"Sleep Alone" Book Review

Written by Zach Rosenberg

Published by Off Limits Press

sleep alone j a w mccarthy poster large

Written by J.A.W. McCarthy
2023, 135 pages, Fiction
Released on March 18th, 2023

Review:

Ronnie is a merch girl for a band that’s always on tour. She’s an enigmatic woman who keeps to herself with one rule: no matter where she is, she always sleeps alone. The band is her family, such as it is, but she refuses to allow anyone to get too close. Ronnie is also a succubus, born and raised, who consumes energy and emotion. The band has been turned into beings much like her, traveling and feeding as they go.

Then Ronnie meets Helene, a beautiful and mysterious loner. Sparks fly between them immediately and Helen has her share of secrets and passions. Unfortunately, a disease begins to eat at the band and the new dynamic Helen represents drives a wedge between them. Ronnie no longer “belongs” to the boys, and some of them don’t handle it altogether well.

J.A.W. McCarthy’s Sleep Alone is a fine and fantastic example of how flexible horror fiction can be. “Rock And Roll Succubus” is a premise that lends itself to exploration. McCarthy wastes no time plunging us into a world of cigarette smoke, alcohol, cheap sex, and runaway secrets.

Ronnie is, putting it mildly, not the best person. She is selfish, dangerous, occasionally callous and manipulative. She is also an absolutely fantastic character. Volatile, sympathetic, torn between her emotions for her makeshift family and her growing feelings for Helene. McCarthy writes these characters brilliantly.

It wouldn’t be a J.A.W. McCarthy story without tragedy. Sleep Alone will tug at the heartstrings from the start to the positively lachrymal conclusion. It’s a story that simply demands exploration, from the first opening note to the beautiful closing act.

Grades:

Overall: 5 Star Rating Cover
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Zach Rosenberg
Staff Reviewer
Zach Rosenberg is a fantasy and horror writer living in Florida. He appreciates the ocean, wildlife and his love of literature was constantly nurtured growing up where he practically lived in the libraries, reading every horror and fantasy book he could get his hands on. His print debut short story "The Teeth Of the Deeps" is featured in the fifth short story collection from Dead Sea Press.
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