Beneath Lausanne Cathedral, in Switzerland, there is a secret buried before time began, something unknown to angels and men, until now....
Marc Rochat watches over the city at night from the belfry of the cathedral. He lives in a world of shadows and "beforetimes" and imaginary beings.
Katherine Taylor, call girl and daydreamer, is about to discover that her real-life fairy tale is too good to be true.
Jay Harper, private detective, wakes up in a crummy hotel room with no memory. When the telephone rings and he's offered a job, he knows he has no choice but to accept.
Three lives, one purpose: save what's left of paradise before all hell breaks loose.
©2012 Jon Steele (P)2012 Penguin Audio
This was a difficult listen initially. There were three stories going on at the same time. But the quality of the performance was extrordinary so I kept listening. Once the three stories started coming together, I was hooked. The story line was extraordinary, especially since the beginning of the book gave no clue as to the true nature of ... (better stop at that so as not to give away the story line). ;-) By the end of the book, I was disappointed to leave the three characters. My recommendation - work your way through the beginning. You'll be glad you did.
The performance was outstanding! Davis handled the various voices and the French sections seamlessly. His voice disappeared into the background as the story progressed. I effortlessly got lost in the story, easily telling one character from the next.
This is the first Davis performance for me. But I will check out his other performances.
I was just very sad to say goodby to the characters when the book was over. I cried at one point but to say where would give away too much of the story.
Listen to this book.
The Watchers weaves biblical and Swiss history through a maze of interesting characters and mysterious mysteries. The unique characters and plot twists are sure to keep you interested while you absorb a very interesting history lesson on the book of Enoch. A very intruiging story mixed with loveable and interesting characters make this a must read.
One of my favorite parts of the book was the interaction between Ms. Taylor and Rochat. The hardened madam and the innocent and hearthwarming young man make for a great story line. I loved character Steele built in Rochat. His innocence and outside-the-box perspective on life really made for an interesting change. It is a nice twist to all the hard and unforgiving characters we read about in other mystery/historical fiction novels.
Rochat was the best character. It is a hard character to portray in a convincing manner. But I think Mr. Davis pulled it off splendidly.
You never know who is watching.
I rate as follows: 5 Stars = Loved it. 4 Stars = Really liked it. 3 Stars = Liked it. 2 Stars = Didn't like it. 1 Star = Hated it.
A running theme in this book is duality; there's the modern day Lausanne that two of the characters spend most of their time living in, and the more old fashioned existence of the third. There's good, and there's evil. And, for me, there was what the book could have been, and what the book was.
The first third of the book is filled with unexplained occurrences, jumps forward and backward in time, and information doled out in a limited and non-linear way. It made me think of watching "Lost"; and the sort of style that only works if the pay-off at the end of the story is worth the confusion. While things did end up being explained, I did not feel there was a good enough twist or revelation to justify the tactics used.
The first half of the book is far darker than I had expected, often becoming crude, graphic, and unappealing. The passages dealing with sex start out uncomfortable, and escalated from there; crossing all the way into rape and a version of human trafficking. Strong language is used throughout the book. There are several gruesome murder scenes graphically described.
The character of Marc is meant to be sweet, unusual, and loveable; and in many ways the author succeeds. In the first half of the book however, the character spends a great deal of time alone; and during this time he is constantly having heated one-sided arguments with animals and inanimate objects. At times I thought these passages would never end. I can't help but feel that in the author's attempt for whimsy, he crossed the line into grating obnoxiousness.
The second half of the book did improve. Marc does less talking to himself, most of the issues of sex are done, and a warm friendship begins to grow between two of the characters that certainly had it's moments of charm. There was little character development however, so I never found myself caring as much about these people as I would have liked to.
The narration was very well done, with great, unique voices for each individual. I was quite impressed, and especially enjoyed listening to the voice assigned to Jay Harper. In the future I would certainly look for this narrator again.
While the ending was a bit underwhelming, I never hold that against books that are intended to be the first of a trilogy, which this is; I expect them to leave you in a place that isn't fully satisfying, and think that's fair. All things considered, I'd say the ending was fine.
The true highlight of the book is the city of Lausanne, and if you're going to read this I encourage you to search out some photos of the city, the cathedral, LP's Bar, etc; it definitely added to my enjoyment of the book. I'd especially search out a photo of the Escalier du Marche, to understand the street Marc is constantly working to climb up and down.
I'll be curious to see how others felt about this one.
i like to read. i like to listen.
no. it was a fine story, but there's nothing that i think i missed or need to hear again. i'm not usually one to re-read fantasy stories.
most interesting: angels, demons, half breeds. very interesting and new type of fantasy story.
least interesting: the way that the author wrote the character of Katherine Taylor. especially her dialogue, and inner monologues. she was a BADLY portrayed female character. it was extremely frustrating to hear her words and thoughts and every interaction she had with every other character annoyed the hell out of me.
Marc Rochat. his character was the redeeming character in this book. he was so well written and imagined. he was brought up to think himself simple minded, but he was the most complex character in this novel. i think Jonathan Davis brought his innocence to life.
I loved this book. I had trouble putting it down, even for little while. The combination for the original story, the beautiful imagery and Jonathan Davis's consummately spectacular performance blend to create something amazing. Read this one, well worth it.
I understand why some people have gotten frustrated by the pace, but as a writer, I was blown away and sucked in by how "craftfully" and lovingly it was written. It is in juxtaposition to what the subject matter is about. Were it not for the subject matter being what it is, it would be hailed as major literary achievement...but the pointy heads will never attach "litarary" to this genre. Their loss.
In a world of NASCAR-paced thrillers (which I love as well), this is a nice, relaxing drive on a country back road where you suddenly find yourself going over a cliff.
I salute Steele and applaud Davis. Well done!
Although this isn't normally my type of book,t it I couldn't;t put it down,If there is one negative I had to say about it I don't know what it would be. The narration is UNBELIEVABLE. to the cat made me laughed out loud. The way Davis changed voice is unbelievable. I loved the storyline. the second part of the book came completely unexpected compared to the the first half. Don't miss it !!
Yes, I would recommend it as an excellent story with a spiral staircase of a plot. Fun reading.
The Watcher....because he was one big mystery from the very beginning of the story to almost the end of it.
I enjoyed the whole story....
Some myths are truer and scarier than you'd believe...
Yes, pick up the book or the audio and get ready for an excellent mystery story with a surprise ending.
I listened to this as an audiobook and the narration was 1st class. The story was unique in that it contained multiple genres - detective mystery, supernatural, religious and perhaps a bit of satire - and consequently unexpected plot development. I was sorry when the book ended.
There could only be one favourite character and he would be Marc Rochas, the bell-keeper. Marc is the epitome of innocence, guilelessness, gentleness and love who also has a very vivid imagination. The story plays with our concepts of good and evil with Marc taking the leading role as 'good.'
Jonathan Davis' narration is excellent - five star. He quickly draws you into the book and before long you are really not aware that someone is reading a book to you, as you, the narrator, and the story become intrinsically one.
Yes, all of the above. The book was well designed to bring out just about every emotion a human being can experience.
Listen to it soon.
I'll have to be more careful when Audible hypes an audio. The first two audios are very slow and it gradually picks up to be a cross between Silence of the Lambs and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Jonathan Davis is amazing on this reading and allowed me to hang on long enough to get to the last audio, without that I'm not sure I'd have finished this one. It's just not my type of story.
It's a slow story and wanders along without really adding to the story. The up side is a clever plot that reveals itself in the last audio and an impressive performance by Jonathan Davis. I really wish there was more to say.
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