The Watcher by Lisa Voisin

The Watcher by Lisa Voisin

The Watcher
by Lisa Voisin

Fascinated with ancient civilizations, seventeen-year-old Mia Crawford dreams of becoming an archaeologist. She also dreams of wings—soft and silent like snow—and somebody trying to steal them.

When a horrible creature appears out of thin air and attacks her, she knows Michael Fontaine is involved, though he claims to know nothing about it. Secretive and aloof, Michael evokes feelings in Mia that she doesn’t understand. Images of another time and place haunt her. She recognizes them—but not from any textbook.

In search of the truth, Mia discovers a past life of forbidden love, jealousy and revenge that tore an angel from Heaven and sent her to an early grave. Now that her soul has returned, does she have a chance at loving that angel again? Or will an age-old nemesis destroy them both?

Ancient history is only the beginning.

Book 1 of The Watcher Saga

Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Publication: January 20, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Angels, Supernatural
I received this title for free in exchange for an honest review
Purchase: amazon | b&n | book depo
Rated: ★½ to ★★

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The Watcher by Lisa Voisin

I want to start by thanking author Lisa Voisin for sending me a copy of The Watcher! The synopsis was so intriguing, I needed to read this book! I really, really wanted to love it, looking for a juicy new YA angels series to get into. Sadly, it did not live up to my expectations or the synopsis’. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen so many other books go down the same path, maybe it’s because I’m an older reader. Either way, for me, The Watcher by Lisa Voisin didn’t click, though I know that teens will love it, especially if they loved Twilight.

The book revolves around the story of the Watchers from the Bible. This felt super unique and a great story idea. Here are these beings that are meant to watch over humans, be around them all of the time, yet are not allowed to visibly interfere. Almost like guarding a cake, getting hungry, and being told hey, don’t eat that cake! Voisin does a great job showing that very feeling with Michael, our fallen Watcher. He wants to be with Mia, but knows he can’t if he wants to get back to Heaven. But, is it really Heaven without her?

My favourite character has to be Damiel, though it seems to be a pattern with me falling for the bad guys in all of these stories. He is incredibly charming and seems very human. I think that’s what sold him to me, he seemed like he belonged, like a human, normal. He understood all of these conflicting feelings and gave into them. Obviously, once things went really wrong, he jumped the line from bad boy to oh noo… that’s not acceptable. Still, compared to Michael, Damiel was able to play the role of human much more convincingly and seemed much more approachable.

Which brings me to one of two major issues I had with The Watcher, though they are both intimately related. Michael and Mia, their reactions don’t seem “normal.” Michael says things that make no sense to Mia, and if he were really trying to look like a “normal human,” he would know. During an early conversation between Mia and Michael, he tells her, “You don’t know anything about me.” There was absolutely no reason for him to say that? Nothing in the conversation leading up to his interjection prompted that sort of response. Mia hadn’t been judging him, or telling friends that he was weird or creepy. She simply asked why he had transferred schools. Obviously she knows nothing about him,  which is why she simply asked her friends who had known him at the old school, why he transferred. Then, we have Mia who has extremely exaggerated reactions at the start. PTSD from what she had just witnessed? Maybe, could be. But it didn’t seem natural, especially the way she jumped from extreme fear/paranoia/anxiety, to oh look my temporary tattoo I’ve forgotten why I was so freaked out and everything is great, to omg it’s that guy from the incident, what a hot creep. Later on, once the reveal happens, both characters settle down and feel better written, more natural.

My second, and greater, issue with The Watcher is the predictability. Voisin seems to follow a very predictable formula as to how this type of book should follow, and she does not deviate. Absent parent/s, popular but unpopular, returns from a trip, wow mysterious hot guy, hot guy is standoffish and says leave me alone we can’t be together, wants to be together, hot guy protects her and says I can’t stay away/help myself, reveals truth, mystical fantastical demonstration of otherness, i love you, love you too but we can’t, break up for the good of the other, bad guy attacks, good buy comes back and saves the girl, guy can now trust himself to be around girl, end. Oh, and the chastity throughout. I’m sure reading that, you’ve thought of at least one YA book that follows that model, if not more. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that model, when done right you barely notice that the model is being followed. But, in The Watcher, it felt almost like Voisin was on a strict timeline to get things done, as though she plotted the major points to follow this timeline and then worked in ways to get from point a to b, instead of letting the story flow naturally. It all felt forced.

I’m hoping the two issues I mentioned above are simply due to this being her first novel, and that the experience of the first will help settle things down for the second in the series, The Angel Killer. Would I read the sequel? Sure, like I said The Watcher by Lisa Voisin was a good book with good ideas that just felt nervous to me, though the intended teen audience is sure to love it.

Quotes & Excerpts

Now, sunlight from the domed ceiling caught the dust particles in the air and bathed him in a golden light — as though he were the Persian sun god Mithra himself — and for a moment, I forgot everything that had happened.
Chapter Two
This felt so weird, as though searching for a way to make the typical greek god comparision, but with a different culture’s god to be “different.”

[…] the one being called the next whore of Babylon — something I had to look up the meaning of online.
Chapter Eighteen
This seems out of character. If Mia knows about the god Mithra, and is a huge history buff, how does she not know about the “whore of Babylon,” especially when her classmates do? 

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About Lulu

Thirty-something year old educator based in New York, Lulu loves books, blogging, gaming, and the three cats with whom she shares her life. Book reviews specialize in all kinds of fantasy, some YA, some romance, and some contemporary, especially in the gothic genre.