Cover Image: The Watchers

The Watchers

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Member Reviews

*I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for the free book*

I started reading "The Watchers" on my phone last night and I did not expect it to draw me in as much. I was mesmerized, terrified, and I couldn't stop reading. I knew where the story was going in the beginning, but it was still captivating: our protagonist Mina agrees to deliver a bird to in-land Ireland after a night at the local pub. She subsequently gets lost and her car breaks down. The forest is quite dense, she has almost no water, so Mina picks up the bird and follows the road searching for signs of civilization. She does not find any, she is lost in the forest but keeps going. When night falls and strange sounds / screams start to creep her out, she sees a light and starts running towards it. She finds three people in that weird concrete structure in the middle of the haunted, otherworldy forest, three people who to have been lost and whose only chance to survive is to "stay in the light". But Mina is not happy with mere survival, she tries to investigate the surrounding burrows from which the monsters creep. Will they ever leave the haunted forest?

The story did not go where I thought it would go many times and I think this was a deliciously dark, creepy, and unsettling take on SPOILER!!!! fairies from Irish mythology. They are monsters and they are evolving. I finished the novel over breakfast this morning and I also dreamed about it last night. Not hardcore original but very well done, truly creepy, loved it.

5 Stars
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I really struggled with this one due to the claustrophobic nature of so much of it, and due to the overly flowery style of writing. I found my attention drifting at the excessive descriptions sometimes. That said, it is a creepy, thrilling take on Irish mythology mixed with survival horror, and certainly has some interesting twists! Overall I think just not a book for me, but I'm sure many have and will continue to enjoy it!
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wanted something tense and creepy. Between the blurb and the cover (which evoked very strong memories of the covers from *Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark* and sequels) this seemed like a good choice. I had some reservations in the beginning, but this turned out to be a wonderful read. Exactly the kind of horror book I was hoping for.

The premise: Mina is driving through the remote Irish countryside when her car breaks down. In trying to reach somewhere (anywhere) on foot, she ends up in a dense, creepy forest. As the sun is setting, she *finally* sees a structure. Where a woman screams at her to get inside before the sun goes down, and as the woman slams the door Mina hears the forest suddenly fill with terrifying screams. She finds herself in a bunker with three other people, all with similar stories of how they got there. Whatever is out there in the night can’t endure the daylight, so they’re safe as long as they’re in the bunker by nightfall. But escaping requires reaching the edge of the dense, trackless forest before nightfall. The prologue is actually told from the perspective of a 5th person who tried to make a break for it; it doesn’t go well.

My initial skepticism came from two things. One was the writing in general; A.M. Shine likes his similes, and he really lays them on thick in the first part of the book. Luckily it doesn’t take that long before the simile:sentence ratio drops to something less than one, and after that the writing was fine (though definitely shading towards purple). My other issue is a moment, early on, when Mina describes her thoughts looking at a self-portrait she had sketched. The whole thing gave me very strong /r/menwritingwomen vibes; luckily, that was a one-time thing.

In the end, this was a gripping page-turner of a horror novel. Horror isn’t usually my preferred genre, but I was in the mood and this fit perfectly.
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This book didn’t go like I expected and I am pleasantly surprised. I think about 100 or so pages could have been knocked off, which is one of the reason for 4 stars instead of 5. Overall though by the last bit of the book I was on the edge of my seat and now I know I will be tired in the morning but I just couldn’t put it down.
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I'd like to thank the publisher and NetGalley for allowing me a chance at reading this book. 

This book was one that seemed to be really interesting, creepy, and unsettling by the summary. Though, after getting through 20% my attention began to die and my creepy factor began to dwindle into disappointment. When I read a book about creatures attacking people and secluding them off from the rest of the world, I expect to be scared and unsettled. 

I don't think this author is for me.
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The Watchers is a dark novel filled with creepy imagery. The haunting atmosphere throughout is strong. This is a perfect read for around Halloween. Highly recommended to those looking for a spooky read.
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The Watchers is part creature feature, part survival horror.  Mina finds herself in trouble when her car breaks down on the edge of a forest.  It's winter, the cold is setting in, and she knows that to walk back the way she came would mean hours--possibly days before she reaches any sign of civiliaztion.  So into the forest she goes.

Within this secret hidden forest in Ireland there dwell three other people: Madeline, the stern, emotionless matron of the bunch; Ciara, once young and happy, now nearly destroyed by her emotional trauma; and Daniel, nineteen and already beaten down by the world.  These three exist in a small cabin made of poured concrete, a small cabin with a huge wall made of one-way glass and a bright light that switches on via a timer each day as the sun goes down.  And if you're not in the cabin by the time the light comes on, if you're left out in the woods with the *other* things that live there, then you won't live to see the morning

Mina is rescued--just in time--by Madeline.  She quickly learns of the horror that she's walked straight into.  Every night, the light switches on, the locks are thrown, and the three--now four--humans live through another night of fear while the others--the Watchers--gather on the others side of the glass to observe them.  If the humans try to sleep, Watchers let out bloodcurdling screams and attack the glass.

By day the survivors hunt for food--berries and birds, as no other animals live in these woods--and gather water from a nearby spring.  By night they huddle in fear.  There's no escape, the forest too immense to ever get out of before night falls again.  But something has to happen.  They can't keep living like this.  Soon things will take place that will explain in only the vaguest terms what is happening to them (insert a modern version of Irish folklore) and that will give them the slightest glimmer of hope.  

Can they escape the cabin that is both their sanctuary and their prison?  Can they make it out of the forest?  Can they ever get away from the horrendous creatures they call the Watchers?

I thought this was a great little story.  The characters are likable, either for their relatability or their strangeness.  The cabin feels uncomfortable, claustrophobic, safe and yet not.  The panic is real, the action slowed down only slightly by the author's tendency to focus on small details in the midst of fast-paced scenes.

I found myself reading furiously trying to hurry along and see just what was going to happen to this rag-tag little group of people who, but bad luck, found themselves facing horrors most of us could only have nightmares about.
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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.

The Watchers is the creepy, terrifying and extremely impressive debut by A. M. Shine. This book had all the elements of a classic Thriller/Horror but with a fresh and unique take that played havoc with my emotions. Shine has a special talent for making the reader feel like they're in that claustrophobic prison-like room with the characters. The fact they're trapped and being watched by things they cannot see genuinely made me feel sick with claustrophobia. 

The characters in The Watchers was one of aspects I enjoyed most. We follow 4 characters who have found themselves imprisoned in this bizarre concrete structure in the middle of a dark and eerie forest. Shine does a fantastic job with manipulating the readers feelings towards the characters. There was characters that I loved and others that I hated. I won't mention the names because I don't want to spoil it but I'm fairly confident most readers will instantly know who it is when reading The Watchers. I liked the fact we delved into the characters history and how they came to be there. It made the characters more believable and made them more relatable. 

There was parts where Shine would describe something in so much details that it would slightly disturb the rhythm especially when it describes Mina's thoughts of others. I felt like this makes more sense towards the end and you can see why it's a big part of the book.

The plot was such an interesting concept that it  sounds like most peoples worst nightmares with a very unique and sinister twist. There would be so many times where I would stop reading to think about what I would do in that situation. Despite knowing what happens, I still run through ideas of what I would do weeks after finishing the book. I love that feeling of finishing a book and still thinking about it weeks later. I will be honest, The ending was slightly predicable but it was written so well that you feel the intensity pulsing through the pages. It felt like a fantastic conclusion to a very disturbing yet interesting story. 

This is a different type of Horror that I would usually go for but it was a refreshing feeling to read something so different and unique. I loved the supernatural elements and the complete mystery regarding the watchers. I cant reccomend this book enough and look forward to reading more by A. M. Shine
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This is a spooky novel, interesting characters, and good plot development. Dark atmosphere and interesting buildup.
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Thank you to the publishers, author and NetGalley for the free copy of this book.

Very creepy read. Good detail and imagery, some bits could have been left out but I had chills the whole time I was reading!
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Dark and twisty and right up my Irish alley. I could not believe this was a debut. Eloquently and deviously written, I kept coming back for more. Reading this at night or alone is not recommended!
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Holy cow what a creepy wild ride! Old Irish folklore brought to life in the modern day? Yes, please!

Mina is a watcher - an artist who sketches the people walking by on the street every day. She has a keen eye for the internal details that show through their eyes and facial expressions.

While on her way to make a delivery for a friend, Mina’s car breaks down on the edge of a forest in the middle of nowhere Ireland. Her phone doesn’t work either, so the only thing she can do is walk through the forest to look for help. As night falls she comes upon a squat cement building, as otherworldly screeches echo through the trees. She’s quickly ushered in by Madeline and spends the next few months held prisoner by another kind of watcher. These watchers only come out at night and only have one goal - to catch anyone entering their forest.

I really loved the tension and pace of this book. It was super scary. I figured out the twist about halfway through, but I wasn’t sure what the backstory to it was. I loved following the context clues that supported my theory (which was right). I felt the ending was a bit clipped and could have packed more of a punch, but I still really enjoyed this book.
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What a book! The nagging need to hide away from glass doors of all sorts has crept up inside of me and claimed a permanent residency, thanks to The Watchers. A.M.Shine is a master manipulator of our sanity, driving the readers close to a daunting insanity with the turning of every page. Beware, if you are a claustrophobic, you may never recover after reading The Watchers. There is nothing not to love in this story: relatable characters, palpable fear, and a perpetual feeling of being watched. The plot is full of shocking twists. Long story short, The Watchers by A.M.Shine is a must read for paranormal thriller lovers, who enjoy being scared beyond words by the author.
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Haunting, eerie and simply unputdownable! Those looking for a spooky read would not regret picking this up
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I didn't get the chance to read this book before its publication, unfortunately. But what I have seen of it, it looks wonderful--the vibes seem great, and I've seen great reviews. I wish I had had the opportunity; I'm so sorry!
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Dark , creepy and utterly addictive . This book will stay with me for a long time. I loved every twisted page !!
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Loving the atmosphere, the writing and the twists.
The story fell a little short, but overall I liked it!
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The Watchers

4/5 Stars

I was super lucky to receive an arc of The Watchers from NetGalley.

When Mina agrees to deliver a parrot for a friend for some extra cash, she definitely didn’t think that she would be trapped in the middle of nowhere after taking a wrong turn with her car breaking down in the most inopportune location. Leaving her in the gaze of unknown beings with a group of survivors that have been hiding there for an unknown amount of time.

The Watchers was a fast passed, beautifully written book that I couldn’t bear to put down. It was thrilling, addicting, and full of the horror it promised. It was so lost in the hopelessness that there were constant emotions always running through me.

This book could have been a bit shorter and would have had the same overall effect, but the way it is as published was so entertaining with the storyline, characters, and twists.
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Rating: 3.5 
I really liked the beginning. After that it kept fluctuating from boring to interesting. I liked the twists and the writing, but I didn't care much about the characters. I think I would have liked it more if it was a short story.
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This book is creepy but in a good way. It feels like watching a horror movie. It is set in a remote Irish forrest where every car breaks down. It is not a book I would usually read, however, I strongly recommend this for anyone who loves horror. Four out of five stars.
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