Review: Watches and Warnings by Ryan Wolf

Title: Watches and Warnings
Author: Ryan Wolf
Release Date: August 1, 2019
Publisher: West 44 Books
Pages: 200

Content Warnings: tornado, self-harm, suicide attempt, drug addiction, overdose, underage drinking, car accident, descriptions of injuries, hospitals

This post does contain affiliate links. I will receive a small amount from any purchases made through Book Depository at no extra cost to you.

Sixteen-year-old Philip is the son of two Evangelical youth pastors. He also secretly helps his older brother pay for his heroin addiction. When a massive tornado touches down in their small town, Philip’s family becomes heavily involved in the post-disaster cleanup as Philip struggles with the return of his detoxing brother. With his life swept into sudden chaos, Philip grapples with questions that cut him to the core.

Amazon | Book Depository | Indiebound

Watches and Warnings is a very run of the mill debut. It isn’t bad but there also isn’t anything particularly memorable about it. I was able to read the entire thing in less than an hour. While I wish it had been longer there honestly wasn’t enough of a plot for it to continue.

Maybe
none of us
should have gotten
older.

watches and warnings by ryan wolf

The author does have a great deal of potential and I’m interested to see what he does next. His use of imagery in several spots was impressive and at times I could “see” what he was saying. I also enjoyed the theme of religious intolerance throughout the story.

See is in quotation marks since I have aphantasia.

This book didn’t feel like a first draft but it also didn’t seem like it should have been the last either. I didn’t see near enough development in any of the characters and the plot wasn’t fleshed out enough. It was mostly just events happening one right after the other without any story flow to it. I wasn’t able to make any sort of emotional connection to the plot or characters whatsoever.

Or maybe
we’re still just kids,
building our lives
out of the blocks
we’ve been given.

watches and warnings by ryan wolf

Unfortunately, Watches and Warnings is one that won’t be sticking with me. There wasn’t anything remarkable about it to set it apart. I don’t feel that reading it was a waste of my time but I definitely would have been disappointed if I had spent more than a few dollars on it.

A digital copy was provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s