I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review as part of the blog tour. This did not affect my opinion of the book in any way.
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Published: October 2021
A spine-chilling Irish horror adventure set in the remote unknown forests of Galway, 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?
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…
The Watchers is out this week!
Be sure to check out all the other wonderful stops on this tour!