Review: The Forever Watch by David Ramirez

May 22, 2014 3 stars, Book Review, Science Fiction 22 ★★★

Review: The Forever Watch by David RamirezThe Forever Watch by David Ramirez
Published by Thomas Dunne Books on April 22, 2014
Genres: Adult SFF, Science fiction
Pages: 326
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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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 this thrilling page turner.

three-stars

The Forever Watch gives the reader everything expected from the description but with oodles of more that I find almost beyond me to describe. Plus if I did that might ruin some of the experience. Suffice to say all that’s left of humanity is making a 1,000 year journey to a new habitable planet.  Ok so they’ve already been traveling 200 years and have about 800 left to go. The ships name? Noah. That is the concept that originally drew me to this book and I liked that it is one of the stranger settings I’ve come across in my reading. Now I’ve read space ships (small crews) and space stations (close to being small floating cities) but never before a ship large enough to contain all there is of a species. Granted, I’ve seen those types of ships mentioned in other science fiction books, but they were never the actual setting of the book. Imagine the size of this thing. Sounds cool right? – Yeah it was.

But what happens when you have an entire population and they are all in the same space? – Breeding is going to become an issue eventually. Thus all women at some point have to undertake breeding duty. Motherhood is treated like such a sterile process and the mothers never get to meet their child. Could this happen, gosh I hope not but at the same time I could totally imagine it. Hana goes thru breeding duty right at the beginning of the book and I liked seeing how it colors the rest of the book. Her friend Barrens comes into the mix because he is essentially a detective investigating some awful murders and he wants her help. And he would need her help because? – she’s psychic of course. Alright I have to admit I love it when there is a psychic character. This is one of those traits that I’ve always secretly both wished for and feared having. A talent like that could totally mess with your mind.

The techy science tech
I think it must be a hard line to balance in science fiction giving the reader the right amount of science and tech. Some readers like it hardcore and others like the lighter side of things. I think I might be one of those that likes it lighter or more conceptual and less blammo in my face. The Forever Watch veers more than a smidge over to the heavier sci-fi side but not so far that someone like me would have a hard time enjoying it. Though it did take me longer to read than a book this length usually does as I needed more time to let all of the concepts, jargon and ideas really sink in. But have no doubt there is some cool stuff that science fiction lovers will enjoy watching come into play on a big ship carrying all that’s left of humanity and how to possibly keep them from going bonkers in the process.

There is a big mystery at the heart of this book and a dynamic relationship that develops between the two lead characters that is fabulous. I know a book is a success with me when I can immediately think of at least two people to recommend it to.

Random quote I liked

Don’t say one thing with your words and something else with your body.

Oh now I know you probably immediately thought something sexy didn’t you? Naughty minx you, it was no such thing.

Things I haven’t seen before
Whenever I know I want to read something that I haven’t seen before I immediately go to the sci-fi genre. Now I’ve read all the Dune books and many other science fiction books but I’m not as heavily read in this genre as I am in Fantasy. So in fantasy it’s harder to wow me with new concepts but I can usually count on sci-fi to give me the goods in a way I haven’t seen before. In The Forever Watch I got that and then some. Oh how I wish I could tell you – but I can’t because that would spoil the surprise. But suffice to say there was a whole lot of twisty this way and that and I definitely didn’t see many of these things coming. Also hats off to the excellent character dynamics that came into play between Hana and Barrens – or did I say that already? It’s well worth repeating. And yes, there is romance in case you were wondering. Newbie readers to the genre might find this one a bit more than they bargained for but I definitely guarantee any avid science fiction lover will gobble The Forever Watch up.

 

Come back tomorrow for a guest post from the author, David Ramirez – Why Do Breeding Programs Keep Showing Up in Stories?

*gasp* This book was provided by the publisher! No worries though it’s an honest review and all opinions expressed are my own. Quotes are taken from an Advanced edition and may have changes in the published edition. This post might also contain affiliate links. To view my full Blog Policy, click here.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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22 Responses to “Review: The Forever Watch by David Ramirez”

  1. Melliane

    Ok I’m not sure it’s for me… you know planet, ships… it’s the things I struggle with but I’l glad you had a good time with it.

  2. Mogsy

    Sweet, this one looks good! I have it on NG and still haven’t gotten to it yet, but since you were the one who rec’ed this to me and I know you and I have pretty similar tastes when it comes to sci-fi, I’m looking forward to reading this 😀
    Mogsy recently posted…Book Review: Gemsigns by Stephanie SaulterMy Profile

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      I feel that way sometimes too Lisa. I think usually the ones that sound like they are too ‘hard scifi’ are the ones I stay away from. I have started to be able to tell the ones that I likely won’t enjoy as much because they get tooo too techy for me. Even this one starts to get bogged down a few times with making me really THINK…but then books are supposed to make you think but often I just want to zoom through them like a movie you know?

      It definitely was still worth the read.
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      • Becky LeJeune

        CONQUEST by Jennifer Ridyard and John Connolly and RED RISING by Pierce Brown are really the only true sci fi titles I’ve read of late. Peter Liney’s THE DETAINEE was a dystopian with some sci fi elements. I also did the DIVERGENT trilogy.

        I’m really hoping to get to ROBOT UPRISINGS and Andy Weir’s THE MARTIAN. I have a book called BURNING PARADISE by Robert Charles Wilson that looks really good and then I have a pile of classics in my TBR – some Jack Finney and some PKD.
        Becky LeJeune recently posted…The Care and Management of Lies by Jaqueline WinspearMy Profile

  3. Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    I definitely consider myself to be a SciFi newsbie reader, but you bring up an interesting point about this genre having never-seen-before elements. And, I’m relieved to hear that there’s some romance, and that the character dynamics are good. I’ll be curious to see what the author has to say about breeding programs tomorrow. Must remember to come back…
    Carmel @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Question: What Tends To Be The Deciding Factor When Choosing Your Next Great Read?My Profile

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Oddly enough even though I’ve been reading scifi for like hmm 17 years, I’ve always been a light scifi reader and more of a fantasy reader. So I still consider myself a newbie when it comes to the genre…though I know I’m really not. I guess I always just compare myself to the hardcore readers who read EVERYTHING scifi even the way over my head stuff. I’d say this one runs somewhere in the middle. Might not be as appealing to newbies but a good one to read once you’ve eased into the genre more.

      But fascinating!! Yes his article tomorrow is a good one =)
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    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Oh goodness – I didn’t used to think SF was my thing either. So if you’re a real newbie I wouldn’t start with this one because as I said it veers close to the ‘hard scifi’ waters. If you typically enjoy fantasy or urban fantasy instead I would start with Rachel Bach’s Paradox Trilogy (#1 is Fortune’s Pawn) or maybe even hmmm if you’re a contemp reader normally then Love Minus Eighty by Will McIntosh…if you’re a YA reader then Earth Girl by Janet Edwards.

      So what kind of reader are you?? *hehe* hellooo new booky bloggy friend!
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  4. Jules

    I had to admit that for Dystopian or Sci Fi novels, its either a hit or miss. I’m not the kind of person that usually ventures in hard core sci fi, because I’m afraid that my brain may not understand it! >< but I'm glad that this seems good. I could imagine it in a movie 😀
    Jules recently posted…The Chocolate Book TagMy Profile

  5. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    Another fabulous review for a fabulous book I will immediately be adding to my wishlist. It’s starting to become a problem, LOL. And I DO have a dirty mind, I can’t help it. Of COURSE it went there 😉 And I love a good sci-fi that has things like psychics as well as space travel, etc. Like I said–sounds fabulous!