“Nemesis Rising” by Adam Golob“Nemesis Rising” by Adam Golob https://www.readerviewskids.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/NemesisRising-683x1024.jpg 683 1024 Reader Views Kids Reader Views Kids https://www.readerviewskids.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/NemesisRising-683x1024.jpg
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Independently Published (2023)
Reviewed by Lily Andrews for Reader Views (12/2023)
“Nemesis Rising” is a dystopian novel penned by Adam Golob. The year is 2045, and various reforms have been done in the penal system, the main one being the scrapping of the death penalty by the Supreme Court. Instead, defendants convicted of capital offenses are sent to Zynum Prison, built on a ruined city. Here, only the strongest prisoners survive. Designed for only one direction, once a prisoner is in Zynum, there is no getting out. The prison is marked by rampant inequality and unchecked anarchy as prisoners scrap to survive in these inhumane conditions.
Sam, a middle school history teacher, has been wrongly convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in Zynum Prison. His friend Billy promised to do his best to get him out. But upon getting inside, Sam realized how futile Billy’s efforts would be. Life in prison was nothing like he had imagined or even taught to his history students. Amidst the vicious war between clans, horrific living situations, and unfathomable psychological tortures present in his surroundings, Golob keeps readers wondering how much more Sam can take. His chances of survival are slim.
There is a popular saying that the darker the circumstances the more satisfying the victory. The author has showcased this in more ways than one through the main protagonist. I liked the book’s masterful organization of the chapters providing a “now and then” analysis of Sam’s life before he was framed for murder against his life as an inmate. Also, his teachings on Zynum Prison and the criminal system in class provide a worthy preliminary on the kind of life that the prisoners are living. There is also an unforeseen twist when he finds himself in the very place he teaches about.
I was curious to navigate across the chapters reading Sam’s every move. I was quite relieved when he was recruited into one of the clans, which turned out to be his saving grace, at least for some time. In the book’s unique way, the story is a brutally honest social commentary that mirrors modern society. It is a bleak portrayal of corrupt justice systems, class inequalities, and the safe mediocrities employed by top-tier individuals at the expense of many who end up impoverished and nearly forgotten.
Told with passion and skill, Adam Golob’s novel is an inventive story idea and one whose storyline is authentic and entertaining. He evokes interest and suspense in a reader from the onset. The vividly drawn settings and descriptions draw you in all the more, making it very hard to put it down until the end. The title too is befitting of this thriller and gives a strong hint of what will become of the main protagonist. Adam Golob’s “Nemesis Rising” is what fiction literature should be about; entertaining and informative as well.
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