Updated: Oct 4, 2020
Just finished reading this novel by new author Craig Priestley. Watchers is his debut novel and is well-written with an original concept. The characters are relatable but could have a bit more depth to them, which the author does strive for but falls just a bit short. The result leaves a few questions lingering in the air after the conclusion of the story.
The main character, Charlie, is dealing with some grief issues and while deeper issues are hinted at, those are never resolved or mentioned again later on in the story. His relationship with his best friend is more relatable and I feel like everyone knows a guy like Steven, a bit of a shallow but loyal friend who is more of a womanizer than anything. Loves the beer, the wine and the women more than anything else in his life. A deeper back story for him is not provided or implied and his purpose in the book is mostly to play this singular role.
The story revolves around a group of beings known as the Watchers who are not human but appear to be human in physical form, however, they are more static electricity or radio frequencies more than anything. Each Watcher is assigned a human to look out for, to observe their behavior and I assume to gently guide them along their intended path, but Charlie’s watcher begins to see signs of corruption amongst her kind.
The corrupted watchers begin to heavily influence their humans to commit all kinds of criminal and horrific acts upon their fellow humans. She begins to appear to Charlie with the intent of helping him as she believes he has a greater purpose in the battle against the corruption.
The story follows this couple as the world begins to implode on itself as more corrupted watchers begin controlling their human and soon all hell breaks loose and the world is at war, with each other, even as the corrupted watchers battle the good ones. The corrupted watchers seek to end humanity as the good ones fight to save it. Charlie and his watcher battle their way to the final showdown in America, not knowing if their combined efforts will be enough to save humanity.
Overall, this novel was well-written if a bit slow. The plot is very original but there were so many other avenues that could have been expanded upon but were instead sort of jumbled together, making the passage of time very hard to follow. The story does leave a lot of loose ends which I personally found a bit disappointing but it also leaves room for a sequel, which might have been the intent. While this book would not make my top ten list for the year, it was interesting enough that I would read a second novel by this new author. I would love to see how his writing grows over time.