Earth, 7026: Civilization has been crippled by the Blood Plague. There is no cure, no treatment, and no hope for the infected. Government has long been forgotten. An order of medics known as the Doctors rule over Earth and impose a harsh standard on what remains of human population to prevent further outbreaks. Orphan Ren Grant has been hunted by the Doctors since childhooEarth, 7026: Civilization has been crippled by the Blood Plague. There is no cure, no treatment, and no hope for the infected. Government has long been forgotten. An order of medics known as the Doctors rule over Earth and impose a harsh standard on what remains of human population to prevent further outbreaks. Orphan Ren Grant has been hunted by the Doctors since childhood under the false accusation of being a carrier of the Blood Plague. Ren’s hiding place is finally discovered, but not by the Doctors. Rian Sloan and his group of vigilantes discover and kidnap her. Instead of turning her in to the Doctors and receiving their ransom, Sloan and his group take Ren with them on their mysterious journey for one reason: the Watch Ren’s mother entrusted to her before dying, the Watch that is the only missing element in Sloan’s plan of escaping Earth.What follows is an adventure full of Doctors and plagues, of flaying knives and space travel, of sacrifice and blind trust, of hope restored and love sacrificed....
|Title||:||The Watch (Clarity, #1)|
|Number of Pages||:||254 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Watch (Clarity, #1) Reviews
This is really enjoyable. Lots of pace, with lively action set pieces; the whole thing is propelled along with a vibrant energy. The world built is well-rounded and solidly realised, the barren landscapes vividly described and clearly envisioned. There is a great physicality to the writing that is very effective and I was drawn into the story almost immediately.The central character of Ren is youthful yet multilayered enough to care about. The intrigue of her backstory succeeds in piquing curiosity. I liked the dynamic in the relationships and ties she forms throughout the book, especially with relation to the main band that she finds herself bound to. The bad guys also deserve a mention; suitably menacing and distant they are a compelling variant on unreadable malevolence.From early on it is apparent that this is a world in turmoil, and that the central focus of the main characters will be on how they navigate through a society that is disintegrating and perhaps viewing its last days. This traditional dystopian setting is an adequate backdrop for the interactions and tribulations experienced by Ren in the course of the story. There is also an attempt to grapple with the moral implications of living under the conditions of this troubled and broken society and any place religion or faith can have. The ideas for the different military factions and spiritual groups are introduced at an even pace making them easy to grasp and recall.I was genuinely impressed by this. Some lovely descriptive passages and action that is engrossing. The characters were mostly fleshed out enough though perhaps on occasion not distinguishable as individuals to the extent needed. The sci fi elements are treated with an obvious love for the genre, with some of the concepts handled with a welcome poeticism. Reminded me of places of the TV series The 100, which I thought was quite cool! Overall really fun sci fi adventuring with enough depth to gain a little extra something from if you want to look for it.3.5 out of 5 just because this is not what I'd usually read but I can imagine fans of this strand of the genre getting a great deal from this so I've rounded up with pleasure.Many thanks to the author for providing me with a copy to review.
Firstly, before I say anything else, I will say that The Watch is a stimulating post-apocalyptic sci-fi adventure with flowing writing and overall a well put-together story. It’s about the Union, struggling to rebuild Earth in the wake of the terrifying Doctors (“wet his flaying knife before peeling off her skin”) and the uncontrollable Filavirus. However, at Base One (Union HQ) there is a hope for a band of vigilantes to escape on the ship Clarity, but first they need a Watch…Orphan Ren has been running from the Doctors since childhood, as a presumed carrier of the Blood Plague. When she is captured by rough-around-the-edges vigilante leader Sloan, she attempts to join his armed group for protection and companionship. First she needs to convince them that she and the Watch that she wears can be assets for the group to use to gain entry into Base One, if she is to ensure her own survival. As conversations took the form of jabs at Ren’s ignorance, morality, and “Disposable” class; we are provided with short glimpses into Ren’s past, which made me wonder who Ren really was in the world she was only beginning to understand and of what her destiny would turn out to be. Ren’s adventure is made difficult because of her perceived complicity in the group’s uncompromising fight for survival because she is a moon-soul, required by monk instruction to be compassionate above all else. The descriptions of the characters made for an absorbing visual adventure and the writing had a nice flow and rhythm that kept my mind bouncing through pleasantly. This skill was demonstrated early on, and it made for a good impression. Briana Herlihy’s attention to detail was superb: be it clothing, ships, the setting, rifles, or abstract technologies. It wasn’t too scientific, and its abstract sci-fi could probably pass as steampunk because it was set in a society that wasn’t too primitive or advanced. I would certainly consider reading more from this author. If it’s her debut novel, then it was one of the most engaging and well-written debut novels I can remember reading for a while. I was brought into the world effortlessly, and the bonds and contrast between the characters never tired.Criticism: I found more than a few misspelled or incorrect words, in only the first three chapters. These continued throughout, but didn’t obstruct from the narrative or flow. Sometimes there were too many character directions in the same paragraph, which made it difficult to keep track of the general idea of what was happening at any given moment. Individual characteristics of each character were strong, which was likely why the author emphasised these repeatedly, though this particular problem only began to bother me in the second half of the story.It’d be nice to know how the author found the inspiration for The Watch. Indeed, I’d go as far as to say the theme, or otherwise combination of genres, does have a stroke of originality in it. The Watch will definitely appeal to both hard scientific sci-fi readers and those who prefer their sci-fi otherwise like myself, for the attention to detail had a character-focused “soft sci-fi” delivery. I wonder if this is a winning combination? Either way, I have a feeling this series will be well-received.
Set 5000 years in the future, the story follows a young woman, Ren, as she flees from ‛the Doctors’, and is kidnapped by a small group of vigilantes/ vagabonds/ mercenaries, led by a man called Sloan.The story is concerned as much about Ren and the dynamics of the different characters in Sloan's group as it is about telling the story, which is quite refreshing. It can be difficult (especially in sci-fi) to find characters that are more than simple place-holders, Mary-Sues, and/ or one dimensional cut-outs. Thankfully, Herlihy has taken the time and effort to flesh out her protagonist and give her a dynamic supporting cast. The highlight for me is the simple fact that Herlihy balances fleshed out characters with an engaging plot. While the story is definitely more genre fiction than literary, it does still incorporate elements of the latter. The story is heavily focused on Ren and is told from her perspective via third person limited. Throughout the story we see her struggling with her identity and trying to come to terms with her personal history and where she fits in the world. We see her struggling through her naivety, trying to adapt to, and navigate through a world she doesn’t fully understand. It is interesting to witness her attempts to map her own sense of morality onto this strange new world. The characters all have their own morals and beliefs, and, while these aren’t all stated outright, they’re shown in their actions e.g. Finn’s use of a stun weapon as opposed to lethal ammunition. These are all deeper considerations that really add to the story and strengthen the relationship between the characters and the reader.I would have liked to have seen Ren be a bit more active through the story, as it does feel like she’s being dragged along as opposed to being an actual participant, although this begins to change towards the end of the story and, judging by the synopsis of book 2 in the series, she will really start taking a more active part in the story. While the story does make use of some common sci-fi/ dystopian tropes e.g. the possibilities/ outcomes of human evolution, humans trying to flee the Earth, an oppressive, ruthless ruling class versus a mostly ignorant lower/ middle class, there is a noticeable lack of cliches, the dialogue doesn’t rely on trite one-liners, and nothing is overly predictable or paint by numbers.No info-dumps. Plot exposition and character detail/ development was worked in naturally throughout the story, through dialogue, narration, and characters’ internal thoughts, instead of being dumped on the reader in bucketfuls. This is always a plus.Herlihy does, for my taste, tend to over explain some character reactions. A lot of the time, actions and gestures are accompanied by a play by play of Ren’s emotional state. These descriptions aren’t exhaustive, but they can be distracting and unnecessary at times, especially when the emotion being described has already been shown through a particular action. If someone intentionally slams a door, then the reader already knows that person is angry, we don’t need a specific description of their emotions to know that (at least not all the time). Redundant adverbs would also show up occasionally. Though they certainly weren’t prolific, they did add to what is ultimately unnecessary exposition. Fortunately, the story is still well paced and otherwise balanced, which helps counteract this problem.There are several miss-spellings, particularly in the first half, but they aren't a major disruption by any means.Fans of Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman might be able to draw some interesting parallels; a reluctant protagonist, a small group travelling through a dark world, a deep thread of mystery that slowly unravels as the story progresses. While I do have several fundamental gripes with Gaiman's Neverwhere, there are, nevertheless, parallels between it and The Watch that some readers might enjoy.
Characterised by strong writing and gritty, terse events, The Watch by Anna Herlihy is nothing less than an enormously enjoyable entry to the dystopian Sci-Fi market and is well worth your attention. The story follows a 'Disposable' called Ren who has mild adaptations to surface living as she is kidnapped by a mysterious group of travellers led by the enigmatic, unforgiving Sloan, who seems to need her for one thing and one thing only - her watch, given to her by her mother. We follow Sloan and his group of misfits as they traverse a hostile land, intent on making it to a base in time for an off-planet exodus triggered by a rampant blood plague related to filovirus (of Ebola fame).Ren may or may not be a carrier of the plague, but she is being sought by the Doctors and their Reapers for reasons unknown. The group have to fight their way across a long metal bridge on which various bases and cities present different challenges to them, before meeting up with the woman Sloan loves, Cecilia, who captains the vessel which will take them off-planet.Plot aside, it's the delivery which makes this story such a fine read. The lunar-like landscape is sparsely described. The characters struggle against the ever-present wind and dust, which is a motif for a society on the edge of disintegration, in which even a drink of fresh water is to be savoured. The pace and plot are not allowed a moments' rest. There is a great deal to enjoy here with writing of such quality and Herlihy's distinctive voice. The reader can taste the grit. You feel the unrelenting wind. The hysteria of a society on the brink of destruction is barely veiled. And the conflict between the characters is well maintained.Unfortunately, from my point of view, the choice of ending somewhat spoiled an enormously enjoyable novel. The content and events were fine (I'll not cover details so as not to spoil the climax), but two things jarred for me: firstly, there was an unsignalled change of point of view, to a character which had barely featured in the novel before. That threw me and I had to go back to confirm that I was not missing something. Secondly, the character of Ren did not grow enough during the story. While she began to evidence signs of a certain depth, this was never allowed to progress, and she remained at the mercy of events and others' plans for her throughout. I don't mind meek and mild, but the author's choice of ending rather hamstrung her as a character who might hold my interest in a sequel.That said, I believe the author is working on these issues and these should not detract from what is a worthy debut novel. The Watch comes highly recommended - sand-in-your-teeth, society-is-going-to-the-dogs dystopian that leaves a strong and lasting impression.
This review was originally published on Kurt's Frontier.Note: This book was provided by the author for an honest review.Synopsis:Ren Grant is an orphan being hunted by a group of killers called Doctors for being accused of carrying the Blood Plague. Ren lives on a dystopian Earth in the year 7026. The Blood Plague has crippled civilization. Government is a distant memory. The Doctors are an order of medics who impose harsh measures to arrest the spread of the plague. However, they’ve grown to love their power too much. Her parents were falsely accused of carrying the plague and her mother entrusted Ren with a watch—the Watch—before dying.Six years later, Ren captured by Sloan and a ragtag band. Instead of turning her over, they take her with them. The Watch is important for his people’s plan to escape the Earth, the Doctors, and the Blood Plague.Review:While not a huge fan of dystopian fiction, The Watch is a true page turner. Ren is a sympathetic, interesting character, and her companions each have hidden depths. Anna Herlihy dealt with Ren’s backstory skillfully so it didn’t bog the story down. The author weaves the story around the characters, who must navigate through a society in collapse and the tyranny of the Doctors. The reader experiences a world that was a once marvel centuries ago, now fallen to ruin and barbarism. The story telling was strong, but one could see the occasional typo. Readers will be eager to check out the sequel: Ice.
In the future, the Blood Plague has crippled society and the Doctors now rule. Ren Grant’s parents were killed by the Doctors and she has been on the run since as a Carrier of the Plague. When Ren is finally found, it is not by the Doctors, but by Rian Sloan and his group who are looking for a Keeper’s Watch. Ren happens to have her mother’s Watch. Rian needs her Watch to board a ship and escape Earth. Ren travels with Rian and his group to Myrreka. Ren goes through an adventure that will take her through danger, friendship and new trials.Ren really captured me from the beginning of this story. Her situation and mode of survival made Ren interesting and easy to care about. I was intrigued by her backstory, her mother’s secret and the mystery of the Watch. It was fascinating to see what had happened to other cities after the Blood Plague as the group travelled. Ren grew as she found her dynamic within the group and learned more about her past and how to defend herself. For me, some of the travelling sections dragged a little for me. The story picked up again for me as Ren’s Watch began to show its potential. The ending threw me for a huge loop and ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, so I am really interested in the next book.This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Yes, this writer has talent!The imagery in this high-concept sci-fi is super evocative from the very beginning as we are introduced to female protagonist Ren and the merry band of dangerous folk with which she quickly becomes involved in a desperate attempt to escape her past!There are so many intriguing details that build this high-stakes moonlit world, from the triangular currency and the doctors with their black bird masks to ships in dark valleys, there's so much going on.As a non-aficionado of genre fiction (hence the short review- sorry everyone, sorry D:), selfishly I would like to see Herlihy write about her own life but also want to see her continue this series. Write, Anna, please keep writing all the stuff!!