Book and Author details:
We Are Watching by M. Stephen Stewart
Publication date: December 16th 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Henry Malone’s childhood was shattered by the unexplained suicide of his father. Now a teenager, his days are spent studying to become a Neural Implant Technician for Planetary Link Corporation, helping them maintain an iron grip over his walled country and every iota of knowledge contained within—but he leads a double life. Henry’s nights are spent helping his mother wage a cyber war against them in her quest to find the truth behind his father’s death.
He’s managed to keep his two lives separate, a delicate balance that’s endangered after he repairs the neural implant of a stranger. He finds she’s in possession of illegal memories from the outside world, unauthorized knowledge of his father, and a message: speak to me later and tell no one. Henry has a choice to make—ignore the message and maintain his double-life, or answer and risk everything to uncover secrets Planetary Link would kill to keep buried.
M. Stephen Stewart is a graduate of Indiana University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He makes his home in Indianapolis with his wife and two dogs. In his spare time, Matt is an avid sports fan, gamer, and reader, who loves to connect with new people. You can usually find him around town with his wife, exercising, or in front of his computer working on a new project.
The main character as you see in the synopsis above is Harry Malone. His father was a famous astronaut that died, or disappeared depending who you talk to, in a mysterious accident aboard a shuttle. In this future, everyone has a sort of computer in their brain, along with it being connected to a main source. In other words, people are constantly connected to the internet, but this also means that they are constantly under surveillance by the corporation that put the implants in. Harry is famous because of what happened to his father. And his mother spends all her time kind of chasing any rumor or conspiracy theory that might give her answers to what happened to her husband. Up until this time, Harry has been helping his mother, using types of drugs to kind of block or short out the implant for short amounts of time when things are needed to be kept off the radar. But as he gets close to finishing his training to become some kind of worker for the company, maybe even a pilot like his father, things start to happen. A building named after his father blows up. He loses his mother, and he also learns things about a rebel group, and someone else who has been close to him. A girl comes into his life, and says he is needed to help the people who are trying to get things fair for everyone, and he must decide if she is worth trusting, or someone else that is out to get something from his family and their fame.
I liked the idea of a kind of Big Brother society, especially where people can be hooked into the “Internet” at all times. I mean how many of us couldn’t survive these days without our cell phone and being able to check Facebook whenever and wherever we are? It definitely leads into the Big Brother theme in a very close way to where we are today. I’m not quite done with the story, but am really enjoying it and can’t wait to see how it all ends, or ends for this book. My only complaint so far has to do with kind of a way of writing. Sometimes a character will be referred to by their name, Harry Malone. Sometimes they might be called “Trainee Malone.” And then other times they might be called by a nickname, Hank. This would be okay if it was when people were speaking, so that you knew a trainer called them “Trainee”, and a family member used the nickname, etc. But often it is how the author refers to them, and within one page, and that is confusing at times. Other than that, I am really enjoying this book.
Tour-wide giveaway (INTL) (ends July 16th)
- Signed copies of We Are Watching and A Conduit for Man (book 2)