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.
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Title: Sim 299
Series: I AM SLEEPLESS #1
Author: Johan Twiss
Source: Johan Twiss
“Pain is a teacher, and love is life.”
Surprisingly, I was really engaged with the story, and by the end of the book, I was craving more, demanding the second installment. Who leaves a story with such anticipation?
As a reader of (urban) fantasy and romance, you can imagine how different this was for me. However, I still enjoy science fiction and a good plot, so I trudged through the beginning with the way it just threw us into the middle of a sim. I like when authors do this, but since it’s sci-fi, I was extremely lost until around the third chapter.
Don’t judge me.
While it took me a while to pick it up, I have to say that once I got into the swing of things, I finished it in one sitting. And it was really interesting and fun, but this story won me over the moment I realized that majority of these kids all had disabilities that they worked through, with the gifts they were bred to take on. They’ve all got disadvantages, but they make the most of it and make it work. If that doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what will.
Similar to Ender’s Game (sorry I’ve only seen the movie), Aidan is a very intelligent young man who breezes through the sims, gaining everyone’s ire in the process. His attempt to finish sim 299 turns into such an adventure; the most alluring part of this whole thing was how it started off as a competition, but turned into something deeper. More than the usual spaceship was inputted, and I am so grateful for that as a fantasy lover. You rock, Twiss.
Overall, this was a great read that I really hope won’t end anytime soon. The plot was elaborate with unique little takes, the writing was enjoyable, and the characters were all too easy to love.