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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
The Watcher is a young boy, enslaved, as are his family and his friends, by fierce soldier dragons who make them work the fields and do their bidding. But the Watcher is not satisfied with his lot in life. He doesn’t like being a slave. He wants to be free. In the distance, the Watcher can see the metal skyscraper ruins, remnants of a world destroyed, a way of life before his time. His parents tell him stories of life amongst the skyscrapers, but stories are not enough. The Watcher must see for himself. He must be free.
Joshua Pantalleresco’s epic narrative poem, The Watcher, tells the story of a dystopian adventure, in a time after the fall of the great skyscraper towers. Written in free verse, this epic chronicles one boy’s journey to freedom and discovery, and his return to rescue his family and friends. What the Watcher discovers is that life and the world around him are beautiful and it’s a beauty he wants to share with his family and friends. This is a journey to freedom: “Somewhere along this journey, the slave boy died/ leaving me in his place/ I am no longer a tool to be used/ but a free man.”
The Watcher transforms on his journey to freedom, from a Watcher to a Dragon Slayer to a Hunter to Rebel Rescuer and once again Dragon Slayer. The end result? A brave new world full of beauty and, best of all, freedom. This is an epic tale much like the Greek epic, The Odyssey. Readers will quickly immerse themselves in a tale poetically told and a sense of poetry they never knew existed.