cory, go back to her place to sleep it off. But before they get to the door, they witness a meteorological event that defies (almost) all explanation, terrifying the two. Between the alcohol and the emotional drain, it's not surprising that they're exhausted enough to oversleep.

But for a day? That seems a bit much.


It turns out that everyone -- and not figuratively "everyone," but everyone -- slept through the same day. So it quickly became known as "The Sabbath" -- the day everyone rested. When they woke, no one was quite the same. No one could die -- period. A bullet to the head would give you a killer headache, for a long time -- but you'd heal. Eventually, like a slow-motion Wolverine. The downside was that you felt pain/sickness much more acutely. Not the best trade-off, but it was something.


While the world slept, many people disappeared (numbers weren't given, but it was significant), including Cory's mom. No one had an explanation for that, but many suspected the Government was behind it. Same for the problems with drinking water and food supplies.


Essentially, the world they woke up to was very different than the one they got drunk in. Almost an instant dystopia.


The action picks up a year later, the rich have sealed themselves up safe-and-sound (at least safer and sounder) in the inner cities, the not-rich are outside scavenging for food and drink. Cory and Lana have developed skills they'd never thought they need, as well as suspicions and fears they'd never have suspected they'd have. All of which helps them when they come into contact with a group fighting to find out what happened during The Sabbath -- to the missing people, the new immortals, and the food and water. Not all of the answers will be satisfactory, but they just might help foment a revolutionary movement.


This is a YA(-ish) novel, but thankfully there's no more than a couple of hints at a love triangle. The relationship that develops between these two has enough trouble on its own without adding more people -- it felt real, if a bit overwrought -- much more real than most YA triangles.


I could tell for a while that this was leading up to a sequel (if not more than one), but I wasn't ready for the kind of sequel that the last few paragraphs seemed to indicate. There's a lot of promise to it.


These two can tell a story, I'll give them that -- I enjoyed it and was invested in Cory, Lana and Cory's sister, Isabel. I didn't connect with the characters we met in the second half of the book, but I think I could've with a little more time. Still, the elements are there, a good story with characters you can root for. The prose itself could be more effective, it could be tighter. There are just too many grammatical problems for my comfort. For me, this was like watching a Class A baseball game -- there'll be more errors, bad throws, missed catches and bad at-bats than there will be at an MLB game, but it's still professional baseball. It's still enjoyable. This book may have had more than its share of technical flaws, but the heart, effort and storytelling that went into it is enough to make up for them.


This'll scratch your Divergent itch while telling a very different story. Go pick it up when you have time.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from Shaunakay Francis in exchange for a review. Hopefully, the authors didn't mind too much what I said (I really do like watching the local Class A team), and will think of me when the sequel's about to come out.