By Kevin Ikenberry
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Kieran Roark awakens in a wheelchair, unable to remember anything. As part of a classified experiment, he will have one year to learn his identity and recover his memory, or he will be euthanized by the state.
Scientist Berkeley Bennett has one mission: manipulate Kieran’s emotions in an attempt to bring back his memory. But when she falls in love with him, she is forced to make a harrowing decision that may cost Kieran his life.
What Kieran knows could save Earth from a coming war. Whether he believes the future is worth saving is another matter. Racing across an unfamiliar world in a body he does not recall, Kieran needs to discover who he was and, more importantly, who he is.
Kevin Ikenberry’s head has been in the clouds since he was old enough to read. Ask him, and he’ll tell you that he still wants to be an astronaut. Kevin has a diverse background in space and space science education. A former manager of the world-renowned U.S. Space Camp program in Huntsville, Alabama, and a former executive of two Challenger Learning Centers, Kevin continues to work with space every day. He lives in Colorado with his wife and two daughters. His home is seldom a boring place.
Kevin’s short fiction has appeared internationally through Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, AntipodeanSF, Mindflights, Twisted Dreams Magazine, and most recently in the anthology Extreme Planets, available from Chaosium.
On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/WpavZ
On Red Adept: http://bit.ly/RAPSleeper
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I enjoyed Sleeper Protocol by Kevin Ikenberry. It was a well-written, well-planned, and highly researched novel.
Ikenberry’s worldbuilding was phenomenal. I definitely knew the story was set in the future. At times the technological references were a little heavy-handed, but I expected this from a male author. It’s something I’ve noticed in reading books by men. If there’s technology or science involved, descriptions tend to be more involved. But it’s not a distraction, just a different way of writing. In Sleeper Protocol, it’s welcomed. It was a style which kept me grounded in the story.
The main character’s interaction with an artificial intelligence reminded me of the movie “I, Robot”. Mally, the AI, lived beyond her boundaries. She knew what she was, but she wanted more. At one point in the story, the characters commented that AI did not do well with emotions. Perhaps this is a warning.
I loved the references and forecasting done by Ikenberry–California’s coast was destroyed by earthquakes, the devastating Californian drought, water wars between states, recycling, the various wars fought by this country’s military, ethanol development. All proof of the tons of research Ikenberry did to create this post-apocalyptic tale.
Ikenberry sprinkled futuristic warnings throughout the novel starting with the misuse of AI. The best one involved humanity’s overindulgence in technological entertainment–the Cubers. Another one is mankind’s pursuit of wanting more without having to really work for it.
The character of Kieran had to be my favorite. His connecting with his emotions surprised me. Kieran started the story as a blank slate. As he progressed, he became such a likable person. I celebrated his discoveries (the good ones) and felt his pain when situations overwhelmed him.
Berkeley became a likable character. Her interactions with Kieran made her more human. Before she met him, her persona was rather clinical. She was cold and didn’t seem to care for anything other than her work.
I loved the plot of Sleeper Protocol. It was imaginative and intriguing. I certainly hope there’s a follow up. I need to know if Mally gets to live out her dream. Of course, I have to find out if the Greys really return.
(5 Hands=Excellent; 4 Hands=Pretty Good; 3 Hands=Good)