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Series: The Watchers #1
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Watchers is the first book in The Watchers Series. It focuses on 16-year-old Clare Michaels and her journey to her mom’s hometown of King’s Cross. Long aware of her heritage – that she is the daughter of a fallen angel – The Watchers focuses on her first interaction with the world she has always hidden from. Her first interaction comes in the form of a handsome, young high-schooler, Daniel Adams. He is her clue to the world she has always been afraid to face openly…but is he a danger as well?
When I first started The Watchers, I was immensely wary of not only the prose but the progression. Simple word-choice mistakes such as “stagnate” instead of “stagnant” and “abruptly fade” grabbed at my attention during the first 100 or so pages wherein we meet the core character of this show, Clare.
Now, Clare is pretty all right. She hears thoughts, so for her reserving judgment is something that’s pretty important to her (although she unconsciously does a bit of it herself). She thinks of herself as rebellious, at least in style, and when she arrives to a new school in King’s Cross (Georgia, I think), it gets her a bit of attention that she doesn’t necessarily like. But this attention is what draws her the interest of Daniel, one of the popular kids.
Along the way, she emotionally supports her mother, Ellen, with whom she has traveled from city to city for as long as she can remember, and becomes good friends with Daniel and a girl named Alex, who’s pretty much the bee’s knees as far as friends go.
What kept me in it to win it when it seemed as though things were particularly slow was Clare’s relationships. For one, with her mother, which is probably the best mother-daughter relationship I’ve read from a YA book in a long, long time, especially on the paranormal/supernatural genre. I mean, sure it was just the two of them since her father walked out on them years ago, but still… they had dark story night mother-daughter cuddles! How awesome is that?!
“Clare… I wanted to tell you…”
“If I wasn’t so against clichés, I’d say you were my sunshine.”
“It’s a good thing you hate clichés, then.”
“Yeah… but you are, you know… my sunshine, not a cliché.”
“I love you, too,” I said.
For another, Alex, the best friend. She was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed the role she ended up playing throughout the entire book. Near the end, before shit hit the fan, she really demonstrated a lot of character in the evolution of her friendship with Clare, and it seemed really healthy and supportive.
And, last but not least, Daniel. Because, seriously, when I was about ready to give up on this book, Daniel and Clare’s strangely deep conversations had a way of pullin’ me back in and keepin’ my interest to the point that I didn’t really care about the little stuff anymore. As their friendship then, I guess, courtship developed, the storyline picked up and fleshed out, so I was really glad I stuck it out in the end. Plus, they were fun to read about as they goaded each other left and right.
“You would be a likely candidate for trust, from what I know of you, but you’re nowhere near proving it to me.”
“I don’t think I could prove it to you.” Daniel knocked on the wood table. “Not a lot gets through.”
“More than you’d think[.]”
I think more than all the supernatural stuff that pervades the latter half of this novel (of which there is much… trust me), Clare herself propelled the book forward. She was relatable, level-headed, down-to-earth and just generally had her shit together… and all within reason, too. After a while, I kinda felt as though I enjoyed being in her company as I read, and that’s a feeling that’s hard to come by for me.
Personally, I enjoyed this 100 times more than I dreamed I would, and I’m super excited to see where the second book goes.