Zarya Episode II: Sochi Unleashed (Zarya: Guardians of Cydnus Series Book 2) by Jackiem Joyner Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

The survival of a technologically advanced world running low on oxygen forces Zarya to navigate a politically charged arena while her father searches for a means of resurrecting a project that might save their people in author Jackiem Joyner’s “Zarya Episode II: Sochi Unleashed”, the second book in the Zarya: Guardians of Cydnus Series.


The Synopsis

In Zarya Episode II Sochi Unleashed, the fate of Cydnus, a highly advanced desert world, hangs in the balance. With oxygen levels beginning to deplete, this politically divided planet stands on the brink of an existential crisis.

In the heart of the advanced city of New Cebrenia City, Zarya, along with her father, Aaron, and friends Kizzy and Marco, must navigate a complex web of political strife. With Vice Chairman Eros’s dark plots threatening their progress, the security of their only political ally, the chairman, is under threat.

Their most powerful asset is Sochi, Zarya’s advanced AI Airboard. Yet, Sochi’s newfound ability to control other machines presents both significant opportunities and risks.

Meanwhile, Aaron embarks on a perilous journey into the cosmos, driven by desperation to resurrect a long-abandoned project that might be Cydnus’s last hope. His mission, shadowed by his past, is a race against time, with the future of Cydnus at stake.

Zarya Episode II: Sochi Unleashed delves into the intricate relationship between sentient beings and technology, bravery amidst uncertainty, and the struggle for survival. As Zarya, her allies, and Sochi traverse this journey, the tale evolves into a saga filled with challenges and triumphs. Welcome to Cydnus, a world teetering on the brink of an uncertain future, in this captivating narrative.

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The Review

This was a fast yet epic read. The author did an incredible job of building upon the mythos the author created in book one and elevating the world-building through some pretty incredible political and action-packed strife for the characters. The strong imagery that the author’s writing has really brings out the heavy sci-fi elements of the narrative.

The balance of rich character development with the strong themes that reflect on our own society made this such a compelling short read. The pressures of their world’s fate and the threats that surround them help elevate Zarya’s evolution, and the desperation of Aaron’s mission elevates the depths of their dedication to their world. The themes of AI and our relationship with evolving technology, as well as almost cult-like reverence for political and powerful figures in our society that turn violent, made this a fantastic read.

The Verdict

Memorable, action-packed, and engaging, author Jackiem Joyner’s “Zarya Episode II: Sochi Unleashed” is a must-read sci-fi and YA short story, and a great entry in the Zarya: Guardians of Cydnus series. The twists and turns in the growing world the author has captured and the fantastic way today’s world plays out across this futuristic landscape made this a thought-provoking read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Jackiem Joyner has loved Science Fiction ever since he was a child, fascinated by all the stories and imaginations of futuristic worlds. But it wasn’t until later in his life, after experiencing huge success in the recording business, that he decided to put pen to paper – the result of which is his debut novel, Zarya.

Gathering from his experiences traveling the world as a recording artist, he developed a knack for good science fiction stories after reading several books a month. Having used and operated many devices from the future, he incorporated exciting equipment and imaginary scientific ideas into dramatic thrillers that are sure to keep readers on edge.

Jackiem was born in Norfolk, Virginia and spent most of his young adult life in Syracuse New York before moving to Los Angeles, California where he currently resides. In addition to writing fun stories, Jackiem Joyner has experienced huge success as a recording artist, with multiple songs peaking at number 1 on the billboard charts and 5 international records released.

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