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The Watchers by Jon Steele

The Watchers (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Jon Steele

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2431947,405 (3.79)7
Title:The Watchers
Authors:Jon Steele
Info:Blue Rider Press (2012), Hardcover, 592 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:angels, Switzerland

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The Watchers by Jon Steele (2011)



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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
I don't usually like this kind of book. I tried reading Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness and could not get interested, so I was surprised to zip right through The Watchers. It had a bit too much violence & f bombs for my taste, but it kept my attention & I would highly recommend to action/fantasy fans. ( )
  jamaicanmecrazy | Nov 19, 2015 |
In a throwback to beforetimes, Marc Rochat goes about his nightly duties of calling out the time when the bells of Lausanne Cathedral ring. C’est le guet. Il sonne l’heure! He repeats the words to the four directions every hour – they are the same words of comfort that have been spoken for centuries to tell the citizens of Lausanne, Switzerland that all is well and that Marc is watching for any approaching evil. Marc himself is a special young man – he talks to the bells and to the ancient statues; his appearance is special as well because he has a deformed leg due to an accident at birth. He waits for the day when his mother’s prediction will come true: Marc, you will one day save a lost angel at the Cathedral.

Katherine Taylor is a beautiful young American girl who, thanks to her carnal talents, was recruited to come to work in Lausanne. Thanks to her high prices and her extremely generous clients, many of them heads of state and powerful men of business, she lives in an expensive garden penthouse with a view of Lac Leman, dresses in only the finest of clothes, drinks only the best wines and champagnes, and commands attention wherever she goes.

Jay Harper is a man with no past – at least he can’t remember a past. He wakes up in Lausanne with a hangover and only knows that his business card describes him as a security expert for the International Olympic Committee. Whatever he knows, he believes he’s learned from sleepless nights of watching The History Channel. Try as he might, he can’t remember even his London telephone number or the address of his flat there.

But the time has come for all three of these unlikely comrades to form a small army to fight the cosmic evil that is about to be unleashed on not only the city of Lausanne but on our entire world as well. Can these three defend the Cathedral around which the fight will ensue? Will all three come out on the other side of the battle?

In a satisfyingly long book (over 700 pages) Jon Steele takes us on a wild, thrilling adventure of cosmic proportions. Each of our three main characters has special powers that will affect the battle between good and evil. I simply could not put this book down. It went everywhere with me, even in the car on short trips. The story is fast-paced and the characters are finely drawn and complex. Twists and turns leave the reader wanting more. The conclusion to this first book in The Angelus Trilogy was satisfying to me and I look forward to the next book in the series.

CAUTION: Not for the faint-of-heart!! ( )
  AuthorMarion | Jan 3, 2014 |
Narration is in the third person via Marc Rochat, Katherine Taylor and Jay Harper. The first book in a trilogy but could be stand alone. The sequels are Angel City and The Way of Sorrows.

The Watchers immediately grabbed my interest with the opening prologue which is set during the First World War. It is so beautifully written creating an haunting, ethereal atmosphere to the start of the novel. I wondered, once into the main story, where this fitted in and connected with the main characters. It was not until I finished the book that I understood and re-read the prologue which then had another meaning and was just as magical.

The Watchers main story shifts to present day Switzerland. The first 200-300 pages were spent introducing the main characters, Mark with an intended Quasimodo similarity; Katherine, an intensely dislikable character to begin with, a tart with a heart; and Jay the 'detectiveman' who has no memory of how he arrived in Switzerland, only that he remembers waking up and accepting a job, he cannot refuse, working for the IOC.

Unfortunately I very nearly gave up reading at this point. I really couldn't see where it was going and was becoming irritated at nothing happening. Then ***BAMM*** did it start ! I was on a roller coaster ride from there on in. I really could not put the book down. This is not to say that I believe there should be editing here, as once into the meaty part of the story I realised that I'd gained a depth and wealth of knowledge about the character's personalities and psyches, enough to make me care too much to give up on them.

I grew to love the main characters and one, Katherine in particular annoyed me immensely to begin with but as her character developed I became accustomed to her personality and came to like her a great deal.

Mark, a charming child like 21 year old with a limp, is the guardian of Lausanne Cathedral. He lives in an imaginary world watching over the city, waiting or the Angel that his mother said would come to him for help. Mark believes that Katherine is that Angel.

Jay, my favourite, was an intreaging character. A loner, or man with a mission, a man who likes a drink, with a dry sense of humour and acerbic quip. Who is he ? Where did he come from? Where is he going ? I looked forward to finding the answers.

Mystery, crime/detective noir, sci fi elements, magical fantasy ... I really couldn't categorise this one with any one label as it delves into many genres. Once the supernatural element finally reveals itself however, all the mystery and intrigue was over and I felt a little flat. The surprise was over and I wondered if I would lose interest. It just didn't feel that I was reading the same novel and that it had drifted off into a totally different field. Think Matrix, Dan Brown and Jason Bourne with the battle against good and evil. A little over the top from what had come before. Again though, I kept 'with it' because I had faith in the author by now, and it righted itself. I guess there's more explanation and character development to come in the sequels.

Even with the slight disappointment, Jon Steele is an amazing writer creating an intreaging, atmospheric and magical world with characters I cared, and enjoyed, reading about.

I look forward to reading 'Angel City' very soon.

Thank you to Random House UK, Transworld Publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to review 'The Watchers'. ( )
  sj2b | Jun 27, 2013 |
Finally got round to finishing this. I received permission to read it free from NetGalley, just so you know.

I got quite mesmerised by it to begin with: there's something about the slow deliberate pace at the beginning of the book that can draw you in. The mystery is slow to get kick-started, though, and I almost didn't have the patience to wait around for things to happen. The pacing is really just... not quite right.

The choice of protagonists is interesting: it's good to see a protagonist with disabilities, for example. But somehow the characters didn't stand out to me as much as I could wish. I hear this book is the first of a series, but I don't think the sequels are for me. There's some good writing, but the book as a whole got in the way of itself for me. (It doesn't help that I had to read it with tiny, tiny font thanks to the only format NetGalley would let me download it in.) ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
Almost like two different books, a halfway-hard-boiled mystery that turns into a fantasy novel at the end. I don't know that switch worked for me, but I did find the story surprisingly affecting. The character of Marc Rochat really is something. Plus, the story's set in Lausanne, Switzerland. I love Switzerland. ( )
  jeremyfarnumlane | Apr 3, 2013 |
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Memory-challenged British private detective Jay Harper investigates a series of murders that may be the handiwork of a gang of international killers.

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