“I am Sleepless: Sim 299” by Johan Twiss

Originally reviewed for Whispering Stories – 5 stars

Planet Ethos is at war with a rather mysterious enemy, the Splicers. As to secure and preserve the continuation of the species, all newborns with a particular genetic code are removed from their families and injected with the Prime Stimulus. Known as the Prime Initiative, its goal is to raise beings capable of great, astonishing, things.

Aidan is one of those children. Aidan is special. At the young age of twelve, Aidan carries the fate of the world on his shoulders.

It’s incredible how appropriate the title of this book is. From the minute you start reading I am Sleepless: Sim 299 by Johan Twiss, it’s like a switch is turned – on or off, you can’t quite tell, perhaps something in-between. It’s almost as if you’re transported into a different reality, and suddenly you find yourself in a state of hyperawareness that quickly becomes addictive, making it impossible to put down.

I must confess that at the beginning I felt like I had been dropped in the epicenter of a storm – now that I have finished it, I am certain that I was, and glad too. I am Sleepless: Sim 299 is an event, an event that grows into epic proportions without ever losing its sense, its purpose, its morals. I am in awe of Johan Twiss’s talent, of his skill, of how he managed to coherently link every single detail.

Speaking of talent, not only is the narrative engaging, mixing adventure with action and even romance, it’s also beyond pertinent, relevant even, creating a safe haven and opening doors to the discussion of matters that the world rather enjoys not acknowledging. Written in a simple yet visually rich tone, the novel is accessible to the young minds that will eventually lead the future.

“Pain is a teacher. Love is life.”

I always fear when powers are involved as they sometimes lead the characters to get lost in them, to become only them. I am Sleepless: Sim 299 surprised me, amazed me, by actively encouraging inclusion. There are still problems, of course, realistic bullying as some develop faster, grow quicker, but the essence is incredibly hopeful. On that note, I must say that, even if sad, the idea of having these powers come with defects is beautiful in its genesis – and all that color, elemental almost, within reach. There’s so much humanity in this book, so much hope, and so much cleverly written humor!

Honestly, I was on the edge of my seat throughout the whole book. I cannot wait for the next one to be out. Oh, and have I mentioned the little blurbs that introduce every chapter? A stroke of genius, I would say.

If you liked Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and Veronica Roth’s The Divergent Series, you should give I am Sleepless: Sim 299 a go.


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