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The Watchers (Covert Missions Book #1) Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Length: 420 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Matchbook Price: $1.99 What's this?
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Twenty-year-old Abby Sherman has a blog on a social networking website called "" When she innocently blogs about a very vivid dream, she sets in motion the events that comprise the bulk of this novel, in which Christy nominee Olsen (The Assignment) admirably ties together myriad plot points. Not only does Abby blog, but she also appears on an Oprah-like show, travels the world, learns about several cultures and religious traditions, and fights battles against the spiritual forces of darkness. The juxtaposition of Abby's youth against her wisdom and power are reminiscent of Buffy the Vampires Slayer, and the book's take on spiritual warfare seems to owe more to Joss Whedon than it does to Frank Peretti. Olsen fascinatingly weaves questions of race and gender into the epic supernatural war he depicts, and despite staying faithful to the conventions of the suspense-thriller genre, he only occasionally wanders into clichéd territory. Though much of Abby's dialogue develops her as a smart, strong heroine, the novel's weakest points are Abby's blog entries and her heartfelt but largely stultifying monologues about her otherworldly gifts. Nonetheless, Olsen delivers an entertaining thriller likely to be enjoyed especially by fans of the spiritual warfare genre.
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"...The Watchers is a wild ride of action-packed suspense" -- Sheryl Root,

"If you like mysteries, suspense, spiritually up-lifting tales, you will not want to miss The Watchers." -- Philip Tomasso III,

"Readers won't be able to pout this book down... filled with rich history, wonderful imagery, and intense characters." -- Romantic Times

"...a fast-paced work of fiction.... I enjoyed this supernatural saga, and look forward to more from this author." -- Tracey Bonsell, Christian Book

Product Details

  • File Size: 1495 KB
  • Print Length: 420 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (April 1, 2008)
  • Publication Date: April 1, 2008
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AFWM4E8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #634,226 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

MARK ANDREW OLSEN is a screenwriter, author of four solo novels and four collaborative novels including the bestselling biblical thriller Hadassah, adapted into the FoxFaith film One Night with the King. He co-wrote the MGM film Music Within, and the Bethany House novels Hadassah Covenant, Rescued, The Assignment, The Watchers, The Warriors, The Long Road Home and Ulterior Motives. Mark is the son of Baptist ministers and missionaries to France and a graduate of Baylor University in Professional Writing. He lives in Colorado with his wife Connie and three children.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In today's world, every author, writer/songwriter, musician, and filmmaker is faced with a quandary that's almost biblical in proportions: "There is nothing new under the sun". Especially in the world of fiction, authors must undoubtedly struggle with the looming feeling that every story has already been told, and they face the pressure of putting unique spins and crafting original takes on stories that have been told over and over again.

Sometimes, that's the barometer for judging a good book versus a great book; when reading a "good" book, readers think to themselves at the end, "That was good, but it's been done before". When finishing a "great" book, the reader is conscious this plot isn't new, but some wispy intangible in the story's narrative - be it the strength of the characters, vivid description, introspective first person narrative, or unique perspective - elevates it past that, and the reader thinks, "That was unbelievable!".

The Watchers, by Mark Andrew Olsen, is written well, a few of its characters are interesting - the strongest, in my mind is assassin-turned-protector, Dylan Hatfield - and Olsen crafts suspense well enough, but the overall plot simply falls into the former category: a good, solid read that's suspenseful, written well...but it's been done before. For example: A young girl plagued with nightmares and visions is hunted by an ancient, ruthless Order older than time itself as she races to uncover the truth about herself and a mysterious, holy group of woman who are also being hunted by this evil, dark Order. Along the way, an assassin who's always "followed" orders discovers a deeper truth as they hurtle on a global adventure that will reveal the truth about who they are, and who they will become.
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Format: Hardcover
If you like globetrotting spiritual warfare novels, you're going to want to check out "The Watchers."

With a different twist on the standard warfare, "The Watchers" tackles some intriguing church history, and some tragic realities about the current state of religion. Crossing cultural and racial boundaries, Mark Andrew Olsen writes of an age-old demonic plan, and the way it could play out in our age of technology.

Some segments are truly creepy and will give the Big Honkin Chicken Club members a shudder or two. The novel reads very much like a screenplay and would be an action-packed movie. Christian themes of prayer and submission are well handled. The Gospel is present, obvious and not overdone.

Though written in omniscient POV, my least favorite, and though the main characters are not always believable, I found this an enjoyable read. My character issue likely stems from the omniscient POV. Dylan ended up being a little stereotypically alpha-male. But in a thriller genre, a reader generally isn't looking for depth of characterization.

Overall, Mark Andrew Olsen tells a great story with compelling writing.

Fans of Dekker, Peretti, Mapes and Mackel will find this a satisfying power-packed read.
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Format: Paperback
Before I began reading The Watchers I believed this novel was a fictional depiction of spiritual warfare. I expected it to outline the invisible battle in the heavenlies, illustrating how prayer and other spiritual weapons affect the outcome of these struggles. While these spiritual battles are present throughout and provide an ongoing low-level background tension, they almost seem tools to further what is essentially an action/adventure story than the elements the plot revolves around.

Sadly, I don't believe the depictions of spiritual warfare are accurate. While I did see characters praying for protection, rebuking demons and praying for healing, I also saw believers shooting demon-possessed men. Jesus cast demons out of men and led those delivered men to Himself, commanding his followers do the same. He never recommended their execution. Offering a man you've just conspired to kill salvation before he draws his last breath doesn't excuse this behaviour. Attempts on believers' lives from the enemy - certainly believable and proven by history. Christians killing demon-beset men - now I have a problem.

I found these reoccurring incidents and wholesale slaughter extremely disturbing, particularly when the Bible makes it clear that while the battles before us are not physical, neither are the weapons we have at our disposal. It is this backwards way of waging war that led me to believe that the theme of spiritual warfare is merely a veneer, thinly applied to a typical action/adventure novel. Perhaps Olsen felt that spiritual warfare isn't exciting enough without a few semi-automatic weapons thrown in; I disagree.

While Olsen may not write accurate spiritual warfare novels, his writing style does evoke a frenetic reading pace.
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Format: Hardcover
Abby Sherman would be just your average twentysomething if not for her dreams - intense, vivid experiences that catapult her into ancient times, seeing and feeling life through another's eyes. When she posts her dream journal on the web, begging for any insight and understanding others might be able to offer mysterious dreams, she unwittingly sets a dangerous chain of events in motion. Abby's plea for help puts her in the crosshairs of an ancient organization that marks her for death in order to prevent her from realizing the true nature of her dreams and awakening others to their life-changing message.

The Watchers is a well-crafted suspense story, brimming with non-stop action, fast pacing, and colorful settings. It's a good read - at times very good. However, the dialogue can be a little flat, lacking some crispness and "sizzle." The setting of this novel spans the globe - and at times, the scene and point of view is changed multiple times within a chapter. While this lends the novel a fast-paced, intense feel, it can at times be somewhat confusing to follow and prevents one from really delving deeply into the characters of all of the players revealed.

As a main character, Abby would perhaps be more interesting if she possessed more inner conflict or a need for some real deep, soul-shaking change. She's likable enough, but considering all of the challenges thrown her way in the course of the story she can seem a bit too "perfect" and level-headed. Instead of being a character that grows and develops, she serves more as a catalyst that spurs change in those she encounters - particularly in Dylan, the hardened assassin sent to kill her before the story of her dreams can spread.
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