Watchers Web (Return of the Arghyrians, #1) by Patty Jansen

Watcher's Web: Return of the Aghyrians - Patty Jansen

Kindle freebie introducing a new series by Patty Jansen (I've read but not reviewed some of her books before, note to self, fix that, and I enjoy her writing.)


Jessica has a weird ability, not entirely under her control, that has more than once gotten her in serious trouble. When the small plane she is flying on crashes although she survives fairly unscathed, two things seem apparent: It was her fault somehow, and ... this is not the Australian outback bush they were flying over before the crash. And who, exactly, is this mysterious man she keeps flashing to in visions?


Jessica is right with the we're not in Australia anymore, Toto, but that's only the beginning.


It's hard to discuss this one without spoiling it royally, but it's a pretty good read. Nominally space opera/sci-fi it reads almost more like a PNR. The writing is top notch, but I had a few issues with the plot, so I'm not sure I'll continue this series. Well, I wasn't sure, but the second book apparently takes a different direction from this one, which sounds very interesting (following the "is he the bad guy or the good guy" from this book, along with a new female protagonist).


And for some reason, the cons list below ended up quite long, which masks the fact I really did enjoy the book, and it was a borderline 4 star.



Pros: Great pacing, it's a page-turner for sure. No info-dumps, no "As you know, Bob" exposition,  backstory only when needed, and not all at once, and a really fabulous and rich world. Or worlds, if you will. 


Cons: MC is a bit of a special snowflake genius with languages, gets a makeover where she discovers she's not ugly after all like she always thought, but these are pretty minor points. But she tends to be borderline TSTL and really really blindly trusting of whoever told her the latest thing to do. This is odd, because on a practical level, she's the "I can do bush living, I can do wild bulls, I can do crazy people shooting at me", but as soon as somebody says "Follow me, we have to go", off she goes, like a good little puppy. She does manage to grow a spine towards the end, and literally tells someone to fuck off and stop telling her what to do. 


Rest of the cons going in a spoiler tag, because they are personal peeves more than actual faults in the book, and as such, probably won't bother anyone else.


Cons: I can't resist you because, pheremones. I really dislike the "we're fated mates, I have been waiting for you all my life" trope, and the plot surrounding it has to be really good for me to read it (Nalini Singh is the only author I can think of who keeps my attention through that stuff). This pheremones stuff is a close second, redeemed here by the fact that our Jessica thinks this is not at all okay, rather than the usual "oh it's fate? well fine then" acquiescence. 


Ye olde noble savage. Innocent spiritual villager types who are wise beyond the ways of the civilized white folks, if only those book reading airplane flying fancy folks noticed. Highly unlikely to annoy anyone else, but it pushes my buttons, being as I am one of those you know, barbarian types. You only have to hear once in your lifetime "I wish I was (your ethnicity), you're so spiritual" for this to get RIGHT up your nose.

(show spoiler)


And now that is unfortunately the end of my two days off from thesis editing hell, while I waited for my advisor meeting, but I managed 3 books in two days, so yay me!