Read an Advanced Bound Manuscript obtained from ALA AC 2022
Trigger/Content warning: suicide, burnout, gun violence, beating, alcoholism, drug abuse
In the year 2043, the world has passed through a plague like any other, one that rendered a quarter of the population Sleepless. We follow Jamie Vega, a reporter, who didn’t develop hyperinsomnia via the illness. He got it by biohacking, and it leads to some serious problems. Like forgetting the details of what happened the night before he found his boss, Simon, dead. Mysteries and a global conspiracy unravel, with twists on twist on twist.
This sharp examination of the cost of non-stop productivity at a personal and a global level includes a personal character journey as Jamie tries to clear his own name and get to the truth of what really happened that night.
An interview with the author will be going up on release day, August 23rd, 2022.
While getting back eight to ten hours of your day sounds awesome, Manibo quickly nips that awesomeness in the bud. From the introduction of Jamie’s Sleepless status, the affliction is exhausting as he has . In addition, there is an eye for the environmental costs of having a population who never rests, and the potential biases and crimes against the afflicted. It’s handled in a way that feels true
Jamie himself is a mess even without being Sleepless. Granted, there is a heavy bit of back story that, if suicide is a trigger for you, I recommend treading with caution. Even in the future, trauma is still complicated, and it makes sense why he would turn to biohacking. While the ones making those drugs are unequivocally the villains of this story, there logic is outlined in a way that makes sense until you consider the environmental impacts.
The examination of productivity and “the hustle” as a concept is also critiqued in a way that both fits with the narrative and contemporary society in real life. People take on multiple jobs and myriad hobbies only to fill the time, chasing fulfillment from external sources that have nothing to do with intrinsic needs. Jamie’s loneliness highlights this, especially when taken in the contrast with the community values held by his Filipino family. In addition, it’s relying on other people that gets him out of his binds with both the legal entanglements and finding a way to free himself from being Sleepless.
With a hopeful ending and a clever resolution, this is a science fiction mystery clearly written by someone with a love and reverence for both genres.