Book Reviews

Review: I Am Sleepless Sim 299 by Johan Twiss


I was kindly offered a free digital copy of this book for review by the author Johan Twiss.  This is the first in a trilogy of ‘I Am Sleepless’ and is a young YA science fiction novel.  Here is my review:

From a young age Aiden and his friends were chosen to become prime cadets.  As primes they all have special unique abilities and an appearance to match.  But along with their abilities come unfortunate defects.  But Aiden is different, with multiple abilities and no defect other than not sleeping, he’s had time to master all simulations, except 299…

This book is a science fiction novel aimed at teenagers and younger though anyone can enjoy this.  The main character is Aiden who is twelve years old and although there are a mix of different people in the story, it focuses mainly on Aiden and his friends.  This science fiction story is very complex to start with and I’ll admit is was hard for me to get through the first chapter as I just couldn’t grasp what was going on.  You are introduced to a set of characters but it’s all those character’s abilities and looks that makes it hard to understand when you first start reading.

The story explains that there are different types of primes: Vibrunts, Puzzlers, Eidetics, Agulators, Meks, Lugs and Vigoris.  Each of these primes is a bit like a different species with certain abilities, defects and looks.  There is a key at the back of the book explaining all these details but I really think it should have been placed in the front, and you really should refer to it as I didn’t and for almost half the story kept mixing up Agulators and Lugs.

Despite the mix ups it does get easier to understand the story and from chapter two it already makes more sense.  The whole plot is fast moving and is a good read but I never felt as engaged with this story as with others and I really don’t know why.  There are creatures in the story bearcats and piranharay to name a couple.  These creatures are literally the two earth creatures combined into one and at the end of every chapter there’s a fun sketch of one of these creatures.  I like the uniqueness of these but at times it felt a bit silly and I couldn’t take the plot as seriously, despite the fact I do like the images.

There’s no swearing, sex of vicious violence in this book, in fact on the book’s description on Goodreads it even states a ‘clean rating’ which I like.  The book finishes on a complete cliff hanger.  There isn’t even a slightly satisfying end to book one, you have no idea what will happen to the characters and it just stops.  I don’t mind the slight cliff hanger ending of books usually but they should have some sort of mini conclusion and this one doesn’t.  To satisfy this problem the first chapter of book two ‘I Am Sleepless – Search for the Reader’ is included in the back, but it still doesn’t satisfy the cliff hanger ending.

Overall anyone who enjoys a proper science fiction set book should enjoy this, kids and younger teens might enjoy it more than adults though I did like the overall plot.  Unfortunately this book just wasn’t as exciting as it could have been for me, I was able to put the book down, but it doesn’t mean I don’t want to read the next part – I do!  Just be aware of that cliff hanger ending if you do choose to read this book

Rating: 4/5

Review published on Goodreads, click here

Authors own website:

Book blurb:

While the others slept, Aidan spent hours each night running sim after sim. Although he was only a twelve-year cadet, he had completed more simulations than any prime— ever.

“You are setting history,” General Estrago told him. “No one has ever made it to the current simulation you are attempting. The other Masters and I are eager to see what comes next.”

So was Aidan.

The planet Ethos is at war with a mysterious enemy known as the Splicers. Their only successful defense is the Prime Initiative. All newborns with the compatible genetic code are taken from their families and injected with the Prime Stimulus. Each child that survives the stimulus develops an extraordinary ability and is conscripted into the military for training.

After turning twelve, Aidan is moved to the upper-class at the Mount Fegorio training complex. His special gifts allow him unprecedented success in the virtual training simulations, advancing him further than any prime cadet in history. No one knows what lies after sim 299, not even Director Tuskin, the ruthless and reclusive ruler of their planet. But something, or someone, has been guiding Aidan there. If he can pass the final tests, he may discover the key to ending the Splicer War.


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