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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.