I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Watchers by A.M. Shine
Published by Head of Zeus Ltd on October 14, 2021
Genres: Fiction, Horror, World Literature, Ireland, General, Travel, Europe
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
A spine-chilling Irish horror adventure set in the remote unknown forests of Galway, from debut Irish author A.M. Shine.
'A dark, claustrophobic read' – T. Kingfisher, author of Paladin's Grance
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?
Perfect for fans of Francine Toon, Paul Tremblay and Andrew Michael Hurley.
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!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A.M. Shine is a writer and advocate of the Gothic horror tradition. Born in Galway in the west of Ireland, there he received his Masters Degree in History before sharpening his quill and pursuing all things literary and macabre. His stories have won the Word Hut and Bookers Corner prize. He has published two collections, Coldwood: The Haunted Man and Other Tales and 13 and is a member of the Irish Writers Centre.