Published: December 16th 2014
Henry Malone’s childhood was shattered by the unexplained suicide of his father. Now a teenager, his days are spent studying to become a Neural Implant Technician for Planetary Link Corporation, helping them maintain an iron grip over his walled country and every iota of knowledge contained within—but he leads a double life. Henry’s nights are spent helping his mother wage a cyber war against them in her quest to find the truth behind his father’s death.
He’s managed to keep his two lives separate, a delicate balance that’s endangered after he repairs the neural implant of a stranger. He finds she’s in possession of illegal memories from the outside world, unauthorized knowledge of his father, and a message: speak to me later and tell no one. Henry has a choice to make—ignore the message and maintain his double-life, or answer and risk everything to uncover secrets Planetary Link would kill to keep buried.
Publisher: Primrose Publishing
Genre(s): Dystopia, Young-adult
Page Count: 286
Welcome to my review tour stop of We Are Watching by M. Stephen Stewart, a dystopian and sci-fi young-adult novel!
Note: I received a free digital copy of this book thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for review purposes. This does not affect my review.
This book was intriguing, to say the least! It had an interesting, new world, with advanced technology that all took some time to get used to, but overall I really liked it.
Henry Malone has always been in the spotlight since his famous father, Scott Malone died. His mother has been continuously attached to her NEX, (basically like our smartphones these days except implanted in the brain). Now Henry’s works for Planetary Link (Plink) as a technician in Neural Implants. One day, when he comes across a girl who has strange memories of the world outside, and of himself and his father, Henry’s world turns completely upside down. Instead of continuing to work for Plink, Henry suddenly finds new revelations, revelations that change everything he’s ever known.
I found the plot to be unique, yet still like other dystopian/sci-fi novels I’ve read, the plot was kind of a mix of refreshing and familiar, which I liked. Not only that, this book, while futuristic, had components that made the world easy to picture, while still being a completely different and addicting world. The book was filled with secrets, deceit, action, and there was almost never a dull moment. After all, Henry is finding out all sorts of new revelations, about both Planetary Link (Plink for short), about his father and all sorts of things. Luckily I didn’t feel like it went too fast, and I really enjoyed how we weren’t given all the pieces of the mystery immediately. It came in parts, and even then there were parts of the mystery unsolved.
One thing I wish could’ve been better was the explanation of the new terms (like NEX). I mean, I understood it an all, but it kind of took me a bit to catch on.
I really liked the characters, but I suppose they could’ve been better, hence the 3.5 rating. Don’t get me wrong, I liked them, but there just felt like something was missing. Maybe because I couldn’t fully emotionally connect with them? But they were good characters, I did care for what happens to them, I was fully rooting for these characters, and they were relatively well developed. One thing I will care to mention is that I wish I could’ve seen more of Riya and Mark, I mean, I know Riya is a strong, tough and independent young lady and everything, but I wish she could’ve appeared more; it felt too much like the story was driven by Henry. I mean, it was, as he’s the protagonist that will change everything and all, but I don’t know, I guess it could’ve been done better.
The writing style was pleasant, it was easy to read. I really liked the conversation between the characters, especially with Henry. They were amusing and fun to read about, sarcastic and witty, while still getting important things across between characters. Does that make sense? Basically I guess I’m trying to say that the humour didn’t get in the way of the book, it was very natural.
We Are Watching is an interesting novel that will keep any sci-fi lover happy. The plot is action-packed and sets the stage for an exciting sequel, not to mention the world-building is quite interesting, familiar but still refreshing. If you like romance, I wouldn’t quite suggest this book; there’s no romance much at all, really, just kind of hinted at. But the plot is action-packed and sets the stage for an exciting sequel that I really want to read, in which I’m looking forward to seeing more of the characters and their development.
INT Giveaway – Signed copies of We Are Watching and A Conduit of Man (book 2), ends July 16th