Title: The Watcher
Author: Lisa Voisin
Publisher: InkSpell Publishing
Publication Date: March 4, 2013
Source: DAC ARC tours
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.
This was an extremely disappointing book. I feel like it could have been good, but I really just wasn’t feeling it. I felt like the story lacked character development, especially the main character, which is never a good thing. I don’t think I could pick out Mia’s voice in the crowd, and to me that says that she could use a little work. Her past-life self, Sanaji, was actually better developed and more well-rounded than Mia, and so was Michael’s past-self.
One of the biggest problems I had with the characters in this story is that they were too simplistic. Michael was this perfect, literally angelic, tortured pretty boy, and Mia to me seemed to be pure, innocent, and equally tortured. I hoped when Damiel showed up in the story that he would liven things up a bit, but he was too much of a cliche bad boy and also lacked substance. Nobody in real life is all good or all bad, and authors should keep that in mind when they create a character.
Going back to Michael being tortured, I am really sick of the holier-than-thou, will-make-your-decisions-for-you men in young adult literature. Michael reminded me way too much of Edward Cullen, which made me dislike him even more. I wish that Mia had gone on that date with Damiel, because that at least would be more interesting than Michael rejecting her over and over again.
Another problem I had with this book was that I felt like there were too much of certain things, and too little of others. I thought this book could have been much shorter, and maybe that could’ve helped Voisin tighten it up more. The romance was something else that was just too much for me; it seemed contrived and predictable, and to be honest I simply didn’t feel the passion.
Speaking of passion, I wish that Voisin had exploited Mia’s interest in ancient cultures more before revealing that she was, in fact, from an ancient culture herself. She mentions it a few times before that happens, but it wasn’t expressed in a way that made an impact on me. I think if Mia’s non-Michael passions had been explored further, I might have liked her more, but as it is, I just found her really flat and boring.
To me it seems like maybe Voisin ought to have written the story of Michael and Mia’s past selves, who were much more colorful and complicated than their current selves. I’m not a big fan of this kind of reincarnation/past life storyline, with the exception of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, because that story was carried out really well. Karou was just as interesting in the present day as in her past life, which was so unlike Mia.
This is not a debut I would particularly recommend to anyone, and frankly I don’t think I would have finished it if it had not been sent to me as a part of the debut author tour.