The Watchers by A.M. Shine

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Stars: 2 out of 5.

How can a horror book be so boring? By being full of overwritten purple prose, that’s how.

The premise was very promising: a mysterious forest where all electronics die. A group of people trapped in a bunker in the middle of it. Haunted and hunted by mysterious Watchers. What’s there not to love. Unfortunately, the execution is more than lacking.

The author doesn’t know how to show, not tell, or that less is more. No, they choose to tell us every little thing the characters are doing or feeling at every given time. ALL the characters, ALL the time…

Well, there is nothing that kills the tension faster than having all the characters reminisce about their pasts or ponder what they are feeling WHILE they are running for their lives through a forest full of monsters. You have to reach the river, find the boat, and escape before the sun sets, or you will be murdered in a horrible way, but yes, by all means, let’s sprinkle this high octane flight with page upon page of useless filler. Tension – gone. Boredom – fully set in.

Every scene in this book that was supposed to be high stakes, heart pounding, and horrifying is diluted to ineffectiveness by constant flashbacks and inner monologs. I got so tired of this that I literally skimmed the last third of the book just to read the major plot points and get to the ending.

You would think that as much as we spend reading the characters’ inner thoughts, I would have grown to care for them? Nope. Not in the slightest. They are all annoying and lack substance. I honestly didn’t care for any of them, so any character deaths that might have happened didn’t have the intended impact.

This book would have benefited from a rewrite that would have cut about 100 pages of purple prose and added better character development.

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