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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
The Watchers: The Trekana Book 1 by Jo Sisk-Purvis delves deeply into world-building, introducing readers to an idyllic island paradise where violence and war have been unknown for over 500 years. The inhabitants of this world are either watchers or listeners. Watchers have incredibly powerful eyesight but are deaf, and listeners have exceptional hearing but no eyesight. Others called knowers, who possessed telepathic powers, were wiped out following the Civil War that ushered in the five hundred years of peace; they were too powerful and dangerous to be allowed to exist. Alesea is a gifted young musician about to enter womanhood. When a renegade group of watchers, known as the Paav, invade her peaceful island and kidnap the islanders and her entire family, Alesea realizes two things: first, she is a knower, having powers she was not aware of; and second, she must somehow find a way to cross the seas to the faraway Mata City to rescue her family. Along the way, she will meet helpful allies and many enemies and discover the first flames of youthful love.
Jo Sisk-Purvis weaves a fascinating journey into the fantasy world of The Watchers. As the series opener, it does what it should do; it leaves readers thirsting for more, wanting to know what comes next. I particularly appreciated the moral quandaries the protagonist faced; how to lead a revolution against the evil Paav when your life is dedicated to love, peace, and peaceful cooperation? I thoroughly enjoyed her constant internal conflict, balancing the powers she possesses with the ultimate desire never to harm anyone. Alesea is an appealing character. As a young woman, she not only has to deal with knowledge previously withheld from her but also the first bloom of love and competition for her attention from two men she cares about deeply. The world Sisk-Purvis has created contains many interesting facets, especially the history of the races, and I hope to learn more as the series continues. When I finish a book and instantly want to start the next in the series, I know the author has succeeded; this author has, and I can highly recommend The Watchers.