Jati’s Wager by Jonathan Nevair

by Justine Bergman

Welcome to the Kickoff of the Jati’s Wager Book Tour presented by Storytellers On Tour! A few months ago we showed Jonathan Nevair’s Goodbye to the Sun a bit of love, and it’s an honor to host him once again, this time for the second book in his Wind Tide series. This week will be chock full of features showcasing Nevair’s LGBTQ+ Sci-Fi novel, Jati’s Wager, so be sure to stay tuned – it’s going to be fantastic!

Jonathan stopped to share an intriguing guest post on how Jati’s Wager utilizes psychological aspects inspired by Internal Family Systems. I always love sharing something a bit different, and this is something you DEFINITELY want to check out. So, keep scrolling to learn more about the book and author, read the awesome post, and enter to win yourself a copy of Jati’s Wager!

We’ve enlisted a group of wonderful and talented bloggers and Bookstagrammers to help us feature Jati’s Wager. This is what we have going on, so make sure to check out each and every one throughout the week for some brilliant content, including reviews and more.

Whispers & Wonder (IG: @whispersandwonder)
The Swordsmith
Spells & Spaceships

Beneath A Thousand Skies
Westveil Publishing (IG: @thewestveilarchives)
Book and Nature Professor (IG: @bookandnatureprof)
Marian L Thorpe
Olliespot SFF Book Reviews and Interviews
I Smell Sheep
Sue’s Musings
Queen’s Book Asylum

For more info, visit the official tour page at Storytellers On Tour.

Jati’s Wager by Jonathan Nevair
SERIES: Wind Tide (#2)
PUBLISHED: August 18, 2021 by Shadow Spark Publishing
GENRE: Science Fiction, Space Opera
PAGES: 425



The Blurb

A space opera heist brimming with action, twists, and turns that doubles as a story of personal growth, mentorship, and sacrifice.

Ailo is a streetwise teen surviving alone on the remote moonbase, Tarkassi 9. She wants nothing more than to flee into the wider world of the Arm. When her chance arrives, she makes it no farther than the first ship out of the system. That’s where Jati, the Patent War veteran and general fighting the Monopolies, gives her a second chance. It’s an unlikely partnership, but Ailo’s rogue status is just what Jati’s People’s Army needs to drive the final spike of victory into a weakening Garissian Council.

A team of experts assembles and hope rests on Ailo’s skill, stealth, and tenacity to pull off the impossible. It’s a wild gambit, and a moral code may need to be bent, or broken, to achieve success. When an internal shadow rises, casting doubt on their plans, Ailo and Jati are forced to weigh the cost of revenge against honor and justice.

Jati’s Wager: An Internal Character’s Double Role
by Jonathan Nevair

Each book in the Wind Tide series utilizes a unique POV relationship to enhance the reader’s experience with the main characters. In the first book, Goodbye to the Sun, this took the form of a first-person POV that told the story through the character of Razor, one of the main protagonists. Each chapter toggled between Razor and a 3rd-person limited from the point of view of Keen Draden, the main character. Razor speaks from a position almost sixty years after the events of the book, and it serves to create a twofold perspective on the same events – one as memory and the other “live time” as the story unfolds (i.e. from Keen Draden’s perspective).

For Jati’s Wager (Book II) I decided to do something different. This time a chapter appears every so often from the point of view of an imaginary friend to Ailo, one of the two protagonists (the other in this book being Jati). This imaginary friend is named Gerib. Like Book I, the story is told in 3rd person limited (from Ailo’s perspective) in “real time,” but Gerib becomes a reflective internal alternative voice between these passages. 

What gives this internal conversation between Ailo and Gerib an additional layer is the influence of a psychological architecture inspired by the very real work and theories of Richard Schwartz, Ph.D. Internal Family Systems, a popular method in the field of psychotherapy invented by Dr. Schwartz, was the basis for Gerib as internal family “manager,” as well as the other “parts” within Ailo that formed her psychological dynamic/profile. 

The following passage is a demonstration of the presence and references to IFS. Often considered sub-personalities that form a family, they are given names that have to do with their roles – managers, emergency responders, exiles, etc. So, while Gerib has manifested as an actual imaginary friend to Ailo as a coping mechanism, he also is the manager – the one who is responsible for working to negotiate past memory, trauma, and other circumstances in Ailo’s internal system. For more information about IFS I’ve included two links below, as well as an excerpt from one of the chapters of Jati’s Wager where Gerib is speaking in first-person POV from “inside” Ailo as both a sub-personality and an imaginary friend.




This day was a long time coming. It would’ve arrived sooner had I not been doing my best to manage the chaotic turmoil of Ai’s internal dynamics. But there are only so many places I can focus my attention at once. Plugging cracks in the dam of memory while working to stave off the self-destructive necessities of emergency responders is a full-time job. And I’m on overtime.

Ailo’s existential nihilism and reckless abandon are bred from hardship. She’s survived admirably considering what she’s endured. I challenge anyone to persevere on a destitute moon base without parental supervision from the age of eight. That’s a feat unto itself. To find shelter — and not just physical but also psychological (that’s where I come in, by the way) – food and safety day in and day out takes guts. And tenacity. Not to mention determination.

Ai has no shortage of those three. Add the fact that she’s developed a street-wise attitude, found mentors (and held on to them, at least until they passed on to a better place), and maintained a set of personal goals despite watching the world ignore you from the farthest outpost of human civilization in the Sag-Arm.

Let’s get one thing clear right at the start. I am not a crutch. I’m a functioning part of Ai’s psyche. Myself, her emergency responders (they don’t have names, only I do), the exiles attached to traumatic memories, and her own inner ‘self’ are all healthy parts of her mind’s mechanics. We are all Ailo. We’re not coping mechanisms. Whoever touts that belief is a liar and is fooling themselves as much as anyone else.

Nothing about this internal psychological system is unique. For reasons related to Ai’s early childhood experiences, she’s managed to pull me up from the depths and make me explicit. I am, literally, a voice in her head. But I am her; a sub-personality keeping a central personality and ‘self’ protected and safe while building intrinsic trust.

Now here is what makes this extraordinary: I’m an imaginary friend. We’ve developed a social relationship. I’ve become a companion to a lonely, isolated child. That is unique. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not all fun and games. We bicker and fight like dogs. But at the end of the day, we are a team. I keep her company as a parentless street kid, working with her to survive from one day to the next. But I serve to protect and shield Ai from internal exiles whose wounds can return to consciousness, triggering emergency responders and leading to destructive or harmful behavior to herself and others. So, I make decisions about how much, when, and if, a memory can resurface. I don’t always succeed, but I try.

‘Ailo’ the teenager has fought insurmountable odds for years. When she’s ready for full leadership of her internal system, I can take a backseat and get some much-needed rest. But I’ll always be there. She may dump me as an imaginary friend and reach a point where she doesn’t need or want me as an explicit internal manager. If that happens, I’ll fall back into the hidden depths with other psychological family members. But I’m still on the clock. Managers don’t stop working. Ever.

For now, I’m fine as a voice in her head. I prefer it this way. It’s easier to speak with her while also giving myself some creative agency. And there’s no shortage of entertainment. We have a good time together.

My responsibility to protect Ai is my priority and essential purpose. She isn’t ready to confront the reservoir of memory on the other side of the dam. Not yet. Look at what happened on the Carmora.

Subtle and indirect references to her internal exiles trickled over the rim. The responders were sent scrambling and Ai responded in the extreme. Resistance as self-preservation, violence as protection, nihilism as a shield from crushing disappointment of dreaming of the future… these lead to broken noses and rebellious rides into a headwind of shattering glass. I do have to hand it to her; she knows how to make an entrance. And an exit.

The water on the other side of that dam is rising. At some point soon, I’m going to have to figure out how to release some of it in manageable doses. Otherwise, it’s going to crack and emit a flood of memories too powerful to control. If that happens, the psychological deluge will drown us all.

Jonathan Nevair

Jonathan Nevair is a science fiction writer and, as Dr. Jonathan Wallis, an art historian and Professor of Art History at Moore College of Art & Design, Philadelphia. After two decades of academic teaching and publishing, he finally got up the nerve to write fiction. Jonathan grew up on Long Island, NY but now resides in southeast Pennsylvania with his wife and rambunctious mountain feist, Cricket.

You can find him online at www.jonathannevair.com and on twitter at @JNevair 

WEBSITE: www.jonathannevair.com

The Giveaway

Enter to win a print copy of Jati’s Wager by Jonathan Nevair!
US/UK Only • Ends 9/5

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