Written by AJ Eversley ⎮ Narrated by Chelsea Stephens & Steve Campbell

Author: AJ Eversley
Narrators: Chelsea Stephens, Steve Campbell
Length: 8 hours and 13 minutes
Series: The Watcher Series, Book 1
Publisher: Author AJ Eversley
Released: Oct. 6, 2018
Genre: Science Fiction

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Chanda's Guest Review

4.5 Stars

This audiobook was provided by its author, AJ Eversley, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thanks, AJ!

Watcher is the first in A.J. Eversley’s Watcher series. In a future war-torn US, where robots have turned against humans, watchers protect the humans who are left.

My first impression of this book was how much I loved the cover. Although reading a book off the cover alone is risky business, I was hoping it would pay off. Fortunately, it did.

Sawyer is the main protagonist. She’s a watcher for the group she’s lived with over the last ten years. She’s brave and a talented fighter, but she’s also impulsive, which gets her into a couple of tough situations. One of the things I liked the most about Sawyer was that she was flawed and not some prodigy Mary Sue. Is she a good fighter and watcher? Yes. However, her young age also shows in her impulsive decision making and naivety that so many teenagers have. You know the one, we all had it: “that would never happen to me, that only happens to other people”. For the most part, she is level-headed, but these small lapses in judgment make her feel so much more genuine and relatable than a character who always makes impulsive decisions and seldom pays the consequences.

This story is told mostly from Sawyer’s POV, but we also get a few chapters from Kenzie, a mysterious new guy the watchers meet while on a mission. Kenzie left me feeling conflicted in all the best ways throughout the book. I thought I had him figured out, then a twist, thought I had him figured out again, then another twist.

One thing the book lacked for me was world-building. I’m hoping that book two, Carbon, is able to provide more of that, which with how it ended, I suspect it will. The book is more action-oriented than character-driven, which I’m okay with, but I would have liked the supporting characters to be a little more developed because when key characters died, I barely felt the loss. Regardless, this was a solid first book in a new YA Sci-Fi series, and I can give my recommendation with no reservations.

Note: on the bottom of the blurb, it says “Divergent meets Terminator,” but I would liken it more to Partials by Dan Wells. Partials is one of my favorite series ever and deeply underrated in the world of YA dystopian/Sci-Fi, in my opinion. On the audio there was a sample of book two, which seems to be even better than book one. It immediately hooked me and I was so disappointed when it ended. I’m definitely continuing on with the series.

Narration Review
I’ve never listened to anything either of them have narrated before but would listen to both of them again. Chelsea Stevens’ cadence was clear, easy to listen to, and she had distinct voices for each of the characters. One thing I’m hyper-aware of when listening to a male narrator is how they do female voices. I have been able to trudge through a lot of bad narrations, but one sure thing that will make me stop listening is a male narrator who gives females whiny or unrealistic high pitched voices. Steve Campbell is not that kind of narrator. His female voices vary in pitch to make them distinguishable, but none of them sounded breathy, whiny, or squeaky. Like Stephens, he gave each character distinct voices and was pleasant to listen to.

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