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The Protocol War ##1

Sleeper Protocol

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Finalist in the Colorado Book Awards (Colorado Humanities)

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.

250 pages, Paperback

First published January 5, 2016

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About the author

Kevin Ikenberry

53 books78 followers
Kevin’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. As an adult, he's managed the world-renowned U.S. Space Camp program and operated two Challenger Learning Centers. A retired Army officer, Kevin continues to work with space every day.

Kevin is the author of the science fiction novel SLEEPER PROTOCOL (2016) which Publisher's Weekly called "an emotionally powerful debut." His military science fiction novel RUNS IN THE FAMILY (2016) has gained a growing legion of fans. He continues to work on sequels for both novels as well as short fiction and an alternate history novel.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 36 reviews
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,038 reviews1,499 followers
July 14, 2016
Kieran Roark awakens with no memory of who he was or what has happened to him. To make matters worse Kieran has one year to remember or the state will euthanize him. Scientist Berkeley Bennett was given the mission to try to manipulate Kieran's emotions to make him remember who he was but ends up falling in love with him instead.

Sleeper Protocol is a futuristic sci-fi read with the main character waking up missing several years and not being familiar with the time or the changes that have taken place. It's always fun to see what an author can come up with taking place many years into the future.

This book however got off to a really slow start for me. I had a bit of trouble connecting with Kieran right away and the story took a while to get me interested in what was going on or caring about what Kieran was going through. I think maybe because he didn't know himself that I felt I didn't either for a while. After a time though it became a bit more interesting as we get into the relationship and Kieran discovering his purpose.

Overall, I found this one an OK read, enjoyed the setting and situation the most in the read.

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....

Profile Image for Hilary.
1,997 reviews47 followers
February 2, 2016
He wakes in a wheelchair, with familiar Australian buildings and flying cars in an unfamiliar skyline, and doesn't know his name. In fact, he doesn't know anything about himself at all. He's told he was woken to fight, because no-one else will, and given assistance to find himself, and sent off on his own.

There was some excellently cool tech, definitely the sort of tech you imagine in your wildest futuristic dreams, and it helped to balance the dystopian world.

There were a few uneasy spots. The narrator changes didn't quite feel like zooming out for a wider view and back in to the main character, which is how they seem to work best.

I wavered with the rating, deciding between 3 and 3.5 stars. In the end, it was determined by my feelings on re-readability and my dislike of the ending, but it shows promise and I might try another book by this author.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol).
1,940 reviews1 follower
February 15, 2016
*Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Waking in a wheelchair in Australia he has no idea who he is, what’s going on or even what year it is. He’s told he’s part of an experiment; he needs to remember who he is and he now has 323 days to do that or the government will euthanize him. Everyone in this time has a neural interface, but to the people around him he will be a null, a sleeper. Even though he also has an interface, his is different. No one will be able to tell who he is. The clock is ticking. Unknown to him, there are people working behind the scenes, some to help and some to hinder. In which camp is scientist Berkeley Bennett who shows up out of nowhere and takes an interest in him? With help from his protocol he named Mally, Sleepy sets out to find himself.

This is a different and unique look at the future, alien contact, medical science and political maneuvering. I have to say, the United States in this tale sure is bleak. Yikes! And politicians are just as bad then as now. Kieran Roark, AKA Sleepy, is an excellent character. I love how he works through everything and follows his gut. His protocol, that he named Mally, is weird and ambiguous as to which side it’s (she’s) on. She’s essentially a program, but starts to develop a personality. Hence the weird factor. I didn’t fully understand the concept of the sleepers. Seemed like a shitload of money and resources for such a long shot, but maybe that was the point. The future generations are pretty pathetic and I sure hope this story isn’t prophetic or we are totally screwed.

I did not like Bennett, not even a little bit. And I totally did not buy their insta-love. It felt shoe-horned in for added drama and made me cranky. Maybe if they’d actually spent more time talking and building a foundation for their relationship instead of humping every chance they got I might have believed it more. Probably not. It’s hard to believe anything about Bennett when she’s a lying manipulative skank. Frankly, I was hoping she’d die and Kieran could find a woman worthy of him. I liked the General though. I hope he can keep up the work he’s doing. That end bit with Mally gave me the heebie jeebies. Wtf?

While Kieran’s story has a resolution, I’m left with the feeling there may be more coming in this futuristic world. Other sleepers, Mally, and the Grays gunning for Earth…yep. I’d say those storylines should be seeing the light of day.
Profile Image for Richard.
28 reviews1 follower
January 16, 2016
Disclaimer: I received a pre-release copy of this book in return for a review.

The blurb for this book drew me in and so I was looking forward to reading the book. Right from the start the book gripped me and I finished it in two sessions (a man needs to sleep!)

Told in a mixture of first person from the protagonist, and third person from the other major characters, I really enjoyed this book. There was a slight immersion jarring rip from the world the book is portraying back to this one with a dismal feeling that the book was going to descend into some wacky conspiracy theory rubbish but happily this didn't turn out to be the case.

I'm hesitant to write too much about the plot and progression, because what you read in the book's description doesn't begin to cover how the story plays out, so fairly difficult to talk spoiler free. Suffice to say, for the most part, it is (to me) believable as could happen in the future (without being "impossible" or maxxed out sci-fi), and the fact that everyone has a (not always perceivable) agenda gives depth to the different characters and their own development and motivation.

As I read through the book the story progressed nicely and parts of it remained opaque until the end, rather than realizing everything that's going to happen before it happens. It would have been nice to know a little more about current events outside the core story arc, but then again, from the point of view of the protagonist, how is he to know.

The ending-before-the-ending was a little surprising, but it worked itself out. The final chapter made me giggle a little , which was perhaps not the authors intention but the geek in me broke out.

I really hope this book does well, as the ending clearly hints of things to come, and I hope Kevin will write further stories in this interesting world he's building. I also need to check out his existing books as I haven't read any of his works before.
Profile Image for Mia R..
Author 1 book13 followers
January 17, 2016
SLEEPER PROTOCOL starts out with the main character waking up while sitting in a wheelchair, but not knowing who he is. He gets flashes of what he thinks are memories, but he’s not sure.

There’s a lot he’s not too sure about. Other than WHO he is, he needs to know why he’s been chosen and what his purpose is. And then he finds out he has less than a year to regain all of his memories.

As the book progresses you soon find out that an alien invasion is on its way, and this “sleeper” maybe the only key to the human race’s survival. But there is disagreement by the Earth government and the Earth military on how the Sleeper program should be handles.

Will he regain his memories before someone decides he needs to be eliminated?

SLEEPER PROTOCOL starts out a bit slow, but the pace soon picks up as you follow the main character through his walkabout to figure out who he is and what his mission will be.

I am looking forward to seeing where Kevin Ikenberry takes this series because he’s off to a great start.
Profile Image for Jamie (Books and Ladders).
1,251 reviews188 followers
January 1, 2016
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Actual Rating: 3.5*

My full review is part of the blog tour in February. Mini ramblings since I just finished!
I enjoyed this one. There were some parts that I wasn't too fond of, i.e. the way the relationships were handled but overall this was a really good novel. I think it could have been better if there was better pacing with the relationships since it seemed like everything came together and fell apart very quickly. And I'm not completely sold on why the world is bringing back dead soldiers but I think it worked. I would have liked to learn more about the CURRENT situation rather than the past events that led to this. For a book about aliens, there were barely any aliens in this but I still liked it.
Profile Image for Gwen Clayton.
Author 3 books11 followers
August 4, 2017
In Kevin Ikenberry’s novel, Sleeper Protocol, Kieran Roark is a 28-year-old man who wakes up with a head full of cobwebs and a new nickname: Sleepy.
As the story unfolds, it's like a futuristic re-telling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein where Sleepy - a re-animated corpse - comes back to life thanks to a brilliant young doctor named Gwendolyn “Berkeley” Bennett. Doctor Bennett must compete for influence over her patient/lover with Sleepy’s artificial intelligence – an AI protocol known as Mally.
“A computer would never understand loneliness,” Ikenberry wrote on page 101. “... Mally was my companion, but I doubted that would give me anything more than a list of cures or psychoses related to my condition.”
In his storytelling, Ikenberry draws on both his military and aerospace experience. He’s a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel and former Space Operations Officer. The migration from military space commander to science fiction writer was a natural transition, and it shows in his work.
Sleeper Protocol takes the reader to an alternate warzone set 300 years from now. There are enough references to 21st Century Afghanistan, Australia and the United States to keep the reader grounded in today’s world, but enough space-age imagination to transport the reader to another time.
Sleeper Protocol is a wonderful journey and excellent example of futuristic storytelling.
Profile Image for Gabrielle.
20 reviews1 follower
June 26, 2017
I don't usually reach for soldiery books, as I often find all the action is done better on a big screen. Not so here. Kevin Ikenberry created a world I (almost, but only because this world is one scary place) wanted to jump right into. I'd be happy to meet those characters, well, except for that one cold calculating woman, she terrifies me. Pace and tension kept me engaged and eager to keep turning pages. The relationship aspect was possibly a little simpler than real-life, but hey, the book is written by a guy. Took me a chapter or two to get into it, but then I couldn't put it down.

I'm now awaiting the next one; quite eager to find out where Mally puts herself (possibly in the mind of that woman - would be deliciously cunning). And him and her and the general... oh the possibilities are endless!

Well done, Mr. Ikenberry. Your debut novel has me hooked.

Kevin, please say there will be a next one, and soon!
20 reviews
April 9, 2018
This first book in The Protocol War series had so much depth to it. I got the chance to meet Mr. Ikenberry last summer and really enjoyed the time my husband and I got to talk with him. This book is one I would highly recommend. I won't say anything specific about the plot as it is to easy to give up spoilers and I do not want to ruin it for anyone else who might choose to read it. I will be getting the second book in the series soon since I want to see how the story he has so artfully written plays out. This was a book that took me out of my normal genre but it was well worth it.
351 reviews4 followers
January 21, 2018
I loved the concept of this book. In some ways, some very good ways, it reminded me of Old Man's War by John Scalzi.

The vision of the future is quite interesting. Enough positive elements to keep you hopeful, but enough negative elements to be realistic, and to make you wonder if humanity is ever going to learn.

The political mechanisms and plots are intricate and well drawn.

A very good read.
Profile Image for Lance Russell.
12 reviews1 follower
June 22, 2019
Great book with very new and strange concepts of a new future Earth.

Well written complex sci-fi story
Gives a realistic scenario of the 24th century Earth.
Very interesting.Also good complex character development.
Well done Kevin Ikenberry.
Profile Image for Howard Brazee.
695 reviews10 followers
March 29, 2020
I can see the writer can write about the protagonist. But there are too many things that make me shake my head as a SF reader who likes science. So I'm not finishing the book.
Profile Image for Bill.
1,934 reviews11 followers
July 5, 2020
A lost soldier has to answer some questions. Who are you? What are you? Why are you? Excellent!
Profile Image for Tony.
69 reviews
September 14, 2022

Kevin's best by far! I am so happy I stumbled across it. As a vet and a tanker, it hits home!
58 reviews3 followers
July 23, 2019
Excellent story and pace

I loved this story - a perfect balance of action and discovery, which keeps you guessing along with the protagonist(s). The story resolves nicely but still leaves lots of room for future developments.
Profile Image for S.F. Benson.
Author 35 books83 followers
February 4, 2016
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.
Profile Image for April Wood.
Author 3 books53 followers
March 1, 2016
What’s It About?

Imagine waking up as a patient in a wheelchair, not knowing as much as your own name… Imagine looking upward, to an alien sky and flying cars. Then, imagine being told you’re being released and that you have to put your memory back together – if you don’t, you will be euthanized by the State.

Dropped into the outback to survive on his own, the subject has random recollections of his life before he wound up in the hospital. Most of his memories are from the Middle East, where he believes he may have been a soldier fighting in Afghanistan. He is tracked throughout his “walkabout” and is in constant contact with a “guidance protocol”. He studies his new world as he tries to make sense of who and what he was and eventually he concludes that he’s been woken for a purpose that no one else seems capable of doing.

My Thoughts

While science fiction isn’t my favorite genre, I can appreciate good writing. This story exceeded my expectations. I loved the crossover between military fiction and science fiction. The results of this crossover was non-stop action! Truly, there was never a dull moment in Sleeper Protocol.

I absolutely loved the subject’s “mother hen” guidance protocol, Mally! Although not a real person, Mally was my favorite character. She became more and more possessive of the subject as the story progressed – convinced that the destruction of her subject meant her demise. I particularly liked when she was mad at him for hanging out with Chastity the prostitute. I think she was jealous!

There were so many unpredictable twists and turns in this novel, making it a page turner. Trust me, you won’t see the ending coming. The world building was incredible, giving the reader a great picture of time and place. I also want to mention that the cover of this novel is perfect, considering the “walkabout”. StreetLight Graphics absolutely captured the concept of this story on the cover of the book.

I would recommend this fast-paced novel to fans of military science fiction. :)

Full book review: https://aprillwood.wordpress.com/2016...
Profile Image for Jessica Bronder.
2,013 reviews21 followers
February 5, 2016
Kieran wakes to find himself in a wheelchair. He can’t remember anything but quickly gets told that he has a year to figure it out or he is going to be terminated. Simply put there is an alien attack on the way and Kieran is a sleeper. If they can get him to remember his past they may be able to stop the invasion. But there is a difference of opinion between the military and government on how the sleeper should be handled. Hopefully Kieran can regain his memory before they decide they are done with the project.

This is a great thrill ride from the start. You can’t help but like Kieran, here is this soldier that has no memory but may have the key to humanities survival locked is his brain if he could just get to the information. You can completely see the Sleeper program being real just by the way the military and government can’t seem to agree on how to run it.

I loved how this book was written. It’s a great thriller that relies more on psychology than action and lots of questions of identity. Although it has a slight slow start once it got on a roll it took off. I had a hard time putting it down and getting some sleep. I really need to stop reading such great book on work nights.

If you like psychological thrillers and scifi stories look no further. Make sure to pick up a copy of Sleeper Protocol. I just hope this is going to be a sequel.

I received a copy of Sleeper Protocol for free from Sage’s Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lee French.
Author 73 books134 followers
January 29, 2016
Although it contains some thriller aspects, this book is a character study. At it's heart, the story is about a man who lost his memory and quests to recover it. It takes place in the future with sci-fi elements and a conspiracy going on in the background, and includes an AI both simple and complex enough to conjure shades of HAL 9000.
The conspiracy part didn't make sense to me on a certain level. The motivations of the antagonist causing said conspiracy seemed strange. I couldn't imagine anyone doing what what they did for the reasons they did. Because the reasons weren't cartoonish or over the top, I couldn't relax into the mindset of a James Bond story, where the villain's motives are supposed to be ridiculous. Even so, the conflict itself is well done.
I liked Kieran and Mally, both of whom carry the story brilliantly. Berkeley felt a little thin, but the story isn't about her.

Overall, I enjoyed this story. It's low action, high psychology and done well. I recommend it especially for veterans, and more broadly for anyone interested in stories about largely internal struggles surrounding identity.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for emily.
107 reviews
May 19, 2016
Kieran wakes up and has no idea where he is. He cannot remember anything about himself. Kieran soon learns that he is an experiment and needs to recover his memory. He is also hit with a twist and is told that Earth is under attack. With the help of Scientist Berkeley Bennett, Kieran will familiarize with this new Earth and discover who he is.

Sleeper Protocol is fantastic! I loved everything about it. I felt that every single question that any reader could've asked about Sleeper Protocol is answered because the book is so detailed. Kieran moved through the story, growing and learning more about this new world perfectly. I feel that Sleeper Protocol is perfect for futuristic, science fiction readers and also anyone who wants a well written book! Five stars!
Profile Image for Mark Wilson.
243 reviews1 follower
June 27, 2016
I actually quit about 50% in. As sci-fi, it was OK, but one-too-many right-wing political rant got the better of me. "The entitled moved to California..."? Geez. And climate change was BS, supposedly. And the wussy governments have been so bound and determined to have pliable citizens they've bred out the rugged individualists? I hung in there for the first several "explanations", but finally gave up. I thought the characters were OK, although some of the realizations were just announced by the protagonist in passing, which was jarring. Perhaps that was a conscious choice by the author, I couldn't tell. Anyway, the writing was OK (3 stars), but the political trappings dragged it down to 2, and then I gave up.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Bradley Knox.
35 reviews
February 22, 2016
Sleeper Protocol is a brilliant and intense novel. This science fiction plot is based around a man who was put to sleep many years earlier and now is being brought back to life in a world foreign to him. A treacherous war has changed the world tremendously and he works towards remembering who he once was. I couldn’t have predicted the emotional bond between the man, known as Sleepy, and his brain protocol, Mally. Author Kevin Ikenberry has written a science fiction novel with some remarkable twists, love, and hope in an extremely bleak world. 5 stars!
Profile Image for TJ Creamer.
107 reviews1 follower
January 9, 2017
A quite enjoyable read/diversion. Nicely done. Our protagonist awakens, with loss of relevant memory. Is part of an experiment, in a future time, to help the culture develop our present day soldierly ethos. The kicker is, he has a year to become fully aware, or else.... well, ... will let you read that part.

Good interaction; good discussion of the attributes and values of soldiers/soldiering, the why. All the while incorporating the technologies of the future society.

I really enjoyed the read.
34 reviews1 follower
June 20, 2016
A good story

I chose this rating for the reason it needed to be read. I particularity liked this title, it was science fiction , but not so far out as not to be possible or may already be, who knows. I would recommend this book to any one who likes science fiction and also a surprise ending. I loved it.
July 9, 2016
Not worth the effort. I will not read a Ikenberry novel again. Simply put, no p!ot, no climax, no nothing. I thought I was buying a science fictioin nivek but made a mistaje that i wukk try to not repeat

Never againb. Let me explain. I will never again buy an Ikebberry novel. No plot, no climax, no nothing. Waste of time.
Profile Image for Pete Aldin.
Author 29 books52 followers
January 13, 2016
Starts with a nice slow reveal and ends with a wow. Ikenberry uses setting, action and character point-of-view very well. The world building is tremendous and the characters have authentic motivations all through the novel.

A fast read. A good read. Excellent scifi!
Profile Image for J.L. Zenor.
Author 8 books9 followers
February 21, 2016
Fun story, didn't go where I thought

The story was surprising almost all the way through. I enjoyed getting to know the main character as he discovered himself. A great read. I can't wait to read more from Kevin.
Profile Image for Michelle.
262 reviews10 followers
March 9, 2016
This was an extremely interesting story for me. However, it did take some time for me to get invested. Once I was invested, it was pretty awesome! Loved the ending!!

I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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