REVIEW: 'None Shall Sleep' by Ellie Marney is Criminally Good
Hello Fellow Readerholics,
I’m back with another instalment of ‘Imogen has been too busy to write reviews even though it’s quarantine.’ I promise I’m not trying to neglect you! Anyway, I’m back with some amazingly exciting content! That being a new review for one of my most anticipated books of the year (ahem, this review) and a little something I’ve had in the works for a while (that is coming to you all tomorrow)! Without further ado, I present to you my review on ‘None Shall Sleep’ by Ellie Marney. Thank you to Allen and Unwin for providing me an arc copy.
The Silence of the Lambs meets Sadie in this riveting psychological thriller about two teenagers teaming up with the FBI to track down juvenile serial killers.
In 1982, two teenagers—serial killer survivor Emma Lewis and US Marshal candidate Travis Bell—are recruited by the FBI to interview convicted juvenile killers and provide insight and advice on cold cases. From the start, Emma and Travis develop a quick friendship, gaining information from juvenile murderers that even the FBI can’t crack. But when the team is called in to give advice on an active case—a serial killer who exclusively hunts teenagers—things begin to unravel. Working against the clock, they must turn to one of the country’s most notorious incarcerated murderers for help: teenage sociopath Simon Gutmunsson. Despite Travis’s objections, Emma becomes the conduit between Simon and the FBI team. But while Simon seems to be giving them the information they need to save lives, he’s an expert manipulator playing a very long game…and he has his sights set on Emma.
Captivating, harrowing, and chilling, None Shall Sleep is an all-too-timely exploration of not only the monsters that live among us, but also the monsters that live inside us.
To begin, I’d just like to mention that this might be my favourite YA crime novel ever written. It was a medley of everything I love, from the Silence of the Lambs inspiration to my daydreams of working for the fbi on a high profile case (don’t ask why I’m working with them in this made up scenario, they just thought I’d do an alright job). This book was sort of everything I’ve wanted!
Something I really adored was the characters. I loved all their individual personalities and I was so captured by the motivations for their actions. I really enjoyed how everything was pieced together in that regard and I appreciated the teenager’s histories with trauma in order to create a compelling narrative that could be a somewhat realistic reason to let teenagers into the fbi. I loved how it was written in the perspectives of multiple characters yet still in the third person which I found really interesting and it added to the suspenseful nature of the novel.
The characters themselves were all just phenomenal. I really loved Emma and Travis as main characters and their friendship was a really beautiful part of the book. I really enjoyed seeing their character arcs unfold and it was so refreshing to see a nice, healthy, platonic friendship portrayed as opposed to attempting to find romance in the midst of an active murder case. Thank you for representing the logical people, Ellie!
The character that absolutely made the entire book for me though, was Simon Gutmunsson. He was perfectly charming, twisted and completely psychopathic yet oddly human. This humanity mixed with his violent tendencies and extreme intelligence, strangely, made me care about him as a character. My favourite part of the whole book was just understanding him as a person.
This book was completely and utterly gripping. It was wonderfully suspenseful and it had everything I personally want in a horror/thriller as I find that too often YA books aren’t scary enough for me. That being said, this was very intense and for people who aren’t expecting it in a YA novel, it was fairly graphic. For me, that was a non issue because I’ve honestly seen so many horror movies I’ve become a bit desensitised to it all but… be warned!
One thing that did slightly bother me at times was the lack of detail at certain points in the book. A lot of Emma’s past was heavily implied and I felt that I sometimes needed a clearer picture in my mind of it for contextual purposes later in the book. I also wish it had been a tiny bit more eighties influenced because that was the time period and if you’re going to go in, why not go all in?
The last 100 pages of the book had me sitting at the edge of my seat as I was just so absorbed in everything. The ending left me yearning for more but I don’t know if I’ll be able to find a YA crime novel that matches up to it.
Overall, this book was just amazing. The development of the characters and the progression of the plot made it easily one of my favourite books of the year (if not ever). I am rating it a very rare 5/5!
Your Favourite Bookworm