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Review: The Forever Watch by David B. Ramirez

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Forever Watch
David B. Ramirez

Genre: Mystery, Science Fiction
Hardback: 336 Pages
Publication: April 22, 2014
by Thomas Dunne Books


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.

◆ A copy was provided by Macmillan for review ◆

The Forever Watch is about the last remaining humans. As Earth has been mysteriously destroyed, they are on the huge spacecraft Noah in search of a new home, which they hope to find on the planet Canaan. After waking up from her Breeding Duty, which entails nine months of induced sleep, Bureaucrat Hana Dempsey needs a distraction from thoughts of the baby she'll never know. Thus, she joins her friend, police detective Leon Barrens, in searching for the murderer of his mentor Callahan. Their perilous quest for the truth leads to secrets that threaten their lives, the ship’s mission, and everything they’ve ever believed in.

The world building is solid. The author weaves together spaceships, aliens, mutants, psychics and self-aware computers with details of life on the ship are meticulously planned. The people are hardwired with a neural Implant to be constantly connected to the Nth Web, a highly sophisticated descendant of the Internet, and it also amplifies their natural abilities, turning them into telepaths, healers, and super-strong bruisers.

The plot is complex and excellent. There are no loose ends left for us about the world building. Everything plays out and ties up. There is no black and white, heroes versus villains, or right versus wrong in this book.

The Forever Watch is a well researched and a complex read. It makes you wonder how much you are willing to give up for the truth even if it will destabilize your entire world and threaten humanity's survival. This book is for people who seek a deep, complex sci-fi novel with an ambiguous moral message.

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