The Family: The Brotherhood
By Donte M McNeal

Based in Michigan, Donte's Playground is a blog by Donte M McNeal. His posts range from nonsensical ramblings about anime, in-depth reviews of books and television/film, to random spurts of philosophical babble.

The Watchers Trilogy

The Watchers Trilogy

I have been a bit quiet lately due to personal reasons, like slave pit hours at work and a birthday that just passed—23 now by the way—but I have returned with a book review/recommendation by way of the first two books in the Watchers of Eden trilogy. The author, T.C. Edge, was kind enough to gift me copies of the first two books for honest reviews, but that by no means equates to nonstop positive gushing. All who know me and how I review, know that I am fair and if I like something I make it known, and if I don’t, I don’t sugarcoat it. Now, let’s get to it!

Watchers of Eden (The Watchers Trilogy Book 1)

Watchers of Eden (The Watchers Trilogy Book 1)

Watchers of Eden gives us Cyra, a young woman who is all about taking care of her mother; she will do whatever she needs to take care of her mother, including purposefully failing the tests that determine where she goes in life. From the first chapter a very stark world is presented: basically be useful and work for your rations or be useless and starve. Cyra is against the makeup of the system in place, and believes that is all manufactured. A d from the way she lays it out, I'd have to agree. I would to grow up in a world where your future is severely limited, mainly by the way the system is set up. It's almost as if dreams are pointless, and people would be better off settling with predetermined, and preset lives from the get go. A stark world indeed.

We journey with Cyra to the paradise of Eden. I have to admit, when I saw the description of it, I couldn't help something fishy (no pun intended) was going on in the sea city. Places/things/people presented as perfect are rarely on the up and up in my experience. Eden reminded me of the Capitol in the Hunger Games trilogy, what with their advanced technology and sense of superiority.

Watchers of Eden then goes on to address themes such as equality, slavery, destiny/fate, and free will. I honestly wasn't sure whether or not I would enjoy this book when I started it but it was a pleasant surprise. The characters grew on me, and went through some interesting arcs over the course of the novel. You really get the chance to care about them and what they go through (even the ones you don't like at first). I didn’t know that this was the beginning of a trilogy when I first got the book but I was definitely down for more time with the characters.

On the negative side, I was irked by the errors in formatting and grammar (missing words mostly) that I came across. Though there weren't enough to make hate the story, it was still an area to be aware of for both reader and author alike. Also, I do wish the big bad was fleshed out a little more. A good villain almost always makes for a good read. That said, I would recommend this book; I really enjoyed it.

Next, we have book 2!

City of Stone (The Watchers Trilogy Book 2)

City of Stone (The Watchers Trilogy Book 2)

City of Stone picks up where Watchers left off, with our heroine and her friends traversing the tunnels after their escape from Eden. Honestly, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed Cy's character, what, with her sharp wit and inner thoughts. What a treat she is!

At the end of the first book, we met the rebels, saw Ellie lose Link in a battle with the Eden soldiers sent retrieve them, & Cyra get reunited with Jackson and her father (who she thought was dead). We see Ellie struggle with the loss of Link, a struggle that is made all too real since I came to care for her character in Watchers. It's especially heartbreaking seeing her deal with that after knowing what she was like before she met and fell in love with Link.

On the other hand, we have Cyra, who is stuck between Jackson, the familiar, steady best friend that she grew up with and Theo, the young man she grew into caring for after quite the redemption arc his character went through. Yes, the dreaded staple ya love triangle rears its ugly head, but I'm impressed with how it's handled in City of Stone. It's reminiscent of the triangle from THG, where Katniss cared for both the young suitors in her life, but was more focused on survival and the mission than a love life. I appreciated that approach.

The plot moves along steadily for the most part. There were slow moments, but they were few and far between. Cliche I know, but I was on the edge of my seat after about the halfway point, especially the last fourth of the book. So many twists and turns, so many instances where I was sure it was the end of the line for Cyra and her friends. I was consistently surprised by the way things turned out for these characters.

All in all, City of Stone was an entertaining and engaging read, and I'm too hype for the last installment of the trilogy. I can't stress enough how good the last quarter of this book is. Goosebumps were raised, tears almost shed, the feels abundant. Definitely would recommend this one.

I feel something needs to be pointed out and that is the few grammatical errors throughout. By no means do they ruin the story, but one should always be wary of that because it can ruin an otherwise great story. Thankfully that wasn’t the case with City of Stone. I can’t wait to pick up the third book, War at the Wall.

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading about the first two books in T.C. Edge’s The Watchers Trilogy. The final book looks like it’ll be a blast to read!

-P.S. Be on the lookout this Friday for the release of my book, The Family: The Brotherhood

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