SciFi Book Review: The Forever Watch

The Forever Watch by David Ramirez

Synopsis:
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.

Review:
Hana is a complex, relatable character. It’s not clear at first why the breeding program is set up the way it is, but it is explained later in the book. There is quite a bit of fear of the authorities, and Hana doesn’t want to show any of her grief to anyone. She has a growing relationship with a policeman, but even Leo has limited power when he investigates a trail of deaths.

The Forever Watch is a dark science fiction thriller. The setting doesn’t feel like a ship because of its immensity – the size of a city – complete with days and nights and changes in seasons. The story is inventive and unpredictable. I thought I knew what was going on at one point, but was way off. This well-paced story has plenty of mystery, intrigue, suspense, and a bit of romance – with plenty of twists and turns along the way.

Cover Reveal: Empower: Fight Like A Girl

empower

Praise for Empower: Fight Like A Girl

“Even non-girls will feel empowered by these stories about ordinary, flawed characters finding their own strengths. Highly entertaining and original.”
Lee Goldberg, New York Times bestselling author of The Chase and King City, whose mother lost her hearing to lupus.

Women of TV have united against lupus! Presenting Empower: Fight Like A Girl, a special collection of short stories by top women writers from some of your favorite shows, including: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Family Guy, Person of Interest, Grimm, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Law & Order: SVU, Star Trek: Voyager, Eureka, Twisted, The 100, Malcolm in the Middle, Millennium, Being Human, The Shield, Castle, Chuck, Gilmore Girls, and Game of Thrones. In this anthology, you’ll discover supernatural thrillers, crime mysteries, horror, comedies, and more.

Authors contributing stories to this volume include:

  • Amy Berg
  • Cherry Chevapravatdumrong
  • Akela Cooper
  • Liz Edwards
  • Jane Espenson
  • Shalisha Francis & Nadine Knight
  • Lisa Klink
  • Pang-Ni Landrum
  • Lauren LeFranc
  • Kam Miller
  • Jess Pineda
  • Jennifer Quintenz
  • Lisa Randolph
  • Kay Reindl
  • Kira Snyder
  • Jeane Wong
  • All proceeds will be donated to the non-profit Lupus Foundation of America to help solve the cruel mystery of lupus.

    Emmy Laybourne Guest Post Q&A

    savage drift Emmy Laybourne

    I’m so delighted to be here on SciFiChick.com for the first day of my Blog Tour for SAVAGE DRIFT!

    SAVAGE DRIFT is the last book in the MONUMENT 14 trilogy. I thought it would be fun to look back at the wonderful blog interviews I’ve done since beginning the trilogy in 2010 and give you:
    My Favorite 6 QUESTIONS I’ve Ever Been Asked by a Blogger!

    1. If the characters from MONUMENT 14 were to celebrate a holiday, how would they do it? – Olivia, YA Lit Mag

    Well, it’s funny – they’re in a big store with lots of different supplies, so if they were going to celebrate a holiday, they would have most of the materials on hand to really do it up!

    I think that Niko would assign people to be on different committees – Josie would head up decorations, Dean and Batiste would dream up a special meal, Jake would take over figuring out some special games to celebrate the day, and maybe Sahalia would sing and play guitar!

    I can also imagine Josie organizing the little kids to perform some sort of a pageant. Of course, Chloe would be the star, Mac would probably forget his lines and improvise but then Ulysses would steal the show by break-dancing!

    2. Why did you choose to make the main character of MONUMENT 14 a boy? Was it hard to make his voice authentic (you know… since you’re not a boy)? – Enna, Squeaky Books

    You know, it’s weird, but I never for a second considered making the narrator of MONUMENT 14 a girl! I think this is because I started thinking about who would be in the story and Dean just stepped forward in my mind, to be the narrator. If I had made the narrator a girl, a lot would have been different – perhaps the story would have developed as a love triangle between the narrator, Jake and Niko! As it is, Dean is sort of torn between Niko’s serious, boy scout mentality and Jake’s playboy attitude. But of course, it’s not a love triangle between them! More of a buddy triangle! (Note to self: Write movie called Buddy Triangle!)

    3. If you could have one super power what would it be? – Amy, Readingteen

    Read moreEmmy Laybourne Guest Post Q&A

    Book Giveaway: The Bone Season

    Courtesy of Bloomsbury, I have a copy of The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon for one (1) lucky winner!

    Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends May 23. I’ll draw a name on May 24, and notify winner via email.

    ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

    Good luck!

    Read moreBook Giveaway: The Bone Season

    SciFi Book Review: Lockstep

    Lockstep by Karl Schroeder

    Synopsis:
    When seventeen-year-old Toby McGonigal finds himself lost in space, separated from his family, he expects his next drift into cold sleep to be his last. After all, the planet he’s orbiting is frozen and sunless, and the cities are dead. But when Toby wakes again, he’s surprised to discover a thriving planet, a strange and prosperous galaxy, and something stranger still—that he’s been asleep for 14,000 years.

    Welcome to the Lockstep Empire, where civilization is kept alive by careful hibernation. Here cold sleeps can last decades and waking moments mere weeks. Its citizens survive for millennia, traveling asleep on long voyages between worlds. Not only is Lockstep the new center of the galaxy, but Toby is shocked to learn that the Empire is still ruled by its founding family: his own.

    Toby’s brother Peter has become a terrible tyrant. Suspicious of the return of his long-lost brother, whose rightful inheritance also controls the lockstep hibernation cycles, Peter sees Toby as a threat to his regime. Now, with the help of a lockstep girl named Corva, Toby must survive the forces of this new Empire, outwit his siblings, and save human civilization.

    Review:
    Since Toby has been asleep for 14,000 years, he awakens to find a completely foreign world and a future that isn’t as far off as it sounds. To advance trade, economics, and travel between light-years, Toby’s family developed a system of putting worlds into hibernation on a set schedule. I don’t believe it was explained how Toby’s ship sustained itself and kept him alive for 14,000 years of real time. But it was an interesting premise if a bit hard to wrap my head around at times.

    Lockstep is a fascinating read for hard science fiction fans. It is well-paced, engaging, and thought-provoking. Yet it was a surprisingly quick read for me since it was so hard to put down. There wasn’t a lot of time spent on character development, but it wasn’t too noticeable as the adventure and intrigue were enough to keep me invested. Fans of the genre will certainly want to check out this inventive story.

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