Author: K. Eason
Title: Nightwatch Over Windscar
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.