YA Dystopian Done Right
4.5 out of 5 stars
I’m not always a fan of when an author includes an “it’s like this thing you like meets this thing you like”. It always feels like they are trying to link themselves to something more famous even if their books have nothing to do with it (or very little). Fortunately, for Watcher – Eversley was dead on. It was really like Divergent meets Terminator. It had the dystopian groups (the Watchers reminded me a lot of Dauntless). And then there were humanoid robots and Cabrons who were out to destroy the remaining humans in pretty much any way they could. I’d say that comparing it to those two films (and books) was pretty dead on.
Sawyer was a slight cookie cutter heroine but it didn’t take away from the story at all. She was kind of reckless – putting herself and others in danger when she didn’t really need to, wasn’t really a rule follower, etc. While these are all the norm for books like this. Sawyer was given a little more to like. The guy she meets later in the story is also a little typical (sort of bad boy but also good for her). In my eyes, in YA books like this, it’s as much about the world and the interaction with it as it is the characters. I also assume it’s really hard to make a standout and unique character when you have the Katniss and Tris’s of the YA Dystopian world without making them a little similar.
I was a big fan of Divergent and I thought that Eversley created a world that was more interesting while also making the story stand on its own. Sawyer was one of those should be forgetful characters but something stuck out to me about her. I think the flashbacks and the “it’s been 10 years” parts of the book (taking her from 8 to 18) made me feel for her on a deeper level. Realizing that she was basically raised to be a Watcher and nothing else (no teenager moments, boys, etc).
I’ve never read anything by Eversley before – but I will be continuing the series. I think that it translated really well to audio especially with Chelsea Stephens at the helm. She was able to give a voice to Sawyer – allowing her to jump off the page. The addition of Steven Campbell was also needed in my opinion. For Chelsea to read his parts (even if they were in the third person) would/could have been jarring. But having a male narrate the major male character (especially while getting a glimpse into his mind) really stood out to me. I think it was needed and allowed Chelsea to focus on moving Sawyer forward without much distraction or interruption.
Overall, a YA Dystopian novel that was a genuine surprise to me. So many books try to be the next YA hit and fail on so many levels – but Eversley including the typical YA fare with brooding teenagers, first loves, and suspense. But also threw in a lot of heart, some betrayal (I guess this is pretty typical too), and freakin’ robots!
If you liked Divergent or Terminator – give this one a try. If you like YA Dystopian Trilogies – I couldn’t imagine this letting you down.
Watcher by AJ Eversley
Narrator: Chelsea Stephens, Steve Campbell
Length: 8 hrs and 13 mins
Series: The Watcher Series #1
on October 6th 2018
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction
"First came the Bots. They were meant to serve us, but they turned and thousands died. Then the Carbons arrived and we were left with only a few hundred humans. After ten years of war, I'm one of the few survivors. I'm a Watcher, and I won't give up the fight."
As a Watcher, Sawyer Russo has sworn to protect her fellow humans. But the Bots and Carbons that overran her city are evolving, and are picking off her comrades one by one.
Embarking on a desperate mission to save humanity from extinction, Sawyer discovers that the line between friend and foe is no longer easily drawn when one of her own betrays them. Faced with a choice between fulfilling her vow and avenging those who have fallen, she must ultimately decide who can be saved...and who can’t.
Divergent meets Terminator in this epic YA Trilogy.
I received this book for free. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.