• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of Nightwatch on the Hinterlands by K. Eason

In Eason's science fiction mystery, an unlikely pair who get on each other's nerves work together to determine who is responsible for a puzzling murder and other strange occurrences that threaten their world.

In K. Eason's science fiction mystery Nightwatch on the Hinterlands, a templar, Iari, and a spy, Gaer, have built a somewhat formal working relationship. Neither is quite sure where the other's loyalties begin and end, nor are they intimately acquainted with the other's history or personal motivations.

They begin to forge a stronger bond (despite how irritating they each find the other), but there's no time to waste, because high-stakes danger is quickly building to a crisis point around them.

Iari and Gaer band together to solve the mystery of a murder committed by a riev, a decommissioned battle-mecha robot from the last conflict--a murder that shouldn't have been possible, because everyone knows rievs don't kill. Yet all evidence points to the impossible, and odd evidence piles up, then vanishes--as do the witnesses and promising contacts who might have illuminated Iari and Gaer as to the local dynamics and the power dynamics of the local criminal world.

Searching for the truth leads the unlikely duo on a search to uncover who is controlling the riev--and they find that it's someone with nefarious goals that go much farther and are much more elaborately imagined than one recent killing.

I think this was because of personal timing and my reading-during-vacation distraction circumstances, but I did have ongoing trouble following the logistics and political machinations and motivations here.

It didn't matter, though, because I was most invested in and engaged by the interplay of characters--particularly the grudging friendship and grumpily built but rock-solid loyalty between Iari and Gaer. And I was wholly charmed by the rievs (former battle robots) who mysteriously show sentience and surprising preferences for personal pronouns, and who are set on reinventing themselves in drastic fashion.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

Eason is also the author of the On the Bones of Gods fantasy series. This is the first book in The Weep series.

If you like books about robots, you might also like the books on the Greedy Reading List Six Great Stories about Robots, Humans and Alien Life, and AI.