Cloud Watcher by Lillith Saintcrow
Publisher’s Description: Anya Harris’s talents have made her a refugee, flying from city to city ahead of a tide of burning terror nobody else can see. She’s hoping Santiago City will be safe-but deep in her heart of hearts, she knows nowhere is safe enough for someone with her secrets. When the gray-eyed man with guns and a sword shows up, claiming to be sent to protect her, Anya has to believe him. After all, she has nowhere else to go. Jack Gray is one of the oldest Watchers around, scarred by the battle between Circle Lightfall and the Crusade. He’s found his witch and nothing is going to get in the way of protecting her. But nothing is as simple as it looks. Anya’s talent makes her worth millions, if she’s delivered alive and broken to the corporate bidders. Jack’s the only one who can save her-but when she finds out who he really is, he might lose her for good.
Main characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ Anya Harris is an air witch that doesn’t know she’s an air witch. She is a good hearted woman that took in a mentally challenged boy from the streets. She is fighting the “Dark” all by herself. She is lucky that she has gotten away as many times as she has since the “Dark” really wants to eat her. There are other villains on the loose as well. Those villains want to use her psychic ability to make money. Shell Gerritsen is the man in a boy’s body. He is a jealous boy that doesn’t want to share Anya with anyone. He has had her to himself for quite a while and now Jack Grey comes in as her “Watcher”. Jack Grey is old. Six hundred years give or take. He is the oldest virgin in history. His father was high in the church during the Dark Ages and sent Jack to kill witches and their watchers. Jack didn’t know – he just wanted his father’s approval and he was working for the good of the church. He thought he was the good guy. When he found out he was wrong, he was sentenced to be a Watcher as penance. Jack has always obeyed. He has duty, honor and will do anything to make up for the black stain on his soul.
Other characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ The Guardian witches and their watchers were not a dimensional as I expected. I imagine there wasn’t a lot of information about the other witches or watchers because with this being book four, the other’s stories have already been told. The villain is not revealed until nearly the end. The “Dark” is mostly beings that are only after one thing – to eat and survive. The Brotherhood are the bad guys that sell the witches to the highest bidders to increase their pocket change.
World: ♥ ♥ ♥ The world isn’t defined with descriptions of many creatures. The world I saw only reflects the fact that Watchers are there to obey their Witches. If they happen to luckily bond, then they are relieved from the horrible pain that other witches bring them.
Story: ♥ ♥ ♥ This story follows a basic pattern. The Hero lives for hundreds of years and then finds the Heroine to protect. I love Lillith Saintcrow’s writing, but this is no Jill Kismet. I miss the depth of the characters. Anya is running and scared. Jack saves her. Jack falls in love with Anya because she is his witch – the one that he’s been looking for all of his so called life.
Overall: ♥ ♥ ♥ I did like the writing. The author made me feel Jack’s feelings of shame and inadequacy. I liked the characters even if they were a bit on the shallow side. It was a good read, but it wasn’t excellent.
If you like this book…
I think my review may have been tainted by starting with book four in the series instead of book one. I believe it was a standalone story, but I believe I missed some details of the world by missing the first three books.
Review copy provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.