20th October, 2022

Review: The Watchers by A.M. Shine (Head of Zeus)

It is spooky season so time to get out those creepy and ghostly reads you've been saving for this time of year. I recently found A.M. Shine's The Watchers at the bookshop and was immediately intrigued. Here is a synopsis:

This forest isn't charted on any map. Every car breaks down at its treeline. Mina's is no different. Left stranded, she is forced into the dark woodland only to find a woman shouting, urging Mina to run to a concrete bunker. As the door slams behind her, the building is besieged by screams.

Mina finds herself in a room with a wall of glass, and an electric light that activates at nightfall, when the Watchers come above ground. These creatures emerge to observe their captive humans—and terrible things happen to anyone who doesn't reach the bunker in time. Afraid and trapped among strangers, Mina is desperate for answers. Who are the Watchers? Why are these creatures keeping them imprisoned? And, most importantly, how can she escape?

Whoa! This was one massive ride of suspense, surprise and eerieness. I was left guessing throughout the story, and I swear I had NOT seen those final twists coming at all. 

Shine manages to build a slowly creeping feeling of unease. Especially in the beginning you find yourself screaming at the main character, wondering why the heck she is so stupid as to walk into the woods when this is exactly the kind of thing your parents (and every single ranger on Earth) have been warning you about forever. But obviously, characters in these kinds of novels need to do idiotic things or otherwise the story would be boring. And The Watchers is everything but boring. 

I breezed through this book in two sittings as I was eager to find out what was happening and, eventually, because I was thrilled by Shine's fabulous ideas. The story seems to end about two thirds into the book but this is only when the nightmare truly begins. I can't say more here without spoiling things so you'll need to read this book for yourself. And I highly recommend you doing so because it is really really good.

The perfect read for spooky season with a simultaneously old and new plot idea (you'll see what I mean when you read it). I enjoyed every single page and will make sure to check out the author's new book soon.

Rating: 5/5 stars

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