Wednesday, June 10, 2015
REVIEW: We Are Watching by: M. Stephen Stewart
Author: M. Stephen Stewart
Publisher: Primrose Publishing LLC
Release Date: December 16, 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.
Henry has lived a hard life after the death of his father and has had to deal with everyone trying to gain something because of it. He's also developed a sarcastic and defensive attitude because of it. Henry lives in a futuristic version of Huston called The Gulf Market where everyone has been implanted with a NEX in their brains that connects them with all kinds of knowledge and information. All of the information and knowledge is controlled by Planetary Link or Plink and they determine what and how much you are allowed to ''consume'' and also have access to your memories. If unauthorized knowledge is obtained it is a capitol offense punishable sometimes by death. Henry is training to become an IT but in his spare time he is secretly studying piloting and space. His whole world is thrown off it's axis when he is called to fix the NEX of girl found passed out, and as he is sifting through her NEX and memories he stumbles upon images of his father and now he's determined to find out what it is she knows about him.
I really enjoyed reading "We Are Watching", it was such a refreshing and different type of book than what I've been reading lately. Stewart creates a mesmerizing futuristic world that is full of adventure, mystery, misery, heartache and hope.
Henry is a sarcastic pain in the butt sometimes but I don't blame him. I think I would be that way too if every time I turned around someone was trying to make shares (money) off me. He has extremely short fuses especially when it come to the subject of his father.
Mark Watson is Henry's best friend and the only kid his age who doesn't try to use Henry. He is always trying to keep Henry out of trouble and looking out for him. You really don't get to see a huge glimpse into Mark's life but one thing that is evident is the way that he is always there for Henry when he really needs him.
Riya is a strong and brave character who has a few secrets. You get a brief glimpse into what her life is like and her secrets as the story progresses. She helps to get Henry to do things that he normally would not and brings him out of his ''shell''.
I like that the time in which "We Are Watching" is set in the future, because as with fantasy the sky is the limit and anything that you can dream up can work. Stewart goes into a few details and describes some of the cultural ideas but, I would have liked to have learned more about the futuristics of this world. The NEX felt a little familiar in the sense of being almost like our smartphones today and all the apps that come with it. The only difference being the NEX is implanted in the brain. In Henry's world everyone is always connected to their NEX looking at everyone else's profiles and status updates, almost like how our society is obsessed with social media platforms today.
"We Are Watching" is a mesmerizing futuristic tale that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat and dying to know what happens in the second installment of the Mindshare series. I highly suggest giving "We Are Watching" by M. Stephen Stewart a try especially if you like futuristic worlds and tons of science fiction.
(c) 2015 Andrea Hatfield All Rights Reserved