Fiction - Thriller - Espionage
414 Pages
Reviewed on 04/08/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite

Rise by Julian Jackson is a story full of action, danger, and intrigue. Thylonius (Ty) and Cnidaria (Ni) abandon their home in Sierra Leone. The entire neighborhood burns, but the children do not know why. The brother and sister escape to Liberia and survive by digging through trash cans for food. One afternoon, Ty tells his sister he encountered a man who knew their parents. They discover their parents were happy to be rid of them and had set a racist group to burn their home. Using the guns that Lucius had provided, the young teens seek revenge on their parents and murder them. They make a deal with Lucius to take them to America. From this event, Ty and Ni have embarked upon an epic journey to becoming ruthless assassins. While training, Ty develops a plan to “reset the world” by bringing down all the superpower governments. Ni agrees to team up with him to change the world.

Action, field espionage, and character development are the focus of Rise. Julian Jackson spared no details about how Ty and Ni grew into accomplished assassins. They were excellent at covering their tracks and worked together to accomplish their goals. Happiness evaded both of them. I could understand how hearing your parents didn’t love you could make a child avoid personal relationships. Ty was more relatable to me. He developed friendships and fell in love, whereas Ni didn’t. In one particular scene, Ni killed someone after she thought she could spend her life with him. Flawless transitions between characters made the story easy to follow. I liked how Jackson included their ages and locations at the top of each chapter. The ending seemed like this would be a standalone book; however, there was a hint in Rise where I think there could be a sequel. Anyone who loves an action-filled espionage story would enjoy this book.

Pikasho Deka

Rise is an action-packed thriller novel written by Julian Jackson. Twelve-year-old Thylonious Williams (Ty) and his fifteen-year-old sister CniDaria (Ni) barely escape with their lives when political turmoil hits Sierra Leone, forcing them to flee to Robertsport, Liberia. They get the shock of their lives when they learn that it was their parents who set them up and fled the country. Encouraged by a Caucasian man named Lucius, the siblings kill their parents. With Lucius as their mentor, Ty and Ni grow up to become elite assassins capable of committing mass murders at a moment's notice. After taking out the entire US Cabinet and the British Royal Family, the siblings change the dynamics of the global power structure. However, everything must come at a price, and the siblings soon get a rude awakening for their past sins.

Filled with action, political intrigue, and romance, Rise is an intense rollercoaster of a ride you don't want to miss. Author Julian Jackson's adrenaline-fuelled tale of two international sibling assassins provides thrills galore, and you find yourself on the edge of your seat from start to finish. The plot moves at a breakneck speed, taking twists and turns that you never see coming. The action sequences are non-stop as Ty and Ni take readers on a world tour of killing frenzy that will satiate the appetites of even the most ardent action genre fan. Ty and Ni are flawed people who want to do good but choose violence as a means, making them quite compelling as characters. Recommend to action-oriented book lovers.

Iza Grek

Rise, by Julian Jackson, is a no-holds-barred crime caper that sees a brother and sister duo stop at nothing. Rising from the ashes in their birthplace Sierra Leone, at age 12 they make the devastating discovery that their parents have set them up. Siblings Thylonius (Ty) and CniDaria (Ny) take on the world and become assassins to follow their mission: making the world a better place. To this end, they know no bounds - literally and figuratively - traversing countries and continents to eliminate presidents and governments. Their mission takes us from Miami to Moscow, from Japan to Johannesburg, and various cities in between. In sparse moments of human reflection, the assassins have a prick of conscience and question their flagrant murder spree. Longing for a more normal life, they pursue careers as an engineer (Ty) and doctor (Ny). As the older sibling, Ny must always look out for her little brother.

Their life of malfeasance is not without romance. Julian Jackson pays attention to the siblings’ need for romance as a possible distraction from their day jobs in high crime. Rise is a fast-paced whip-cracking read with one unexpected event following the other. Jackson uses humor effectively throughout the narrative and pokes fun at the idea that the destruction of power will deliver a more equal world order. The tone is light and always engaging. Julian Jackson has done a fine job of putting together a most unlikely story that makes for an enjoyable read nonetheless, although some readers might prefer stories a little closer to reality.