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Watchers is an excellent blend of gore, perfectly executed plot, likeable characters and laugh-out-loud humour. The zombies were not the Romero-esque style, but they were equally creepy if not moreso. And, as a zombie buff, I found P. A. Douglas’ brand of horror to be refreshingly original and stand-out in the mass wave of the undead genre. There was an obvious amount of time and thought put into this book, and he doesn’t merely follow the living dead trend, but makes it his own. His voice is one of few that shows us that not everything has been done already.
One thing that I feel is abosolutely necessary to a great plot is characters. There was not a single character that I didn’t like and their flaws made them endearing. I instantly fell in love, particularly with Mr. Hardy and Ben Love. Everyone had something unique to bring to the story. I was praying that they would all get out alive and unscathed, and even through the dramatic parts of the story, it’s so fast-paced that there’s no time to mourn (although I’m not going to say who makes it out alive and who doesn’t). The cast of players were painted with such detail and portrayed with all of the emotion and depicted with traits that make each of us out here in the real world human. Not only did that make the story enjoyable, but terrifying. Since the characters were so real, and because I can see people I know (including myself) in the characters, it was easy to envision myself in the book. Add to that a geographical location that mirrors Anytown, USA (even though it was set in a certain place), and you might find yourself anxiously scanning the horizon for the first sign that the Watchers are coming.
I was turning pages, squirming in my seat and yelling, “DON’T GO IN THERE! RUN!” There were even parts that had me laughing out loud! It was a combination of the unexpected coupled with comic timing and funny lines that provided a break in the tension.
This story was terrifying with some gore. And yes, I can actually say that I found it enjoyable and even delightful, something that is not often said about horror stories. For me, this book was about a group of people thrust into a horrific situation, whereas many horror writers focus on the horror first with the characters and plot feeling more like an afterthought of minor details. P. A. Douglas has conquered that by maintaining an even balance of plot, characters, and total gore!
I rarely read anything outside of the horror genre, but if P. A. Douglas had stripped away all of the scary parts, this book would still have captured my attention. That’s how much I loved it.
I started reading the other book I got by P. A. Douglas, and I can’t wait to see what surprises are held in RANCID.
Stay tuned for the RANCID review!