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Watchers on the Walls (X-Men) Mass Market Paperback – 1 May 2006


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Spotlight Entertainment (1 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416510672
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416510673
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,623,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Roy on 30 May 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I used to read superhero comics all the time, but I've moved away from them (mostly for lack of storage space and how much they cost more than anything else). I knew that some superheroes were making the transition to novel form, but I hadn't bothered to go find any and see what they were like. However, I stumbled across X-Men: Watchers on the Walls, by Christopher L. Bennett, at the library and thought "he's a Trek author I've talked to on the Star Trek boards, and I like the X-Men, so why not give this one a try?" After doing so, I'm glad I did. It's an interesting book, with only a couple of missteps which I'm not sure are Bennett's fault anyway.

It's a normal day at the Xavier Institute of Higher Learning, with a brand new batch of students finding out what they're in for. Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, these children are mutants, children born with an extraordinary power that makes them more than human. In a world where humanity treats mutants with fear and some loathing, Professor Xavier takes them in, trains them to use (or at least control) their powers, and how to live amongst humans. But the school is also home to the X-Men, mutant heroes who are also instructors at the school. On a training mission with Jean Grey, Professor Xavier happens upon a spaceship in distress, being chased and fired upon by another ship. The fugitive ship crashes and the X-Men are called to protect them. However, they may be more menace than prey. The form of life on that ship is deadly to most carbon-based life forms, and if they aren't dealt with, the whole of humanity could be destroyed. The X-Men must balance the safety of the Earth against the persecution of a people whose only crime is being born different; a sentiment that many humans share about mutants.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A brutal choice to make 30 May 2006
By David Roy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I used to read superhero comics all the time, but I've moved away from them (mostly for lack of storage space and how much they cost more than anything else). I knew that some superheroes were making the transition to novel form, but I hadn't bothered to go find any and see what they were like. However, I stumbled across X-Men: Watchers on the Walls, by Christopher L. Bennett, at the library and thought "he's a Trek author I've talked to on the Star Trek boards, and I like the X-Men, so why not give this one a try?" After doing so, I'm glad I did. It's an interesting book, with only a couple of missteps which I'm not sure are Bennett's fault anyway.

It's a normal day at the Xavier Institute of Higher Learning, with a brand new batch of students finding out what they're in for. Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, these children are mutants, children born with an extraordinary power that makes them more than human. In a world where humanity treats mutants with fear and some loathing, Professor Xavier takes them in, trains them to use (or at least control) their powers, and how to live amongst humans. But the school is also home to the X-Men, mutant heroes who are also instructors at the school. On a training mission with Jean Grey, Professor Xavier happens upon a spaceship in distress, being chased and fired upon by another ship. The fugitive ship crashes and the X-Men are called to protect them. However, they may be more menace than prey. The form of life on that ship is deadly to most carbon-based life forms, and if they aren't dealt with, the whole of humanity could be destroyed. The X-Men must balance the safety of the Earth against the persecution of a people whose only crime is being born different; a sentiment that many humans share about mutants.

Bennett does a great job with the characters all X-Men fans know and love. All of them are recognizable, even as I kept on trying to figure out where in the comics continuity this novel was taking place. Bennett has said that he was told to create a stand-alone novel, but he was able to mix in a few references to ground the reader who is familiar with these things, and his characterization definitely fit my image of these heroes at the time (about five or so years ago). Wolverine is irascible but with a good heart. Rogue is extremely idealistic, taking the side of the fugitives often. I wanted to smack her a few times because of how much I disagreed with her, but she was definitely in character. The others are well-done too.

Make no mistake, this novel is definitely set in the comics universe, despite its release being timed to coincide with the new movie. In the movies, it seems like there are no other superheroes around at all, but in this one, many of them are mentioned. None of them are actually on screen, but there are plenty of mentions of the Fantastic Four (though oddly, not by name), Spider-Man, and myriad other Marvel heroes. A lot of mutants show up as well, including some who have worked with the X-Men before, such as Banshee. If you're not familiar with the comics universe, however, don't be alarmed. None of the references are strange enough that you won't know what Bennett's talking about.

Bennett writes an exciting tale, too. The plot is interesting and the resolution is definitely appropriate, though I have a bit of a problem with the main key to the resolution being a mutant who just happens to have come to Xavier's school very recently, and is introduced in this book. That's the only real fault with the plotting that I could find, and it's certainly a debatable point whether or not it detracts from the book. It did for me. Everything else is grand, though. The arguments from all sides just felt right and they were well-presented by Bennett. Rogue goes a bit too far over to the side of the fugitives, but she's always been a huge idealist, so I don't fault her for that. It was nice to see that it took other circumstances happening before others began to join her.

The writing in this book was great, except for one thing: I don't know if it's because it was two groups rather than two individuals fighting, but the standard fight scenes that every comic has to have just fell flat on their faces for me. I'm not sure that comic book fight scenes translate that well to the novel format, though I'd have to check out an individual's book (like a Spider-Man) before I figure that out. Whether it's Bennett's fault or a fault of the format, the two or three huge fight scenes left me cold, and I couldn't wait for them to be over. The description of one person's powers affecting another person almost felt like exposition in the middle of the battle. Unfortunately, the ultimate fight with the Sentinels was one of those instances. One thing that does lead me to guess that the problem is more the size of the fights is that when Bennett breaks the X-Men up into smaller groups, the scenes do work a little better. Not a lot, but some.

All in all, though, Watchers on the Walls is an excellent example of a superhero book done well. It brings up interesting philosophical points, provides good characterization, and tells an interesting story. If you like your X-Men, then it's definitely worth a read.

David Roy
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A must book for any X-fan! 30 April 2006
By Big Alex - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'll admitted I am not a fan of any book format of comic books (no cool pictures), but this is the exception. I thought it looked lame and the title is not eye catching but like they say you cant judge a book by it's cover. Well once I started reading it I couldn't put it down. The story is pretty complicated though.

In the beginning the X-men defend a group of alien refuges crashing in Pennslyvania from other aliens. Eventully the U.S. government gets involved and its discovered that the aliens carry a horrible plague that can wipe out every living thing on earth (but of course it harmless to the refuges themselves). Eventally everything spins out of control as the Discar (the aliens trying to exterminate the infected refuges), after interogating the refuges discover a Chlorite (the overall name of the different infected species)plot to infect the planet using infiltrators. Well from then on all hell breaks loose from Discar ships quantineing the planet To the regestering of all exotic mutants (Chlorite moles are suspected to be hiding among them) eventually to the use of Sentinals invading other countries. And this is just in the first few chapters and it just gets better and better. Youll keep guessing and guessing is it a Discar plot to take over Earth or are there really Chlorites infiltrating our planet? Will the Xmen fight against the sentinals or along side them? Get ready for a wild ride.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Watchers on the Wall Review 25 Feb. 2007
By Marc Klein - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Watchers on the Wall by Christopher L. Bennett, is a story that pits mutant against mutant. It plays a lot like the movie which I felt was a good however I also felt it was in a way extending it in some manner. I thought that the storyline was intriguing and couldn't help but wonder if the author was trying to relay a message of things going on in the real world.

The novel moved at a swift paced and unlike the author's Trek books, this wasn't bogged down with science stuff. This is a stand alone so you don't have to be a comic geek to follow the story. Throughout the book, Bennett makes references to other Marvel heroes but never by name although I was waiting for some cameo from someone at some point. Regardless, the story works as is and it has a satisfying ending.

It is a little predictable though early on but doesn't spoil anything. I thought the Latin chapters were interesting and wondered why it was done. Actually, I thought it was amusing. But, when all is said and done, Watchers on the Wall makes a good edition to your library.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Not a bad X-Men tale with all the right characters. 14 Oct. 2006
By Anthony Bowman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have been reading comics since I was 9 and I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. X-Men rollcall for this book - Cyclops, Jean Grey, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Rogue, Beast, Kitty Pryde and Lockheed. The only one of the X-Men that I missed was Colossus as he was always my favorite.

This book starts out with a new group of young mutants making their first visit to the Xavier Institute and quickly turns into an exciting race against time to save a group of alien refugess called the Chlorites from a pursuing alien race called the Diascar along with the help of the Imperial Guard from the Shi'ar Empire which is run by the love of Charles Xaviers life the Majestrix, Lilandra Neramani.

This book has action almost from start to end and even includes the Sentinels which are reprogrammed to work alongside the X-Men to search for Chlorites but as with all things Sentinels you know it can't last long, or does it?

I definetly recommend this book to any X-Men fan because I know that like me they will truly enjoy this great ride.
Aliens??! 30 May 2009
By Rogue22 - is back ;) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Interesting twists and turns await you here. Come on in.

(As long as you can ignore a couple wth short moments. :)

(I was able to figure out most of the twists beforehand, but I still like to read it. And it has ShadowCat! Go Kitty! And her dragon, which I can't for the life of me remember his name at the moment! Argh! I'll remember as soon as I post this, just you bet. lol)
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