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The Watchers

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A claustrophobic horror adventure set in the remote unknown forests of Galway, where mysterious creatures keep humans as pets for observation, from debut Irish author A.M. Shine. You can't see them. But they can see you.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 on A claustrophobic horror adventure set in the remote unknown forests of Galway, where mysterious creatures keep humans as pets for observation, from debut Irish author A.M. Shine. You can't see them. But they can see you.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 and why are these creatures keeping them imprisoned, keen to watch their every move?


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A claustrophobic horror adventure set in the remote unknown forests of Galway, where mysterious creatures keep humans as pets for observation, from debut Irish author A.M. Shine. You can't see them. But they can see you.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 on A claustrophobic horror adventure set in the remote unknown forests of Galway, where mysterious creatures keep humans as pets for observation, from debut Irish author A.M. Shine. You can't see them. But they can see you.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 and why are these creatures keeping them imprisoned, keen to watch their every move?

30 review for The Watchers

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    I really enjoyed the concept of this horror, though I think it would have made a better novella, with a hundred or so pages of bloated purple prose cut out. I liked the beginning, the ending, and the major plot points, but everything between them was too drawn out and overwritten. There were moments when I considered not finishing it, but in the end I actually finished it in less than 24 hours. Mina's car breaks down at the treeline of a forest that you won't find on any map. In the middle of now I really enjoyed the concept of this horror, though I think it would have made a better novella, with a hundred or so pages of bloated purple prose cut out. I liked the beginning, the ending, and the major plot points, but everything between them was too drawn out and overwritten. There were moments when I considered not finishing it, but in the end I actually finished it in less than 24 hours. Mina's car breaks down at the treeline of a forest that you won't find on any map. In the middle of nowhere, Mina is forced to seek help inside the trees, where she discovers three people living inside a concrete bunker. She soon learns they are trapped there by the stuff of nightmares. When night falls, they need to be inside the bunker, or the watchers will get them. During the day, they can stumble helplessly through the forest looking for an escape, but heaven help them should they stray too far and not make it back before dark. The best parts were the use of Irish mythology and the eerie forest setting, though I would say, overall, that my mood was more intrigued than it was scared. The scariest part for me was the penultimate chapter.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    The Watchers by A.M. Shine is a horror read. The story in this one will make you invest in a good GPS and is told by changing the point of view between the various characters. When Mina agreed to deliver a parrot for her friend Peter for a little extra cash she never could have foreseen what was coming. As Mina was traveling in the remote roads her car broke down right at the edge of a forest. With nothing behind her for miles Mina heads into the woods with the parrot in tow. Just as night is begi The Watchers by A.M. Shine is a horror read. The story in this one will make you invest in a good GPS and is told by changing the point of view between the various characters. When Mina agreed to deliver a parrot for her friend Peter for a little extra cash she never could have foreseen what was coming. As Mina was traveling in the remote roads her car broke down right at the edge of a forest. With nothing behind her for miles Mina heads into the woods with the parrot in tow. Just as night is beginning to fall Mina sees a woman calling out to her to hurry to a shelter. Mina finds that in the shelter are other travelers who are just as trapped as she now is by the things watching them out in the surrounding woods. The Watchers by A.M. Shine was a fast paced addicting horror story. I quickly flew through this one engrossed in what was out in those woods and trying to figure out where the story would lead. As weird as it sounds with a group of strangers being trapped the story still had plenty of action then of course a few twists to keep a reader engaged. Definitely a creepy and thrilling tale. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  3. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Rounded up to 4. This was quite a creepy read. The deep, dark forest was a very atmospheric setting for such a story and it was a refreshing take on a part of Irish mythology. The ending was sinister. Many thanks to Netgalley for an arc of this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I loved this book! My heart was racing with each turn of the page I just had to find out what happened next! Mina’s car breaks down near the tree line of a mysterious and creepy forest, with a unique reputation. This forest is not on any map. Left stranded with no other options Mina wanders into the forest. She hears screams, a woman shouting urging her to take shelter. But from who or what is she running from? What resides in the forest? You can’t see them. They are called the Watchers and they j I loved this book! My heart was racing with each turn of the page I just had to find out what happened next! Mina’s car breaks down near the tree line of a mysterious and creepy forest, with a unique reputation. This forest is not on any map. Left stranded with no other options Mina wanders into the forest. She hears screams, a woman shouting urging her to take shelter. But from who or what is she running from? What resides in the forest? You can’t see them. They are called the Watchers and they just can’t keep their eyes off you. Who are these Watchers? What do they want? Why are they watching us? This creepy, atmospheric thriller left me wanting to keep the lights as I slept in the best possible way. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    I literally read this book in one sitting one morning . Impossible to put down, this is classic horror, beautifully written and seriously creepy. Imagine if Quiet Place and Body Snatchers had a more terrifying baby and you might get a sense of this. It has all the feel of an original Grimm fairytale, not the Disney version but the deeply disturbing kind, where monsters are real and life is a battle for survival against the coming of the night. The characters are layered and engaging, the story its I literally read this book in one sitting one morning . Impossible to put down, this is classic horror, beautifully written and seriously creepy. Imagine if Quiet Place and Body Snatchers had a more terrifying baby and you might get a sense of this. It has all the feel of an original Grimm fairytale, not the Disney version but the deeply disturbing kind, where monsters are real and life is a battle for survival against the coming of the night. The characters are layered and engaging, the story itself unnerving and clever. I was so happy when I'd finished that I read it in daylight, fairly sure I would not have been able to sleep in the immediate aftermath. If you like a genuinely disturbing read that is also addictive, intelligent and gives you a knockout ending then The Watchers will be for you. Highly Recommended.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Max

    I like myself a few creepy Halloween reads! In terms of horror novel criteria, this does succeed in being genuinely unsettling. I also enjoyed the extra depth from the more artsy writing portions. Just reading the blurb/description of this novel on Goodreads should be good enough for the reader to know just what they're getting into. I like myself a few creepy Halloween reads! In terms of horror novel criteria, this does succeed in being genuinely unsettling. I also enjoyed the extra depth from the more artsy writing portions. Just reading the blurb/description of this novel on Goodreads should be good enough for the reader to know just what they're getting into.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kat Dietrich

    The Watchers by A.M. Shine is a horror novel, and a debut novel......and I can't wait for more by this author! First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Head of Zeus - Aries, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions) The forest is not on the map, but any vehicle that tries to pass it breaks down.  There is no cell service, and no other traf The Watchers by A.M. Shine is a horror novel, and a debut novel......and I can't wait for more by this author! First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Head of Zeus - Aries, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions) The forest is not on the map, but any vehicle that tries to pass it breaks down.  There is no cell service, and no other traffic.  There doesn't seem to be a choice.  People leave their vehicles and hope there is something at the other end of the forest. The "lucky" ones, come across a concrete bunker, and meet others who have managed to stay safe.  Lights come on at dusk and go off at daylight.  The doors are locked at night, but the residents are awake, and on display.  For at night, they are watched by something that screams. Madeline has been there for over two years, and runs the place.  She is strong-willed.  David is 19, and trying to help, although his lack of confidence makes him weak.  He is in charge of setting the traps to bring in birds for dinner.  Ciara goes to the spring and brings fresh water, as well as picks  berries.  She is struggling, as her husband went out one morning to try and find a way out of the forest.  He has never returned. Mina has just arrived, toting a parrot that she was to deliver in return for payment.  She barely made it to the bunker before night fell and the creatures arrived.  She  has many questions, but not sure Madeline is providing sufficient answers. Together, they are in for the fight of their lives.  Their individual strengths and weaknesses will be put to the test, and not all will make it. My Opinions:    First, I loved the cover. This book grabbed me from the get-go and didn't release me til the end...and even then my thoughts stayed with the characters.  This a creepy, atmospheric horror tale, filled with monsters, built on Irish mythology and fairy tales.  Those fairy tales would not be suitable for children. The book is written from different points of view, although the main one is Mina. I loved the different personalities of the 4 individuals in the coop, and how each played a vital role in their escape attempt.  They were all well-developed characters.   The pace was fast, and overall it was a fast read (although that could be because I couldn't wait to see what happened next). I admit that the first major twist was not a big surprise to me...the author had provided a major clue. My knowledge did not detract from the plot, and I still questioned that twist occasionally.   However, that ending was a real surprise....and I loved it. For a debut novel, this was simply amazing. For a more complete review of this book and others (including the reason I chose to read/review this book, author information and my favorite quotation from the book), please visit my blog: http://katlovesbooksblog.wordpress.com/

  8. 4 out of 5

    The Coycaterpillar Reads

    The Watchers is an Irish gothic novel that not only delivers on the terror but poses a much deeper question, is there evil lurking in everyone. We can adopt a face that is acceptable to society. What is hidden beneath these faces, secrets that lie below the surface threatening to escape? With light comes a new day, a new opportunity to start again but with the darkness, the terrors can run rampant. The Watchers is a unique take on the fairy trope and all I can say is that I won’t read this bedti The Watchers is an Irish gothic novel that not only delivers on the terror but poses a much deeper question, is there evil lurking in everyone. We can adopt a face that is acceptable to society. What is hidden beneath these faces, secrets that lie below the surface threatening to escape? With light comes a new day, a new opportunity to start again but with the darkness, the terrors can run rampant. The Watchers is a unique take on the fairy trope and all I can say is that I won’t read this bedtime story with the same viewpoint that I did before! Mina hasn’t had an easy life. She is a struggling artist living in the city, her mother died, and her father is having a never-ending cycle with alcohol. Her sister, Jennifer tries to check up on her from time to time but Mina becomes disenfranchised with her sister’s stories of marriage, home-owning, and hiking. She feels isolated and on her own, so when she is presented with the opportunity to make some easy money taking a beautiful golden parrot to a buyer in Connemara. Her car breaks down on the perimeter of the forest, her phone doesn’t work, and she has no clue where she is….and she has no idea what the screams belong to emanating from the night. Mina comes across a concrete building in the forest and three other occupants, Daniel, Ciara, and Madeline. They are edgy and nervous. They explain the rules of the coop and the threat of The Watchers on the outside. They can’t see them, but they can see them. Always watching. The only time they are safe is daylight hours, but the forest has no beginning and no end, so there is no hope of escape. A.M. Shine has created something so sinister in The Watchers. It is part horror and part suspense with a cold complexity of being watched. My head was unraveled like a spinning top with the twists that kept barrelling my way. He took us down a dark and depraved but there was no looking back. He led us to the edge of a cliff and pushed the reader off when they were least expecting it. The Watchers was a punch to the jugular. This was a quick read, I had to find out what was going to happen next. The author pulled out the rug from under me on more than one occasion. A must-read for the spooky season!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    A forest with seemingly no end and no beginning. A forest that appears on no map ever crafted. A forest that causes all cars to break down on its borders and for those stranded individuals to venture into the canopy of trees. A forest that will swallow them whole. A forest with beings who watch from the shadows. A forest that is eagerly waiting its next victims to come and join it. This seemed like the perfect set-up for a sinister story-line and it initially was. I loved the focus on the charact A forest with seemingly no end and no beginning. A forest that appears on no map ever crafted. A forest that causes all cars to break down on its borders and for those stranded individuals to venture into the canopy of trees. A forest that will swallow them whole. A forest with beings who watch from the shadows. A forest that is eagerly waiting its next victims to come and join it. This seemed like the perfect set-up for a sinister story-line and it initially was. I loved the focus on the character's fears and attempts at survival. Their heightened emotions emanated from the pages and I felt as breathless with anticipation for what would next occur as the characters who were going through their harrowing ordeals. However, this initial focus soon became overshadowed by the questions that plagued all events. Who/what were the watchers? What were their motives? What are the other characters doing to ensure their continued survival? Is anyone looking for them? How long have they been isolated for? WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON? Unfortunately I never felt I got a satisfactory explanation for any of these queries and events only continued to become more fast-paced and convoluted, right up until the novel's close. I can definitely say this is a read like no other but also that I anticipated something more concrete from my time with it. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, A.M. Shine, and the publisher, Head of Zeus, for this opportunity.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kay Oliver

    Thank you Netgalley and Author A.M. Shine for this ARC. The characters in this tale were complex and fully engaging. Even the non-human ones lurking, creeping, watching in the forest. They are the stars of this classic horror story. But the language bogs down the spoon knees and suspense. It also confuses the story a bit. It's atmospheric purple prose where it shouldn't be. Without the poetic wording this book will surely haunt your dreams for many nights to come. Prepare to gobble this up in on Thank you Netgalley and Author A.M. Shine for this ARC. The characters in this tale were complex and fully engaging. Even the non-human ones lurking, creeping, watching in the forest. They are the stars of this classic horror story. But the language bogs down the spoon knees and suspense. It also confuses the story a bit. It's atmospheric purple prose where it shouldn't be. Without the poetic wording this book will surely haunt your dreams for many nights to come. Prepare to gobble this up in one night. I did.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jo_Scho_Reads

    This is an unknown, uncharted forest in Galway. Every car breaks down at the edge. Those who enter never leave. Mina is no exception; when her car stops abruptly she is forced to enter the deep woods but quickly realises her mistake. This forest is impenetrable and filled with strange noises yet no signs of life. Until Mina comes across a shelter in the woods with a woman screaming at her to quickly get inside. Inside is a room with a wall of glass and a harsh electric light that switches on at d This is an unknown, uncharted forest in Galway. Every car breaks down at the edge. Those who enter never leave. Mina is no exception; when her car stops abruptly she is forced to enter the deep woods but quickly realises her mistake. This forest is impenetrable and filled with strange noises yet no signs of life. Until Mina comes across a shelter in the woods with a woman screaming at her to quickly get inside. Inside is a room with a wall of glass and a harsh electric light that switches on at dusk. The light keeps the Watchers away. You can’t see them. But you can still hear their screams and sense their presence. And they can see you. Oh my god this was so SCARY! From the first few pages I was thrown headfirst into the story and as I kept reading my sense of fear deepened to the point where I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough and had butterflies in my stomach waiting to see what would happen next. I loved the way the story developed with its twists and turns, it was one lurching thrill of terror after another. Excellent writing (there’s plenty of literary fiction alongside the horror), exceptional plotting and flawed yet fascinating characters (can I just say that I LOVED the inclusion of a parrot?!) made this one of the most enjoyable (and believable, gulp) horror stories I’ve read in a long time. I know I’m going to be thinking about this book for a while. In fact I walked our dog tonight at dusk, just near a dark copse of trees. As I glanced over at them I felt a horrible sense of unease. Then I told my daughter about the story and her immediate response was, ‘mum, let’s walk faster!’ I needed no encouragement! 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️😱😱😬😬👻👻🎃🎃 Thanks to @headofzeus and Lauren Tavella for my ARC.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Schizanthus Nerd

    ‘All paths lead somewhere’ Mina had planned on making some easy money when she agreed to deliver a parrot to a collector in Connemara. Mina’s car breaking down in the middle of nowhere was not part of the plan. Neither was winding up in a “prison of concrete and glass” in the depths of the forest. There Mina meets Madeline, Daniel and Ciara. But they’re not alone. They’re being watched. Nothing should have to live in captivity At various times, A Quiet Place and Peadar Ó Guilín’s The Call ‘All paths lead somewhere’ Mina had planned on making some easy money when she agreed to deliver a parrot to a collector in Connemara. Mina’s car breaking down in the middle of nowhere was not part of the plan. Neither was winding up in a “prison of concrete and glass” in the depths of the forest. There Mina meets Madeline, Daniel and Ciara. But they’re not alone. They’re being watched. Nothing should have to live in captivity At various times, A Quiet Place and Peadar Ó Guilín’s The Call popped into my mind as I was reading but I don’t think it’s fair to make comparisons as this story is its own monster. Or should I say, it contains its own monsters. The watchers were an ever present threat, made all the more creepy by the fact that I got to know them by their shrieks. The fear of the unknown is almost always scarier than fears you can identify. Not knowing what the watchers were or even what they looked like for much of the story added to my unease. I wondered if this story would have packed more of a punch if it was a novella, but it was a quick, compulsive read. I had some trouble for the longest time trying to figure out why it was so difficult for the characters to escape the forest when they were able to make their way into its depths in the first place, but ultimately decided that I didn’t care. I was having too much fun flip flopping between hoping for a bloodbath and wanting everyone to survive. I’m keen to see what horrors the author will introduce me to next. Stay in the light Thank you so much to NetGalley and Aries, an imprint of Head of Zeus, for the opportunity to read this book. Blog - https://schizanthusnerd.com

  13. 5 out of 5

    Adrian Dooley

    If you go down to the woods today…. The story of Mina, who’s car breaks down on the edge of a woods in Connemara in the West Of Ireland, where she is forced to continue on foot and enter the forest. As the light dims, she hears a woman’s voice urging her to run and join her in a “coop”. Slamming the door shut when she reaches it, she hears the howls and screams as the Watchers surface from below ground for the night to watch their subjects though a glass wall. No one escapes. Venture outside at n If you go down to the woods today…. The story of Mina, who’s car breaks down on the edge of a woods in Connemara in the West Of Ireland, where she is forced to continue on foot and enter the forest. As the light dims, she hears a woman’s voice urging her to run and join her in a “coop”. Slamming the door shut when she reaches it, she hears the howls and screams as the Watchers surface from below ground for the night to watch their subjects though a glass wall. No one escapes. Venture outside at night and you will be devoured by the Watchers. It’s only safe to go outside during the day when the Watchers are back below ground. Enough time to forage for food and collect water from the stream but, the seemingly never ending and confusing woods are too big to escape in a day. The Watchers are hunters and will find you in the woods no matter where you are, unless you make it back to the safety of the coop. What is the coop? How did it get there? What are the Watchers and why are they watching Mina and the three other people trapped in the coop? I enjoyed this one. A little too close to home as I’m recently back from a holiday in Connemara haha. The story is pretty interesting and a nice gothic dark take on some Irish folklore. It feels a bit like a mixture of The Body Snatchers, A Quiet Place and Lost. A well thought out and structured story and it doesn’t overstay it’s welcome at 240 pages. Not particularly scary but an enjoyable and interesting read. Thanks to the publisher for the ARC through Netgalley.

  14. 4 out of 5

    LIsa Noell "Rocking the Chutzpah!"

    My thanks to Aria and Aries, A.M. Shine and Netgalley. I've put off this review for a few months now. It's not a difficult review, it's just that it gave me a few nightmares. Alot! It shouldn't have. Really, it's not that terrifying! But, for some reason it got stuck in my head. I'm not going to review this. Just know that the forest is deep. Once you're in, it's difficult to get out. And what follows by the wayside.. My thanks to Aria and Aries, A.M. Shine and Netgalley. I've put off this review for a few months now. It's not a difficult review, it's just that it gave me a few nightmares. Alot! It shouldn't have. Really, it's not that terrifying! But, for some reason it got stuck in my head. I'm not going to review this. Just know that the forest is deep. Once you're in, it's difficult to get out. And what follows by the wayside..

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bandit

    Watchers, in theory, had it going on, well on track to be the novel to watch. A creepy setting in the Irish woods, a creepy as all get out take on faeries, a genuinely nice claustrophobic mood throughout and a couple of really excellent plot twists. And yet, lamentably, it didn’t work. Specifically, it all but collapsed under the weight of its own writing. Weird thing to say about a book, but there it is. This novel was just overwritten into tedium, no consideration for pace, it dragged and lag Watchers, in theory, had it going on, well on track to be the novel to watch. A creepy setting in the Irish woods, a creepy as all get out take on faeries, a genuinely nice claustrophobic mood throughout and a couple of really excellent plot twists. And yet, lamentably, it didn’t work. Specifically, it all but collapsed under the weight of its own writing. Weird thing to say about a book, but there it is. This novel was just overwritten into tedium, no consideration for pace, it dragged and lagged quite strikingly for such a reasonable page count, making it seem like a much longer read. The narrative was dense and slow rolling, barely giving itself any rest with dialogue. It just made you sleepy. The main adjectives that come to mind are ponderous and soporific, which is obviously far from ideal. It's perfectly competent, technically, it just doesn't shine, ironically enough. So yeah, however well intended, there’s just no character or plot twist or narrative surprise in this book that was worth the plodding slog of reading this book. Unless you’re into that sort of thing. Pass. Thanks Netgalley.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Aina

    The Watchers is a claustrophobic survival horror that takes place mainly in one setting. Initially, I thought the premise is interesting but I was full of questions. If the Watchers only come out at night, why don’t they try to leave during the day? But the book addresses these questions convincingly. The tension and suspense are palpable, especially when the characters are racing against time. There are some terrifying scenes of the Watchers wreaking havoc. I was invested in the characters. Thei The Watchers is a claustrophobic survival horror that takes place mainly in one setting. Initially, I thought the premise is interesting but I was full of questions. If the Watchers only come out at night, why don’t they try to leave during the day? But the book addresses these questions convincingly. The tension and suspense are palpable, especially when the characters are racing against time. There are some terrifying scenes of the Watchers wreaking havoc. I was invested in the characters. Their differences had to be put aside if they were to survive, and I thought the book handles the conflict well. I really liked the reveal about who the Watchers are, which involves ancient Irish mythology. But I’m not a fan of the ending which feels rushed with an open ending.. There is potential for more stories involving the Watchers but I thought the bunker scenes were the scariest and most effective parts of the book. A solid addition to the survival horror sub-genre, The Watchers would be perfect for fans of Bird Box and A Quiet Place!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Aly

    What a great horror debut and right in time for Halloween! This book grips you from the prologue and drops you right into a nightmare scenario, trapped in the woods with murderous creatures on all sides. I enjoyed following Mina as she stumbles upon this awful place, learns to survive, and eventually decides to escape or die trying. In addition to making me leery of looking out a window in the dark, I also had a good time trying to put together pieces of where this little shelter came from and w What a great horror debut and right in time for Halloween! This book grips you from the prologue and drops you right into a nightmare scenario, trapped in the woods with murderous creatures on all sides. I enjoyed following Mina as she stumbles upon this awful place, learns to survive, and eventually decides to escape or die trying. In addition to making me leery of looking out a window in the dark, I also had a good time trying to put together pieces of where this little shelter came from and what exactly the Watchers wanted from Mina and her group. There are a couple great reveals that I didn't see coming and the ending came too soon. I want another book please! This is a quick read and perfectly fits the spooky vibe for October! I'm giving this a huge recommendation for Halloween! I voluntarily read and reviewed this book and all opinions are my own. Thank you to Head of Zeus and NetGalley for the copy

  18. 4 out of 5

    Danique van Dijk

    Thank you NetGalley and Aria & Aries for providing me with an early copy in exchange for my honest review! Stay in the light 🌲🔆 The story 🔆🌲 When Mina goes to deliver a bird as a favor to a friend, her car breaks down. She decides to trek through the woods, in the hopes of finding someone who can help. Sadly, she finds more than she bargained for. I really enjoyed this! Right from the start, the book was very creepy. The prologue already made me very interested before we even met any o Thank you NetGalley and Aria & Aries for providing me with an early copy in exchange for my honest review! Stay in the light 🌲🔆 The story 🔆🌲 When Mina goes to deliver a bird as a favor to a friend, her car breaks down. She decides to trek through the woods, in the hopes of finding someone who can help. Sadly, she finds more than she bargained for. I really enjoyed this! Right from the start, the book was very creepy. The prologue already made me very interested before we even met any of the other characters, and we saw a little glimpse of what was to come. At first, I definitely thought that the Watchers were fake and Madeline just made them up to get them all scared or something, but I'm glad that I was wrong. The POV kept changing between all of the characters in the bunker, and I enjoyed that, because it gave us some more insight into their minds. I absolutely loved the ending, I did not see that plottwist coming, and that says a lot!! I mean, (view spoiler)[I had a feeling that Madeline would be his wife, but her being a watcher??? (hide spoiler)] Did not expect that at all. Their troubles with (view spoiler)[adapting to normal life again (hide spoiler)] were written really well, the PTSD was quite realistic in my psychologist opinion. Seriously, that ending was so good; (view spoiler)[Madeline is actually kinda good, but there are others as well! I loved how she did start to care for Mina, and that she's apparently more human than Watcher. (hide spoiler)] What I don't really understand yet however, is what exactly the Watchers are and where they came from. Are they aliens or something..? I don't know, but it wasn't too clear to me. I definitely imagined them as Wendigo from Until Dawn, so that creeped me out. Seriously, I had to cycle in the darkness and I was scared out of my wits. Besides that, I hate that they didn’t close the latch, (view spoiler)[when they escaped. If someone else ever gets stuck in the woods, they won’t have any shelter, because that bunker will now be useless as well. (hide spoiler)] I really hate that they did that, because it could've made a big difference to someone if they did close it. 🌲🔆 The characters 🔆🌲 I normally discuss each of the main characters in different sections, but since the main characters all overlap so much, I'm just going to group them all together. 🎨 First of all, Mina. I enjoyed her, although I honestly do not understand why you would go into the woods when your car breaks down. I'd never go into the woods, because that's a sure way to get murdered lmao. Anyway, I liked the relationship that she started to build with the bird, and I especially loved that she didn't eat him, I for sure thought that would happen. What really annoyed me however, was how (view spoiler)[she stopped to look into a freaking Watcher pit when they were escaping. (hide spoiler)] What the **** was that about??? Did she want to get noticed and get them all killed? So yeah, that annoyed the shit out of me. 🔑 At first, I did not trust Madeline at all. I don't get why none of the other characters thought to follow her on the moments that she just completely disappeared? But anyway, I really started to care for her. Especially after the scene where (view spoiler)[Daniel locked them out. (hide spoiler)] Like Mina said, she's different, but I started to care for her and her weird way of taking care of the others. 🏍️💤 I did like Daniel in the beginning, but his insecureness and whininess started to annoy me. He and Ciara were quite redundant characters to me, I didn't care about them at all. I was glad that Ciara (view spoiler)[ finally understood why they didn't open the door for John, (hide spoiler)] because the fact that she was mad about that was annoying me. Like Madeline said, they were both kinda useless and they reminded me of toddlers. I mostly cared for Mina and Madeline, and I loved how the book ended! The relationships between each of the characters really developed throughout the story, and I loved that. 🌲🔆 Overall conclusion 🔆🌲 The cover of this book is so pretty, I love it. The story was definitely creepy, and it was a very good read to me. I loved the ending and the plottwists, but I didn't really love all of the characters. Some of the struggles were written really realistic in my opinion, and there weren't a lot of mistakes in writing. I do wonder if there'll be another book, since it had an open ending? I don't think there should be another one to be honest, since this is just the perfect amount of creepiness to end on!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bee Loves To Read

    Firstly a huge thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for granting me an ARC. I noticed a lot of reviewers commented on how flowery the prose was in this book and how it wasn't needed. I loved it. I felt it flowed really well and it didn't take away from the story. For me it only made it all that more ambient and kept me turning the page for more. Mina finds herself at the edge of a forest, her car broken down, on the way to help a friend sell a parrot. After spending the night in her car she v Firstly a huge thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for granting me an ARC. I noticed a lot of reviewers commented on how flowery the prose was in this book and how it wasn't needed. I loved it. I felt it flowed really well and it didn't take away from the story. For me it only made it all that more ambient and kept me turning the page for more. Mina finds herself at the edge of a forest, her car broken down, on the way to help a friend sell a parrot. After spending the night in her car she ventures into the forest and, after hours of walking, comes across a building with a woman screaming at her to run. All of a sudden she finds herself running for her life while creatures all around her scream and chase after her. She makes it into the building safely but finds herself trapped and entertainment for the creatures outside that the other inhabitants of the building call the Watchers. With no way out Mina has to learn to live with complete strangers all the while wondering what these Watchers are and what they want with their human pets.

  20. 5 out of 5

    ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook

    Mina's car breaks down near the forest and as she goes thru the forest she hears a scream telling her to take shelter quickly. What a great way to start a book with a bang! I liked this book but I didn't love it, it wasn't as scary as I was hoping it would be but it was suspenseful. I loved the gothic vibe of the forest setting and the different points of view of each character. This was a very descriptive and atmospheric read as well. The problem I had was that I found the writing to be verbose Mina's car breaks down near the forest and as she goes thru the forest she hears a scream telling her to take shelter quickly. What a great way to start a book with a bang! I liked this book but I didn't love it, it wasn't as scary as I was hoping it would be but it was suspenseful. I loved the gothic vibe of the forest setting and the different points of view of each character. This was a very descriptive and atmospheric read as well. The problem I had was that I found the writing to be verbose and trying too hard to be arty or poetic. All in all not a bad read and I got some enjoyment out of it. With many thanks to NetGalley, A. M. Shine and Aria & Aries, Head of Zeus for the giving of the ARC.

  21. 4 out of 5

    ❀ Crystal ✿ - PEACE ☮ LOVE ♥ BOOKS

    This book was quite honestly a pleasant surprise. I'm shocked things turned around for me in the end because I was certainly wavering on enjoying it throughout. The book really opens with a bang as a man named John is desperately running in the woods for his life. The Watchers are on him and I really got a lot of creature vibes even though the detail was minimal setting the stage perfectly. The heroine is a young woman, Mina, who is sent to deliver a parrot and runs into the horror genres equiva This book was quite honestly a pleasant surprise. I'm shocked things turned around for me in the end because I was certainly wavering on enjoying it throughout. The book really opens with a bang as a man named John is desperately running in the woods for his life. The Watchers are on him and I really got a lot of creature vibes even though the detail was minimal setting the stage perfectly. The heroine is a young woman, Mina, who is sent to deliver a parrot and runs into the horror genres equivalent of hell on earth when she has car trouble. Alone, with no signal and only a parrot as company, Mina has no other choice but to leave the safety of her car. Mina sets out to seek help somewhere in the middle of the countryside in Ireland where she just barely make out the silhouette of safety and others. The closer Mina gets the more frantic the strangers voices are beckoning Mina to run, to hurry. It’s here that the story really begins and I have to say I had questions and my questions had questions. I was particularly interested in who and what the Watchers actually were. How did all these random strangers find themselves stuck together in the woods? Who the heck built this super protective sanctuary in the middle of nowhere and why? Things do get answered in due time but I did feel like the central part of the story wrapped up too quickly. I was so taken aback by the resolution of things that I was completely unprepared for the real climax and truth bombs to land their final blow. 🤯🤯🤯 I really enjoyed this book and I’m glad I gave it my all. A good blend of mystery and creepy elements that kept me guessing. I enjoyed that the book was set in Ireland, it’s too bad the heroine spends most of the book in the wilds. (view spoiler)[Even with the constant reminders of the books setting and folklore I still have a hard time accepting the Watchers as Fae. I think perhaps it’s just all the past movie and book influence over the years that has me thinking these creatures are more like monstrous creatures or even beasts but I can’t help it 🤷🏼‍♀️🤣 On that note I really enjoyed the conclusion. It definitely gives me more sci-fi vibes seeing as there’s any number of Watchers loose upon society, maybe even the world and can imitate humans and adapt among society like chameleons. I mean, that’s a total ‘Oh, Shit’ moment. At this point we still know little to nothing about them or what their intentions could be. And while I want answers test again everything just fell into place. The open end wrapped up a book full of questions with one more giant one and now I’m not so sure Mina wasn’t safer staying locked away in the woods? (hide spoiler)] Made for the perfect type of weird and creepy book for this time of year.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Emmett

    I went back and forth on how to rate this debut novel, but ultimately decided to go with the full 4 stars. I’ll start with the bad and say that the writing can get a bit too flowery at times- talking purple prose here. That’s not to say that Shine doesn’t write well; he certainly knows his way around a sentence. The writing could just be trimmed down some so as not to detract from the story… because the story is fantastic. Some bloated writing aside, I loved this. I would go as far to describe th I went back and forth on how to rate this debut novel, but ultimately decided to go with the full 4 stars. I’ll start with the bad and say that the writing can get a bit too flowery at times- talking purple prose here. That’s not to say that Shine doesn’t write well; he certainly knows his way around a sentence. The writing could just be trimmed down some so as not to detract from the story… because the story is fantastic. Some bloated writing aside, I loved this. I would go as far to describe this story as riveting. I finished it in just a few sittings as I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. This is one of those stories where every bit of information had me more invested and engaged with each revelation. From beginning to end, I was hooked. There were more than a few twists and turns that I didn’t see coming and I enjoyed every single one of them. The setting is spooky, the pacing is spot-on, and the ‘monsters’ are straight-up cool. I don’t know that I have read anything quite like this before and I would certainly read more from the author in the future. The Kindle version is $2 on US Amazon store at the moment (10/31/21) so I would snap it up if I were you! It’s a perfect spooky read just in time for Halloween. *I received a free ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Dinan

    I love a good horror story and this is a classic one! A.M. Shine is an Irish writer that sets him characters in an unmarked forrest, hard to find, and even harder to leave. Mina is a hard up young woman with few connections in the world. She volunteers to drive a special bird to a new buyer for a bit of cash. On her way, her car breaks down without notice in the forest near Galway. She comes across a small group of survivors who break the news to her quickly - the forest is filled with "watchers" I love a good horror story and this is a classic one! A.M. Shine is an Irish writer that sets him characters in an unmarked forrest, hard to find, and even harder to leave. Mina is a hard up young woman with few connections in the world. She volunteers to drive a special bird to a new buyer for a bit of cash. On her way, her car breaks down without notice in the forest near Galway. She comes across a small group of survivors who break the news to her quickly - the forest is filled with "watchers" and they can never leave. If you like the classic horror story (with an Irish twist!) and survivor type books, this is a great novel for you. Creepy and scary and great for a late night read. Thank you to #NetGalley and Head of Zeus Books for the ARC in exchange for a fair review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    This was a very strange, creepy little book. The middle portion started to drag quite a bit, but the main twist was a fun surprise! Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Robyn Ghafoor

    This book blindsided me, I absolutely can't believe this is a debut novel. I don't even know how to review it without spoiling it. I will start by saying it is really slow up until around the 60% mark but I feel the author did this purposefully so that we could imagine the isolation that the characters were feeling. It also left me rather anxious everytime they were trying to escape. When I found out what was going on I was absolutely gobsmacked! I mean I'm amazed that I've been able to remove m This book blindsided me, I absolutely can't believe this is a debut novel. I don't even know how to review it without spoiling it. I will start by saying it is really slow up until around the 60% mark but I feel the author did this purposefully so that we could imagine the isolation that the characters were feeling. It also left me rather anxious everytime they were trying to escape. When I found out what was going on I was absolutely gobsmacked! I mean I'm amazed that I've been able to remove my jaw off the floor. I am so envious of those that get to experience this for the first time as I will never have that again. *Thanks to NetGalley, Aria & Aries and A. M. Shine for the copy of this book. All views are my own.*

  26. 5 out of 5

    Andy Hitchens

    Brilliantly written, chilling story, fab ending can't wait to read another by this writer Brilliantly written, chilling story, fab ending can't wait to read another by this writer

  27. 5 out of 5

    Whitney

    Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my ARC! Glancing at the average star rating, it seems I enjoyed this book a little more than others here on Goodreads, but I am admittedly a total sucker for Irish mythology, survival tales, and horror. The less you know about this one going in, the better: it is a claustrophobic, haunting story of a forest that shouldn’t exist, that traps you and smothers you and keeps you close. “The Watchers” falls nearly into the folk horror genre; fans of wildern Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my ARC! Glancing at the average star rating, it seems I enjoyed this book a little more than others here on Goodreads, but I am admittedly a total sucker for Irish mythology, survival tales, and horror. The less you know about this one going in, the better: it is a claustrophobic, haunting story of a forest that shouldn’t exist, that traps you and smothers you and keeps you close. “The Watchers” falls nearly into the folk horror genre; fans of wilderness survival stories may also enjoy it. I adored all the characters in this one - everyone was realistically built with obvious strengths and weaknesses. I particularly enjoyed the range of women in this book - there were several female characters with various motives, personalities and drives. The atmosphere was particularly well-done too - the woods were so cheerlessly and evocatively painted that I felt like I lived there. Read this one if you’re a fan of folklore, or movies like “The Cabin in the Woods”. The twists in this one will prey on my mind for a while.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elisa

    Well, thank you A.M. Shine for spoiling the woods for me, as well as some childhood memories. Using Irish folklore, the author writes a truly creepy story. The plot is full of twists and the pace is so fast that it’s impossible to put down. One of the chapters nearly gave me heart palpitations. But the breakneck rhythm doesn’t take away from the character development. The author delves deeply into the personalities of the four characters stuck in a bunker in the middle of the woods. Nothing is e Well, thank you A.M. Shine for spoiling the woods for me, as well as some childhood memories. Using Irish folklore, the author writes a truly creepy story. The plot is full of twists and the pace is so fast that it’s impossible to put down. One of the chapters nearly gave me heart palpitations. But the breakneck rhythm doesn’t take away from the character development. The author delves deeply into the personalities of the four characters stuck in a bunker in the middle of the woods. Nothing is easy for them so their reactions can’t be normal but somehow, they feel organic. The environment is also carefully described, so that you feel like you’re there, in those woods. At first, I thought that this would be one of those novels where the author doesn’t know when to stop writing, but no, it went in surprising directions into a masterful ending. This story will stick to my brain for a long time. I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thank you, NetGalley/ Aria & Aries, Head of Zeus!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Hayley

    Today is my spot on the blogtour for 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐖𝐀𝐓𝐂𝐇𝐄𝐑𝐒 by A M Shine. Thank you to Laura Travell and Aries Fiction/Head of Zeus for having me along on the tour, and for sending me a copy of the book. - 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐤 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐝𝐚𝐲. 𝐈𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐬 𝐡𝐢𝐝 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐭 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐧, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐨 𝐰𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐨𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫, 𝐜𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚 𝐛𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐠𝐚𝐮𝐳𝐞 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐤𝐲. - The Watchers is a thrilling horror story, set in modern-day Ireland, which perfectly blends elements of modern horr Today is my spot on the blogtour for 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐖𝐀𝐓𝐂𝐇𝐄𝐑𝐒 by A M Shine. Thank you to Laura Travell and Aries Fiction/Head of Zeus for having me along on the tour, and for sending me a copy of the book. - 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐤 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐝𝐚𝐲. 𝐈𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐬 𝐡𝐢𝐝 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐭 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐧, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐨 𝐰𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐨𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫, 𝐜𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚 𝐛𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐠𝐚𝐮𝐳𝐞 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐤𝐲. - The Watchers is a thrilling horror story, set in modern-day Ireland, which perfectly blends elements of modern horror with the traditional horror genre. It is an impressive debut novel from A M Shine. - 𝐇𝐞𝐫 𝐜𝐚𝐫 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐦𝐞𝐭 𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐬 𝐛𝐲 𝐚𝐧 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐛𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬, 𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐬𝐡𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝐬𝐮𝐧𝐤 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐜𝐞𝐚𝐧'𝐬 𝐝𝐞𝐞𝐩𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐡, 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐨𝐥𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐨𝐫 𝐥𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭, 𝐢𝐧 𝐬𝐞𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐧 𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐤𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬. - The story follows Mina, who finds herself stranded near unknown woodland after her car breaks down at it's treeline. After trecking through the woodland in search of shelter and help, she is met with an older woman shouting at her to get inside a concrete bunker, to avoid certain death at the hands of the creatures outside, who only come out at night. But what are these screaming, terrifying creatures, and does Mina, or any of her other three companions, have any hope of escape? - 𝐏𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐦𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐚𝐰𝐧. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐢𝐧𝐤𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐥𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐬𝐦𝐨𝐤𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐰𝐞𝐚𝐤. 𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐤𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐚𝐬𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐤𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬, 𝐬𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐛𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐝'𝐬 𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐬𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡. - Rich in description and imagery, Shine skillfully sets the scene for the reader, and builds tension well. He transports the reader into the forests of Galway with Mina and her fellow captives. There were moments where I was heavily engrossed in the book, and ended up jumping at some external noise. For me, this is the mark of a good horror/thriller book. - 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐧 𝐦𝐚𝐝𝐞 𝐚 𝐛𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐟 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞, 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐝𝐚𝐦𝐩 𝐠𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐜𝐮𝐭 𝐜𝐫𝐲𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐥. 𝐃𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧 𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐤𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐫𝐨𝐤𝐞𝐧, 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐟𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐠𝐮𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐯𝐞, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐭 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐛𝐞 𝐚 𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐝𝐫𝐲. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐦 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐮𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠. 𝐈𝐭 𝐟𝐞𝐥𝐭 𝐝𝐞𝐜𝐞𝐢𝐭𝐟𝐮𝐥. - The story switches between the perspectives of each of the captives, revealing some of their life before they found themselves in these fateful woods, along with revealing the modern day plot and perspective of each character. By sharing some of their lives 'off the page' as it were, Shine makes his characters feel real and believable, which only enhances the horror elements; relaying the experiences of characters who you feel are genuine, and hinting at the unimaginable being true. - 𝐈 𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐜𝐚𝐧'𝐭 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐲 𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐥 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐚𝐫𝐞. 𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐮𝐟𝐟 𝐨𝐟 𝐥𝐞𝐠𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐮𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐲𝐞𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐥. 𝐄𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐝𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐬 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐭𝐡, 𝐈 𝐬𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐞. - The depictions of the creatures themselves is eerie and excellent. Shine blends folklore with modern horror to create a genuinely scary predator. They no longer feel as though they are the stuff of pure superstition, and the elements of historical fiction woven into the story really emphasised this feeling. - 𝐒𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐬 𝐮𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐬𝐮𝐜𝐡 𝐟𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐛𝐥𝐞. 𝐁𝐮𝐭 𝐬𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐬𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬. - I don't want to share any spoilers, but just want to briefly mention the timeline of the story, and how it plays out brilliantly throughout The Watchers. I did not expect the ending, and Shine did an excellent job of maintaining the thrill and mystery right to the end. - 𝐒𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐦𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐬𝐞 𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬. 𝐍𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐜𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐭𝐲 - - I'd definitely recommend The Watchers to anyone looking for a good thrilling and creepy book. Just make sure you stay out of the forest. I'd also definitely read more by A M Shine in the future.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Beatrice

    The Watchers is a chilling and atmospheric read, which was absolutely perfect to kick off my spooky season reading! I don't normally read many scary books, but I was intrigued by the premise for this one, and I'm really glad I gave it a go. When Mina agrees to a simple delivery for a friend to make some extra cash, she has no idea of the horror that awaits her. As her car breaks down outside a Connemara forest that isn't charted on any map, she is plunged into a nightmare, alive only thanks to a The Watchers is a chilling and atmospheric read, which was absolutely perfect to kick off my spooky season reading! I don't normally read many scary books, but I was intrigued by the premise for this one, and I'm really glad I gave it a go. When Mina agrees to a simple delivery for a friend to make some extra cash, she has no idea of the horror that awaits her. As her car breaks down outside a Connemara forest that isn't charted on any map, she is plunged into a nightmare, alive only thanks to a mysterious woman and the bunker she locks behind them. I loved the setting for this book: the forest is bone-chillingly creepy and almost seems to come alive off the page as an extra character. It was definitely the creepiest part of the book, even though I felt it to be more akin to a thriller than a full-on horror. It was certainly a very tense read though, and I grew very attached to the characters, especially Mina. The psychological tension was spot on for me, much scarier than the Watchers themselves. I appreciated how we got to see the book from multiple POVs, even though Mina's was always prevalent. The characters were beautifully complex and it was great to get inside their heads a little bit. There were quite a few surprises I hadn't seen coming, which really added to the tension as the book progressed. The inclusion of Irish folklore and mythology was also masterful, and I loved how well it was integrated within the rest of the storyline. The ending was also brilliant and absolutely chilling! The writing is quite lyrical, which I personally appreciated for the most part, even though at times it just felt like the narrative was being drawn out a tad too much. This wasn't a terrible flaw for me, but it did slow down the pace and broke some of the tension for me. Overall, The Watchers is a captivating and chilling read, perfect for those looking for a spooky season read with Gothic vibes that's not too scary - just stay in the light when reading... For more reviews, visit Book for Thought. I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review as part of a blog tour. This did not affect my opinion of the book in any way.

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