K. Eason, Nightwatch Over Windscar (2022)

Author: K. Eason

Title: Nightwatch Over Windscar

Format: e-book

Pages: 480

Series: The Weep #2

Hello everyone! I’m nearing the end of my course, and with the programming bootcamp safely behind me I decided to go back to some of my blogging and reviewing duties. I’m hoping to be fully back on WP within a week or two, and to have some collaborative summary of the year prepared with Piotrek before the end of said year ;).

Alas, I wish I had a better book to mark my blogging comeback. You’ll have to endure this withering onslaught just like I endured the book in question – bravely and with resolve. One thing that needs to be said upfront is that the name of the series should by rights be changed to The Bitter Weep. That’s how I felt throughout the reading experience, and while the tears had dried somewhat by now, the bitterness remained.

To the point, however. Nightwatch Over Windscar is the second installment in a WH40K/D&D-inspired space opera, following nearly instantaneously on the heels of Nightwatch on the Hinterlands. The first book was surprisingly decent – I had fun with it, at least, and thought that it held a lot of potential. Which potential, needless to say, had been almost entirely squandered in book two. It’s not that it’s irredeemably bad, the characters twisted beyond recognition or the plot sailing merrily over the edge of the world – no. It’s just that it’s unbearably boring. The exposition for every scene took pages upon pages, followed by pages upon pages of entirely unnecessary internal monologue. The action was moving forward in fits and starts, stalling for long periods of time in unlikely places. I must confess that around the middle of the book I felt impelled to – oh, the horror! – skim. 

I skimmed. On Kindle. 

That takes a special kind of effort for me.

Admittedly, I was in a peculiar mindspace while reading this – I wanted something intellectually challenging and engaging throughout, and Asher worked like a miracle to this purpose, as did Naruto and Berserk (don’t ask), whereas Eason simply didn’t. With Nightwatch Over Windscar I felt the acute pain of the passage of time; more than that, I felt that the nature of time was indeed akin to that of money: a finite resource with assigned value. The value of time was very high for me; the value of what I was being given in return – sadly, quite low. Hence the bitterness. 

What else is there to say? The characters are still pretty engaging, the overall setting remains interesting. The book has been padded beyond my wildest nightmares, and should have been mercilessly trimmed by a skilled editor (who would have ideally also asked some pointed questions about the necessity of certain solutions). By the mid-point, I wasn’t sure if reading the Yellow Pages wouldn’t have been more absorbing. But it miraculously picked up a little in pace – if not in internal logic, unfortunately – and I was able to finish while retaining some vestiges of moderate interest. The idea behind this series is actually quite interesting, even if the second installment puts a wrench in some of the logic hinted at earlier; I just wish the author had someone to help her shape this idea into a viable story.

All in all, Nightwatch Over Windscar proved to be something of a disappointment after the strong opening of Nightwatch on the Hinterlands. I don’t expect to continue with this series, which makes me feel at once a bit guilty and a bit sad – guilty, because it’s a NetGalley book, and sad, because I’ve grown to enjoy the characters of Gaer and Char, and even Iari (but emphatically NOT their internal monologues!). The cover’s still pretty cool, but the contents have lost their freshness and feel at once too laboured and not enough developed.

I have received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks.

Score: 4.5/10

39 thoughts on “K. Eason, Nightwatch Over Windscar (2022)

  1. Great to hear from you Ola! Sorry you didn’t like the book more, though. You wouldn’t believe how bright and optimistic Piotrek is all the time—it’s insufferable 😂 We can’t’t survive without you;)

    Liked by 1 person

              1. Not me, I think my newly reinforced appreciation of time as a finite resource will forever prevent me from reading this kind of stuff – but I know Nataliya did and even wrote a review! 🤣

                Liked by 1 person

            1. Yep, same here. This wasn’t as bad as to merit DNF, but mostly on the strength of the first book. If this was the first book, I’d have definitely DNFd it.

              Like

    1. Thanks, Maddalena! 🙂
      I’m one of those who rarely abandon books, which admittedly can be detrimental to my health and my time resource 😉 – not sure if I deserve more respect or pity 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Man, what a bummer. Nothing worse than wasting time on a book filled with fluff descriptions and internal monologues. Those are code words for me to avoid a book in general.

    Glad you are surviving in general and best of luck when the job hunt time comes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Booky, I’ll definitely need that luck! 🤣
      Yeah, this was not a great book, or even a good book, sadly. I’m on a lookout for some good ones, can’t just read all the Asher there is 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so sad to hear this, I loved the first book. But I tried to start this during a stressful time and gave up early on. I would love to go back to it at some point, but after reading your review, I’m not sure…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry you’ve been going through a stressful time, Tammy!
      I honestly felt this was a waste of time. You might not have such a strong feeling about this book, as I’m probably generally more impatient and a bit more ruthless in my book likes and dislikes 😉 , but just be aware that it’s nowhere near as tight or interesting, really, as the first book. It does move the action forward, somewhat, but the urge to skim gets stronger with the passage of pages 😉

      Like

  4. Hooray for your blogging comeback!!! Not so much of a hooray that this book turned out to be more disappointing than anything else. I’ve seen this series around, with of course your review of the first book, and it does sound like I should put my efforts elsewhere. I do hope you’ve managed to read other goodies during that bootcamp of yours though! Welcome back! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lashaan!! 😀

      Well, at least I had the undeniable pleasure of writing a scathing review 🤣

      Hadn’t had much time to read many books during bootcamp, sadly, but I’m planning to boost my reading rates during the holidays! Now the problem is to find some great ones 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great to see you back in the blogosphere, Ola. I’m looking forward to your end-of-the-year Post with Piotrek. Hope you are all genki over there. Are things more relaxed now regarding the thing that cannot be named but stopped the world for a while? Japan is still pretty strict and there’s no sign of the masks coming off yet. It’s crazy, to be honest, but they’ve had a mask culture here for years. Hayfever and influenza seasons started it. No end in sight now. (Sorry, don’t know what this comment has turned into… LOL).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Wakizashi!
      Yep, we’re good here – we’ve had covid in July when we were visiting family in Poland 😅 while the number of cases here in NZ is quite high, it’s all pretty light – large majority of the population had the shots and boosters and now the virus infection resembles more a cold than its previous lethal iterations. No masks anywhere, except for a significant part of Asian citizens and quite a few elderly Kiwis who wear them voluntarily 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Paul Connelly

    “The exposition for every scene took pages upon pages, followed by pages upon pages of entirely unnecessary internal monologue”
    AND
    “The book has been padded beyond my wildest nightmares, and should have been mercilessly trimmed by a skilled editor”
    both reflect exactly the reaction I had to the entire first half of Naomi Novik’s The Golden Enclaves, where at most a page of substance can be found. I’m starting to wonder if, rather than suggesting the narrative be trimmed, the editors and publishers are encouraging this kind of padding to fill out a target page count. Because it’s not really uncommon in newer books I’ve read, where protagonists are often very self-absorbed and able to occupy multiple pages with their angst. I guess angst sells? It’s rare that I wish a book had been longer now, while quite a few 350, 450, 550 page novels felt like they could easily lose a quarter of the pages and be more enjoyable reading experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s bothered by this. And I agree, it’s more and more common in new books to have padding that easily exceeds 30% of the length. I kind of gave up on Novik’s new trilogy after book 1 – too much angst, and YA vibes decidedly stronger than logic. You might be right, though, that this is what sells these days – I wonder if that’s the Copernicus’s quantity theory of money in action, just applied to books?

      Like

      1. Paul Connelly

        The internal monologues have become much more prominent recently. The other ways of padding the narrative that seem fairly common now are (1) Pointless Journeys, where much to-ing and fro-ing over landscape substitutes for plot movement and character development, without really advancing the story in any other way, and (2) Monsters Inc., where end-of-chapter cliffhangers are created by a sudden physical threat or attack by a disposable monster or other evil antagonist which is then defeated with surprising ease in the next chapter, without amounting to more than a minor blip in the overall story. These get combined to make it seem like something is happening over long stretches where not much of significance really is. Yes, older writers like Edgar Rice Burroughs fell back on these tricks sometimes, but at least ERB was keeping his novels comfortably under 300 pages

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah, the dreaded internal monologues, the bane of my reading! I am so sick of them. It would’ve been bearable if the characters so prone to them had any coherent and meaningful thoughts, but no – it’s usually just pompous/artificially snarky diarrhea of words.
          Pointless journeys are a thing, not only in books, but also in movies. It’s like Padding 101 these days. I’d add angsty emotional drama to the list. He said, she said, they looked, they didn’t look, inner turmoil for dozens of pages. And I’d also add detailed descriptions with no end in sight. The company goes into a pub; a handful of pages on the interior design follows. The candelabras, such and such; plates and chairs, such and such. Once we finish with the architecture, we can get to the food. I’m really waiting for the first fantasy novel with detailed recipes for the food described, complete with measurements.
          As you can see, I’m quite allergic to padding 😉

          Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s