*I’m posting this as part of the XpressoBookTours We Are Watching Blog Tour. I recieved a free ebook copy of this in order to do so.
We Are Watching
Author: M. Stephen Stewart
Series: (Mindshare #1)
Publication date: December 16th 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
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.
And Now For My Review!
We Are Watching is a well written sci-fi novel full of action, strength, bravery, growth, secrets, deceit, and a chance to make everything right. Henry Malone has had a tough life, losing his father to a rumored suicide and having everyone use him to get shares and fame without caring about Henry and how he might feel about that. Because of that, Henry has an ill temper and tends to lose his cool at any mention of his father or mother. Which is also why he only has one real friend, Mark, who is there for him and doesn’t try exposing his secrets so he can benefit from them. Other than Mark, Henry only has his mother left, who stays in bed all day long on her NEX, and John Alford who treats him like a son and tries his best to be there for Henry. But while most of the world has moved on from trying to pick the truth from lies about Henry’s father’s death, his mother still works tirelessly to get to the truth. And it costs her.
While I liked the characters, they weren’t quite fully developed. I would’ve loved to see more of Riya and Mark. While they are both characters that are in the novel almost always with Henry, we still don’t really know about them or have a good, solid feel for them. I want to know more about their backgrounds, their personalities, things we didn’t get to see. I mean, we all know Mark is strong, loyal to Henry, a great friend, and doesn’t like getting into trouble like Henry has a knack for. And we all know Riya is a strong, tough, determined young woman. She’s vulnerable and good at acting like all she ever does is cry when she needs to, she’s also good with a gun and she’s very knowledgeable. But what do we really know of her? She fought to get to Henry because of a vision her father had and risked her life to do so, she can mask her emotions fairly easily, she’s lost a lot like Henry, and she believes Henry can help her and her family. That’s just the surface of them though, I would’ve loved to see more of what lays underneath.
Aside from that, I enjoyed how the information was spread out in the novel, and how much we came to learn without really feeling too overwhelmed. The information was given when we needed it and only when we needed it. But I also feel like we only really got to know Jeppe and Ourai’s sides. We never got all that much information on Planetary Link even though they’re clearly the bad guy. We get such a small glimpse of them, that honestly, Jeppe seems like the worst enemy they could have; though we all know that’s not true because of what little we do know of Planetary Link. Plink (Planetary Link) suppresses information, suppresses everything actually, that they feel the citizens of Gulf Market don’t need to know. In fact, the citizens only know what they for their jobs and their knowledge ends there! Plus, they’re spied on, always being watched and listened to. They have no privacy! Can you imagine that?
Overall, I enjoyed reading this book despite the few issues. I would recommend this to lovers of sci-fi, and distopia.
M. Stephen Stewart is a graduate of Indiana University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He makes his home in Indianapolis with his wife and two dogs. In his spare time, Matt is an avid sports fan, gamer, and reader, who loves to connect with new people. You can usually find him around town with his wife, exercising, or in front of his computer working on a new project.