Aidan is a 12-year-old Prime on the planet of Ethos. But, unlike other Primes, he possesses more than one ‘talent,’ and while others sleep, he spends his time working through the simulations designed to prepare the Primes to engage in the war against the dreaded Splicers. Aidan has done what no one before him has been able to do; he has reached Sim 299, a mysterious simulation that presents puzzles to be solved that hold the key to winning the war and preserving Ethos and the human race. But, Aidan has other challenges that promise to be as great as the final simulation. He must deal with the older coteries of Primes who are jealous at his abilities, and some of whom have sworn to do him harm; at the same time, he must avoid the unwelcome attention of the aloof and mysterious Director Tuskin who has his own objectives.
I Am Sleepless by Johan Twiss is a convoluted science fiction story that has lots of surreal action and tangled relationships. It is unlike most traditional science fiction; part space opera, part sci-fi thriller. The characters, human, prime, and ‘alien,’ are well-developed and the author’s world building is so complex, yet richly done, suspending disbelief is a snap.
You’ll find yourself rooting for Aidan and his allies as they work step-by-step through the byzantine puzzle that is Sim 299, culminating in an explosive confrontation with Director Tuskin and a profound moment of decision.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review. I give it four stars.