An exciting new novel from a bold up-and-coming sci-fi talent, The Forever Watch is so full of twists and surprises it's impossible to press pause.
All that is left of humanity is on a thousand-year journey to a new planet aboard one ship, The Noah, which is also carrying a dangerous serial killer....
As a city planner on the Noah, Hana Dempsey is a gifted psychic, economist, hacker, and bureaucrat and is considered "mission critical". She is non-replaceable, important, essential, but after serving her mandatory Breeding Duty, the impregnation and birthing that all women are obligated to undergo, her life loses purpose as she privately mourns the child she will never be permitted to know.
When Policeman Leonard Barrens enlists her and her hacking skills in the unofficial investigation of his mentor's violent death, Dempsey finds herself increasingly captivated by both the case and Barrens himself. According to Information Security, the missing man has simply "Retired", nothing unusual. Together they follow the trail left by the mutilated remains. Their investigation takes them through lost dataspaces and deep into the uninhabited regions of the ship, where they discover that the answer may not be as simple as a serial killer after all.
What they do with that answer will determine the fate of all humanity in David Ramirez's thrilling pause resister.
"Fans of hard SF will find this well-conceived and well-constructed debut a pleasure...Superior, psychologically plausible characterizations are combined with sophisticated worldbuilding, clever trope inversion, and original plotting to create a powerful story that will amply reward re-reading." (Publisher's Weekly)
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An Interesting and Ambitious Effort
interesting, unique perspective
I don't usually review books I can't recommend without reservation. But this is sufficiently good that even with a few reservations, it is worth the read. It takes a rather old meme (generation colony ship with "something going on") and infuses with a new perspective and a variety of unique ideas. Take a chance and read it -- it has twists and turns that I was not expecting.
Yes. She is always very good.
It isn't what it seems to be
I'll remember this more than a lot of other books.
- C. Hartmann "Sci-fi, History, Police Procedurals and Science"
Wooden in every way
I would not. My ratings allow some room for doubt. They should probably be 2/1/2.
The ending was a complete surprise-and I don't mean that in a good way. It was deus ex machina all over again with characters acting in strange ways, with key characters all of a sudden reported to be dying but for no explained reason…I could go on. I won't.
The reader's voice was so robotic- I stayed with it, figuring that perhaps it was a computer speaking and therefore robotic intonation was appropriate. I was wrong, and not for the first time was I disappointed while allowing the author room to roam.
The reader is wooden– think of the way any computer sounds these days but without the inflection! (example: every 'a' was a long 'a', not pronounced as 'uh' as we do in normal speech. By the time I was fed up with the reading I was invested in the story, which was a miracle in itself; see below.
This is an odd book hardly SF. Sure, it's set on an intergalactic ship but it could have been set in New Jersey. Plot twists appear out of the blue– aliens are discussed but only enough to flesh out a plot device.
I still don't understand what G1 was all about- people bearing monsters? Huh? How did we become psionic? And do I really need to be reminded ad nauseum that her 'man' is a big ole bruiser? Really?(although there is one fairly interesting sexual setting).
There were so many things needing explaining that would have made this book truly interesting: how does one become captain? How did one of the security people get to be captain in the last part of the book? What's the deal with the aliens, anyway? Why is the future of humanity-leaving out spoilers here- confined to a bump on the ship?
I stayed with it because I was about half way through when the author's idea paucity became painfully obvious. By that time, I'd invested too much. I wasn't disappointed, though; the ending was as non sequitur and boring as I expected it would be.
I'd return it but I don't send back books I've heard all the way through. Don't bother with this book.
- Suzie Muchnick "suzieyoga"