Sleepy time for Captain Eris by Margaret A. Treiber – Book Review

Sleepy time for captain eris book cover

Sleepy time for Captain Eris is a story about a superhero who gets new super powers every time she dies.

If she gets killed by a bullet, she will revive with stone skin. Swallowing anti freeze will make her immune to poison.

Interesting premise, right? Well that’s about all Sleepy time has going for it.

Because this book is grotesque.

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Sleepy time got off to a strong start. Captain Eris died in the hands of a robot guy. When she came back to life she had an electric shield. Cool, Sleepy time establishes the characters and situation very quickly. And that’s about the only good thing going for it.

Let’s start with the technical: prose, grammar, typos.

I don’t know if I received the beta version of this book, but the formatting in Sleepy time is an utter train wreck.

“We would have a bit of dialogue

Like this. And then”

“I wouldn’t know who was speaking,”

“When and I got immediately confused.” (This sentence is confusing on purpose.)

The random line returns were super annoying and so were the typos. If this was the retail copy of the book, I would ask for a refund. Typos don’t normally bother me, but this book had so many that I couldn’t ignore them.

Then there was the prose, oh God the prose. Let me give you an example of a description included in this book.

“Keen pulled out a sword. It was engraved with designs and was very shiny.”

SERIOUSLY? What kind of description is that? Did an editor even look at this book?

Sleepy time is written like a copy writer’s wet dream: short sentences, rapid-fire dialogue, bare bone descriptions.

Perfect for speed readers. Awful for people who want more than a marketing blurb in their novels.

“’You’re the one who’s gonna pay!’ He was so drunk that I could target his face with ease. I struck him with a left hook.”

What kind of writing is this? There is no eloquence or rhythm to the wording. The descriptions are so abrupt and banal that I couldn’t visualize the world. I still have no idea what Captain Eris looks like, or her friend Al, or her other friend Om. I can appreciate simple writing, but this is rough draft quality.

Sometimes a poorly executed book redeems itself with awesome characters and a riveting story. Sleepy time is not one of those books.

“No, I know you are a fuckbag, whore, shitstain, on the bottom of the universe’s shoe.”

Our main character ladies and gentlemen.

Captain Eris, the female protagonist for our book, is an asshole. She’s vulgar, immature, prone to outbursts, and not fun to read.

Now, I can understand a character going a little insane by dying all the time. I can understand Captain Eris becoming mentally damaged from being immortal and having to live with her mistakes for all eternity. What I don’t understand is why the main character behaves and acts like trailer trash.

She has the maturity of a twelve year old who screams, get emotional, and curses because they haven’t learned to deal with their hormones. She develops feelings for a robot (which doesn’t make any damn sense) and she snorts coke just for the hell of it.

That’s right, our main character likes to indulge in cocaine. However, unlike most well-written novels, Sleepy time allows Captain Eris to use drugs without any consequences. After she does a line of coke in the bathroom, her friend Om says, “Oh my God you’re a druggie.”

And her robot friend Al, the one who loves her, sets Eris down and makes her eat dinner.

That’s about it. Eventually the high wears off and everything goes back to normal.

What was the point of showing Eris’s drug use if it didn’t negatively affect her in any way?

Substance abuse is not a joke. Yet, Sleepy time has no problem treating it like one. If it doesn’t affect the plot or change the character, why is it in the book?

At the 50% mark, Sleepy time left me bored enough to skim. The story was about another stupid real estate scheme. You know, the same one that has taken place in TWO Superman movies. Realtors are trying to buy up all the real estate property on Earth at cheap prices so they could re-sell to rich people at expensive prices.

In order to get people to sell, they ship them off to Mars where they promise a cheaper cost of living and a brand new life. Once they arrive on Mars, the bamboozled house sellers eventually fail to pay their bills and end up in labor camps.

I just . . . I’m . . . wow, just wow. The stupidity of this plan left me utterly baffled. We don’t know why they have a work labor camp on Mars. We don’t know why the real estate on Earth is so valuable that the realtors want to kick everyone out. How much does a ticket to Mars cost? The scheme sounds like a logistical nightmare.

These questions should have been answered in the world building of this book, except there was none.

Zero, nothing, nada, zilch.

But where Sleepy time lost me, where it completely jumped the shark and went into filth was when the book dove into torture porn. At the 70% mark of this book, the bad guys capture Eris. Sleepy time quickly devolves from a brainless novel, to a disgusting indulgence in torture porn. The villains slice Eris with knives, cut her tongue out, and most disgusting of all, pee in her mouth.

If you stopped reading after this point, I don’t blame you. I wanted to stop too.

The most frustrating thing was that the torture scenes felt completely unnecessary.

Captain Eris didn’t change. She didn’t even have to chug mouthwash to get the taste out of her mouth.

In fact, after a few pages, Eris acts like nothing even happened. The torture doesn’t come up again and everyone continues on with their lives. But the reader has to sit through it and picture those disgusting details in their mind with no pay off at the end. It’s one thing to see a character bounce back after a traumatic experience. To see them fight to regain control of their lives. Sleepy time completely misses this point and favors shock value over literary value.

There is no theme, no moral lesson, and it even fails at being a power fantasy.

Ultimately, Sleepy time for Captain Eris has no pay off.

After reading this book you will walk away feeling like you have wasted your time. I don’t understand how reviewers left 4 or 5 stars for this novel. This is not a good book and it certainly doesn’t deserve 5 stars.

Sleepy time for Captain Eris is supposed to be a story about superheroes. But there’s nothing super or heroic about Captain Eris.

2 out of 5 stars.

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Wilmar Luna

Couldn't be a superhero in real life so he decided to write his own. When he's not creating empowered female characters he can be found watching films, reading books, and playing lots of video games. Buy his books here: