Keeper of the 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…

 

 

 

 

Genre

Young Adult/ Science Fiction

Critic Evaluation

Cover Design Score: 9

It does catch the eye--will show up well on a bookshelf. It is slightly generic, though. Doesn't give the reader a hint into the story. Overall, the main goal is to catch the readers' eyes, and I think it does that. 

Book Blurb Score: 6

It doesn't match the very well-written story. Great that it doesn't reveal too many spoilers. It does begin to make the reader curious about the plot. I think a couple of things would make it stronger: the last sentence of the second paragraph seems weak. Maybe it could end with something like "his uncle's well-worn timepiece" instead of repeating watch again. I also think the description of Alyx doesn't line up with the depth of the story. The first descriptive word is "sexy," but the book is about so much more of her character and her strengths. It cheapens her a bit (although the book does not). 

 

Formatting Score: 9

Overall great formatting. Consistent throughout the book. Only change I would suggest considering: combine some of the chapters so there are fewer chapter breaks. Most of the chapters flow so well into each other that this many breaks are unnecessary. 

Grammar & Spelling Score: 8

Overall, great job! Needs to brush up on use of the comma and semicolon, but even if it is left as is, the mistakes are ones that many readers wouldn't catch. Example of comma errors: If a sentence has one subject but two verbs joined by a conjuction, no comma should separate the subject from the second verb. Page 147: fourth full paragraph needs the word "a" deleted: should read...lure them in while keeping all of you...Page 192 should read "His tongue went dry" instead of "He tongue went dry." Those two mistakes were the only ones I caught outside of the commas. I could tell this book had been proofread. 

Plot & Structure Score: 9

Very consistent throughout the book. Good flow. The plot contains many surprises, but they seem believable within the story. There's a good blend of action, descriptive scenes, and dialogue. The story flows well from one section to the next. 

Character Development Score: 9

Strong main characters with very believable minor characters added in. The dialogue is also strong and draws the reader deeper into the plot. The characters have a wonderful balance of strengths and weaknesses which helps readers relate to them well. 

Originality Score: 7

Parts of the book seemed like a familiar good-versus-evil tale, but the story was very well written, adding new details and enough suspense to come across as unique. 

Pacing Score: 8

Evenly paced throughout the storyline. No pacing changes that broke the flow. 

Use of Language Score: 10

Appropriate language throughout the book. 

Overall Readability Score: 8

I thought the book was enjoyable to read. It flowed well, had strong character and plot development, and remained very consistent throughout. 

This book received a critic's score of 83 out of 100 possible points.

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Curator Evaluation

Cover Design Score: 7

<p>I like the cover of this book; it's pleasing to the eye and comes across as very professional.&nbsp;I also like the font and think that it compliments the mystery within this book. I would score the cover higher, yet the picture that has been listed with this book shows both the front cover and blurb, which has disturbed the picture’s dimensions. This is the image that buyers will see when considering <em>Keeper of the Watch</em>, so it might be a good idea to upload a picture just of the book’s front cover!</p>

Book Blurb Score: 7

<p>The blurb was fully engaging with me and making me want to pick up <em>Keeper of the Watch</em>… until I read the last paragraph. I’m not sure why this paragraph doesn’t quite flow like the others, but perhaps it is the use of the word “sexy”. This is an interesting choice of words to describe Alyx and, personally, I think it takes some of the professionalism away from the book. It’s such a shame, because everything else in this blurb is so compelling; I just think this simple use of the word “sexy”, especially in the blurb, might stop people from wanting to read further!</p>

Formatting Score: 10

<p>I think the formatting of this book is very well done; the paragraphs all seem evenly spaced and the chosen font gives a nice finish to the novel. I can’t fault it: it’s consistent and does nothing to draw me away from the narrative.</p>

Grammar & Spelling Score: 8

<p>There were no <em>major</em> issues in terms of spelling and grammar, but there were a few problems such as comma overuse and maybe the odd tense issue. There was also a little spelling error on page 48, where it should read “first”, rather than “fist”. I don’t believe that anyone who wasn’t looking for such issues would notice them, however; they were, as I said, minor, and didn’t distract from my overall reading experience.</p>

Plot & Structure Score: 9

<p>This book grabbed my attention right from the beginning and didn’t let go. I absolutely love the storyline: it has in it just the right amount of fantasy and realism, and that mix always works well in books. We enter the world of different dimensions alongside Chase, which allows them to be explained fully without seeming pressured. At the same time, though, we see Alyx’s perspective; as a seasoned dimension traveller, she has a lot more experience, and keeps up the intrigue in the story.</p>

<p>In terms of structure, I thought it was well done; each event seemed to lead nicely into the next. It was perhaps a little odd how different the lengths of chapters seemed to be, but I did like how short most of them were, as this helped with the pacing of the novel.</p>

Character Development Score: 7

<p>Initially, I think the characters were very well developed. It was very easy to get a sense of Chase’s depression as he pondered his feelings of loss and his fears regarding his future. I even thought that I got a good sense of Uncle Charlie’s character from Chase’s reflections.</p>

<p>I also think that the characters’ journeys are made very clear in this novel. Chase goes through a process of understanding, whilst Alyx learns to open herself up and let herself feel the things that she isn’t used to feeling.</p>

<p>However, things weren’t perfect. It annoyed me a little that Alyx seemed jealous over Chase before she had even met him. Although I liked the relationship between Chase and Alyx, I think this interaction could have been toned down a little, as this would have allowed the relationship to build more gradually.</p>

<p>I also thought there were a few continuity errors with the characters. Initially, Chase spends his time terrified that someone is going to damage his uncle’s house, yet he stays in Alyx’s camp without seeming to spare much thought to this house. To me, this just seemed a little forced.</p>

Originality Score: 8

<p>I liked the use of the watch as the significant, magical object and thought that it was actually pretty original. Although I was reminded distinctively of <em>The Lord of the Rings </em>books when I read about the strangely familiar object that always seemed to remain cool to the touch, a lot of books seem to have Tolkienian influences, so this doesn’t really detract from the book’s originality. The element of different dimensions has also been tackled a fair few times, yet I thought this book pulled it off really well. I also loved how Chase was able to recognise faces from different dimensions and consider what different lives they had led.&nbsp;</p>

Pacing Score: 9

<p>I thought that the pacing in this novel was excellent; the short chapters helped to move the action on swiftly, whilst an effective switching of narrators allowed the story to be developed through differing perspectives. If there was a problem, it would perhaps be that the novel moves on <em>too </em>fast, particularly at the beginning. This isn’t necessarily a problem, but I do think that we could have learnt more about Chase before plunging into the main action of the narrative.</p>

Use of Language Score: 7

<p>I think this book has a nice range of language; it’s accessible, but not overly simple. There were some good uses of more complex words that I appreciated, too. If I was to have one niggle, I’d say that some literary techniques seem overly forced, as if the author is intentionally trying to get the similes and metaphors in. I’m basing this mainly on the “fingers of dread” and use of the word “refracting” on the first page of the book, which threw me off right from the beginning of reading. The word “refracting” may work in terms of literary sense, but sometimes cliques, such as “reflecting”, simply make writing seem more natural.</p>

<p>I also thought that the dialogue in this book wasn’t quite as strong as it’s descriptions. Sometimes dialogue just didn’t seem all that natural. For example, when we first meet Brian, he asks Chase, “What university are you attending?”. To me, this just seems a bit overly formal and unnatural. These are all minor issues, however. Overall, this book demonstrates a strong use of language.</p>

Overall Readability Score: 8

<p>Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. It brings a fresh perspective to pre-explored genres, plunging its readers into a world of fantasy that is not entirely unlike their own world. I loved the characters; between Chase’s laid-back curiosity and Alyx’s severe demeanour, I believe that <em>Keeper of the Watch</em> gives a detailed view into adolescent issues, as well as those regarding dimension jumping and world saving. It makes for a refreshing read, its fast pacing and action-packed narrative making it an easy read that is nevertheless exceptionally enjoyable.</p>

This book was curated by EmilyW

This book received a critic's score of 80 out of 100 possible points.

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