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The Forever Watch Paperback – 4 Dec 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (4 Dec. 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 1444787888
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444787887
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 2.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,009,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Vivid, action-packed, and yet filled with scientific plausibility, The Forever Watch propels you on a tense voyage of mystery, surprise and discovery. (David Brin)

Book Description

The truth is only the beginning.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sam Tyler on 9 Jun. 2014
Format: Hardcover
Great science fiction is made up of many parts, but three things are vital for it to become a classic; world building, story and character. If one of these three elements is slightly below the others, a great novel can be punished. In `The Forever Watch' by Daniel Ramirez we have a fantastic world in the form of the spaceship Noah, a great character in the form of Hana, but does the story quite match up to the rest?

The human race is dying, but before we are wiped out on Earth, we boarded the spaceship The Noah on a 1000 year journey to a new planet. The people on the ship have evolved from what we know today; they have enhanced powers that dictate their role in the society. Hana scored well whilst growing up so has become a manager in the Civil Engineering department, but when she meets Barrens she is plunged into the hidden side of The Noah, gaining glimpses of secrets that no one should see.

I love a good dystopian structure and that is exactly what you get with `Forever Watch', Ramirez has created in The Noah the perfect type of world on which to base a story. Although set hundreds of years in the future on a ship that cannot yet exist, it feels realistic. The politics of the ship are somewhat fascist, but perhaps this is needed to achieve the ultimate goal of creating a new Earth? Hana is also a great character to follow; she is a powerful woman, but still feminine. Some of the scenes between her and Barrens may make your eyes water, but they give a good reason for the characters to work for survival.

The one element that is not quite as strong is the story itself. The blurb will have you thinking this is a murder mystery based in a science fiction universe, but it is more than that - too much more at times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alisha Bookseller on 22 Nov. 2014
Format: Hardcover
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.

I had to get the synopsis from GoodReads again because I didn't want to be too spoilery, but at the same time this was nearly a DNF and as it was I stopped paying too much attention, and was skim reading so some of the ending got a bit blurry!

I feel really bad giving this only 2 stars, but I can't lie I found it so hard to get in to, I found myself being slightly bored and skim reading because I couldn't keep reading it properly. My attention kept drifting to other things, and I found it very slow for the majority of the time.
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By Quicksilver TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback
The Forever Watch is a slow burner. It's much harder science fiction than I normally read. I like my speculative fiction to be broad sweeps and grand ideas. Whilst the novel is certainly not short on grand ideas, it also very detail heavy on the technical aspects of its future technology. This stuff often leaves me cold, and there were a few times that I found myself thinking, `yeah, whatever, get on with the story.'

It reminded me of a post by Jo Walton (found online at Tor.com or in her anthology What Makes This Book So Great: Re-Reading the Classics of Fantasy and SF) on why some people can't read science fiction. If you weren't familiar with decoding this stuff, you'd give up on the Forever Watch before page fifty. From experience, I knew I'd get through it, and I did. Boy, was the pay off worth it!

The novel hinges on applications and implementation of computer code within a complex future world. There are sections that detail this code that I could have read sideways and they wouldn't have meant any less to me. They arrested my interest in the story, pushing me out, back into the real world. For that the book can only ever be a 4* (out of the seemingly obligatory 5) read, but they didn't break the novel completely. I could parse the stuff well enough to glean what was important, and so I was always able to work out what was going on.

This uneven reading aside, the book is excellent. Like many of the best science fiction novels, it has a simple premise; a future earth destroys itself, but before it does the last of humanity blasts into space. The Noah, a generation spacecraft is heading towards `New Canaan' which it will reach in 800 years.
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