*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of NETGALLEY arc Keeper of the Watch – Book 1 of the Dimension 7 series by Kristen L. Jackson

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This one caught my eye owing to the fabulous cover and the idea of time travelling via a tatty old watch.

Chase Walker is beginning to doubt his own sanity. From the moment he turned eighteen, a strange paranoia has taken over his mind. It all started the moment he discovered his uncle’s old watch… The watch calls to him. Though it beckons, he resists. His body strains toward it, blood pulsing, heart pounding in a mysterious and primitive need to connect with his uncle’s old beat up watch. When sexy and mysterious Alyx saves his life, she promises answers. She talks of dimension travel, and wears a magical watch of her own…

I’ll be honest, I really struggled in the beginning stages of this one. The dialogue is rather clunky, which inhibited the characterisation, while both Chase and Alyx seem far younger than the average eighteen year old. I’ll accept that Alyx might be rather young for her age, but it was Chase’s character that appeared to be all over the place. And just as I was about to seriously consider consigning it to the DNF pile – the action finally kicked off and the book sprang to life.

Jackson’s writing tightened up and as she described the grim transformation in the parallel dimension, with the horrifying event that defines the rest of the narrative, I didn’t want to put this one down. Chase’s shock and gritted determination to fight back gave his personality a strength of purpose and clarity he had previously lacked, while I really enjoyed Alyx’s rather peeved response to his reaction. This sets up an interesting dynamic between them, which hooked me in and had me caring.

While the worldbuilding in the alternative dimension is rather sketchy, with very few details as to how the USA was so quickly conquered, I was prepared to give the author a pass on that one, given the real drama she managed to create. In the meantime, the long-running battle between the Hunters and Keepers goes on and the story is brought to a satisfying ending.

This story is recommended for fans of multi-dimensional travel at the younger end of the YA age range.
7/10

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16 responses »

  1. Sometimes it’s hard to know whether to dnf or to keep going. I rarely dnf, but I am tempted quite a bit. Slow beginnings are hard, especially when it goes on to 50% of the book! But sometimes I’m surprised when there’s a shift and I end up really enjoying the last 50%! I’m glad that you ended up enjoying the last part of this book, it makes sticking with it worth the effort.

    • Yes, it was worth the effort. But if I hadn’t really started to enjoy it, I think I would have abandoned it. There are too many really good books on my Kindle and not enough time to read them all…

  2. Oh, this sounds SO FASCINATING! I like the concept of a magical watch used in time travel. That’s a nice blend of fantasy and science fiction. As for the characters, they sure don’t sound that appealing at first, from your description. And nothing bores me more than badly-handled dialogue. But I’m glad there was improvement after that, and you were able to enjoy this novel!

    I might give this one a chance, but sometime in the future, perhaps in another dimension…lol.

    Thanks for your informative review! Hope you have a great weekend!! ❤ ❤ ❤ 🙂 🙂 🙂

  3. I hate not finishing books but I have allowed myself to do so as more and more amazing books get added to my TBR! Thankfully it’s rare and not often as usually they pick up a little!

  4. I don’t like leaving books unfinished, either. For some reason I can do that with movies, which take less time. Hmm. Maybe this is why I just don’t read much–I fear literary commitment… 🙂

    • Lol! That is hilarious… Most likely with a very young family you simply don’t have sufficient headspace. When my children were very young I didn’t read AT ALL for five years and then only very sparingly. I was terrified that if I picked up a book, they could fall down the stairs… drown in the bath… and I simply wouldn’t notice because I was too lost in the plot.

      • YES! EXACTLY THAT! For all the parents who can’t stand to see their kids grow up, I’m counting down the months to September when all 3 will be in school all day. I’ll actually have MORE time to focus on them because I won’t be trying to shove work into the time they’re home.

  5. Oh bummer. That sounds like a chance lost, especially with the beginning that – as you say – could have benefited from another round of editing/revising. I’m not surprised that you almost DNFed this one. I’d likely do it myself.

    • It’s a real shame, as just a bit more editing would have tightened it up and turned it into something really special as there were parts where the writing was excellent.

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