When the Watcher Shakes
I’ve used the word ‘unique’ to describe many of the stories I’ve reviewed. Stories I’ve liked, stories I’ve disliked, even stories that were so-so. This one is no different—which technically doesn’t make it unique.
In all honesty, this book IS unique. Every individual part of it is unique but when its put together as a complete story, it feels like a copy of a book I’ve read before. That’s not to say the plot wasn’t good or that the characters weren’t well developed. When the Watcher Shakes is good, but maybe not my kind of book.
We have John, a man whose kind of thrown everything away. He’s given up his regular life to wander through the mountains and rediscover himself. John is not your average guy who fell on bad luck. He’s that guy who’s never satisfied with what’s right in front of him. He always asks ‘why’ he always needs more. So it’s no surprise that heads clash when John happens upon a seemingly innocent group of religious followers living in a hidden city in the mountains.
These people aren’t just a nomadic bunch of travelers, they’re people who’ve willingly closed themselves off from the outside society in order to follow God’s Word—more or less. I don’t think I need to go into great detail to say that most of the religious aspects were dramatized and portrayed as brainwashing. Of course, John was this free-thinking savior there to liberate and break the chains of the oppressive restraints locked in place by the sect’s beliefs. Unique, but typical—as I said before.
I was prepared for that type of portrayal and I honestly applaud Huguenin for providing some entertaining debate and conversation. John was a good challenger to the corrupt and controlling leaders of the townsfolk. The book felt very dystopian when you looked at it from John’s perspective. There was emotion, betrayal, drama, and even a little well placed humor. What was portrayed as wrong, turned out to be wrong. What was good, was good. I just wish religion did not have to be the focal point of good or bad. This was not a book that bashed religion, not at all. But it did explore the ugly side of it—and somewhat ignored the good side of it.
If you enjoy books that challenge a character’s thinking as well as your own, you will definitely enjoy this book. Anyone interested in the positive and negative aspects of religion will find this read to be entertaining and informative. The story itself is unique and the writing is mature. The characters are well developed and the pace flows smoothly from one scene to the next. I enjoyed the story and the content, I’m just not a fan of religious controversy or oppression. BUT I do think the book is worth a chance from other readers and would recommend it to anyone.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*