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Reviewed by Mona Hawke for Readers' Favorite
Watchers: A Science Fiction Thriller is a novel by Craig Priestley in which otherworldly beings observe their assigned human and gently guide that person along their intended life path. Neither good nor evil, watchers have no other purpose to exist, but some of them are more vulnerable to corruption than others. However, as corruption spreads among them, it spills over into the human world, leading to destruction, depravity, and death. The story follows Charlie and his watcher counterpart, called Anabel, interspersed with nightmarish scenes of the breakdown of societal decency. The events begin to unfold at a very difficult time in Charlie’s life, but his vulnerability enables him to interact with his watcher and learn the truth behind all the mayhem.
I read Watchers because the concept of the beings called watchers is familiar to me, but this tale is entirely original and gripping. The plot got better with every page and, coupled with the author’s no-nonsense prose, kept me reading late into the night. Charlie is an empathetic protagonist that readers can identify with. I appreciated that Anabel’s motivation wasn’t necessarily to save the world, but simply to preserve her reason to exist. The few supporting characters were all likable and easy to relate to. Craig Priestley did a phenomenal job of writing his first novel, and I sincerely hope there will be a sequel. I’ll be watching (no pun intended) for more books by him for sure. I highly recommend Watchers to all science fiction fans, as well as to readers who enjoy thrillers and horror novels.