I am Sleepless

Humans are no match for the power of the Splicers who threaten the very existence of those who call Ethos home. So, humans developed a way to enhance their race and create a secondary army of Primes to manage the Splicer onslaught. Aidan is one such Prime, though he is different from everyone else at his school on Mount Fegorio. Not only does he possess stronger abilities, but he has no need to sleep and can therefore challenge himself every moment of the day. Thus, only Aidan has reached the coveted final level of the training simulation everyone must attempt, and he is struggling to beat it. When other students find their way into the sim with Aidan, they all must learn to see past their differences in order to make it through to the other side.

This science fiction middle grade adventure contains similarities to The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, and The Matrix, all rolled into a reality that exists far from Earth. At only twelve years old, Aidan must be brave beyond his years to lead his companions into a battle for which they may not be ready. A host of characters propels this action-centered narrative, and the perspective shifts frequently to give readers a sense of how each of the characters responds to events taking place around them. While the character development could use some improvement, the world-building in this inaugural novel is well-done, establishing a foundation for the story that will no doubt carry through to the subsequent installments.

Though Aidan’s world is unfamiliar for readers at first, it is easy to immerse oneself in it thanks to the extensive detail provided in and around the narrative. A glossary at the beginning introduces readers to the different Primes and highlights their strengths and weaknesses. Each chapter begins with an excerpt from a now forbidden tome that provides answers to some of the questions that arise within the narrative, and regularly placed illustrations depict some of the fantastical creatures that exist in Aidan’s reality. Action-packed and intriguing, this is an accessible adventure that will appeal to middle grade readers with an interest in science fiction storytelling. This is an enjoyable introduction to its series and will inspire readers to continue quickly into book two.

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