The Forever Watch is set on the generational ship “Noah” which is carrying the last surviving humans on a thousand year voyage to “Canaan”. People on board the ship have cybernetic implants in their brains which allow them direct access to the futuristic Nth web; their version of the internet. It also enhances their natural abilities turning them into telepaths, healers and almost animal like bruisers.
The main character “Hana” is the administrator of the city planning bureau. We first meet Hana just after she finishes Breeding Duty. A duty every female onboard ship must do; where they are placed in a coma for 9 months while their womb is used to grow a child. Shortly after she is asked by a friend to help on a case he is working on. As they investigate a murder they end up learning more about the ship and its mission than they ever expected to.
I’ve been trying to get my thoughts together on how I feel about this book and to be honest I can’t. This is not a happy book. You definitely wouldn’t want to let your kids read it. But it is fantastic. I really don’t want to write too much about it because I don’t want to give away any spoilers. The closest book I can compare it to is Across The Universe however this book is still nothing like Across The Universe and it is also infinitely better than it too.
There is one slight problem with this book. It is very technical. Technology plays a huge role in this book and with all the talk of compiling code, analysing networks and artificial intelligence you practically need a computer science degree to understand some of the language. But you can tell the author really knows what he is writing about. From knowing that software is not written from scratch and rather is mashed together from pre-written lines of code. To just knowing that software takes longer to test than is takes to be written. Seriously, I spent 3 years doing computing at college and 95% of that time was spend testing my code. The technology was one of the main reasons why I loved this book but I can understand how someone without any knowledge of computers might be confused by it.
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Even though I loved this book I didn’t give it 5 stars. I noticed a couple of small grammar errors which were slightly annoying. Some parts of the book I found implausible, the sheer size of the ship for example. And like I already mentioned I had a problem with some of the computer language. However overall I really enjoyed this book. It might not be for everyone but I liked it.
*I received a copy of this book from Hodder & Stoughton in exchange for an honest review.