The Watchers by AM Shine is a thriller that makes you question everything around you. When Mina gets lost in the woods and pulled into a bunker, her whole life changes.
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?
All quotes are from an advanced reader copy, and may or may not reflect the published edition.
“A sage and a seer who kept secrets others could only dream of.”
I’ll admit, I didn’t know what to expect with The Watchers. It really took me by surprise with its fantastic pacing. While in the beginning, you’re not quite sure what’s going on- is this a horror? Sci-fi? Fantasy? And when it all comes to a dawning realization, things get incredibly terrifying. This book pulls you in slowly and then keeps you on the edge of your seat from the minute our main character gets into the woods.
“All paths lead somewhere.”
The best way to describe the characters and the atmosphere of this book is the word raw. Things just leave you feeling freshly opened up, and a bit frightened. These characters are all flawed, and the way they are left in that bunker makes only their more negative traits shine. You question everything Mina is being told, and there is something about that that’s jarring. This was something I was concerned about, that a male author wouldn’t write women’s fear adequately. However, Shine did an amazing job, the women and one boy well layered and written.
“Run because there is nothing here but pain and death. This is their home and we don’t belong.”
The ending of this book made me realize I had stopped breathing. My fear for the people in the story and what might happen to them was jarring. I didn’t realize how invested I was until the book ended, and I felt a need to know more. This book is genuinely a fantastic one for horror readers, especially those who have a love of jarring stories of the fae.
“Forgive me for what I have done.”
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.