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Reviewed by Becky Walker for Readers' Favorite
This fast-paced science fantasy adventure, Dimension 7, the first of Kristen Jackson's Keeper of the Watch series, will grip you from the outset. Chase Walker has just turned eighteen. His life lacks focus with no plans for the future. His friends are all about to head off to university, but Chase flunked his football scholarship and he is left drifting. Serving up ice-creams in his home seaside town, Chase has an easy manner, and his good looks attract plenty of eager dates. But Chase is coming to terms with the death of the uncle who raised him, and his life begins to take an unexpected turn when he discovers Uncle Charlie's old watch. He finds himself inexplicably drawn to it; the watch appears to be calling him, beckoning him to put it on. Chase resists - he's not wearing that old thing - but he now has the distinct impression that he is being followed and is in some kind of danger. A feisty young woman, Alyx, arrives from seemingly nowhere, to fight intruders in his home. She is smart, armed, and wearing a watch that flows with her blood. Alyx explains that she and Chase are part of a dying breed of watch keepers. They must jump dimensions - into a number of parallel universes - in order to stop the hunters: those that crave their magical timepieces, and want them dead. But first, she must convince Chase to wear his watch and join her in her quest.
I thoroughly enjoyed this quick read, an adventure which gives this new series an auspicious start. Alyx is a strong female lead, whilst Chase is genuine and likable in a conventional 'genteel hunk' way. Their budding relationship is carefully crafted by Jackson's adept hand. The dystopian picture of Dimension 7 is well painted, but be warned, they include a number of violent and brutal scenes. The unique selling point of this book, for me, is the concept of the same set of characters appearing in different guises in each new dimension as there is a shift in reality. I look forward to seeing how this is developed as the series pans out. My only minor criticism would relate to the characters of the evil hunters in that I need to know why they are so reprehensible, but hopefully this will be explored in future books. That said, this is an exciting and enjoyable read, and I would thoroughly recommend Keeper of the Watch to lovers of action-packed science fantasy. Bring on book two!