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She Who Watches (The Shepherd) Paperback – March 29, 2016
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About the Author
During the day Anthony Pryor helps keep computers running at a large school district, but by night and on lunch breaks he's been editing, developing and writing for more years than he cares to admit, producing fiction and support material for popular games like Battletech, Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder and A Song of Ice and Fire, and working for publishers like Wizards of the Coast, White Wolf, Paizo Press, Green Ronin and others. He lives in Milwaukie, Oregon with an overweight cat, plays more games than is strictly healthy and tries with minimal success to master the bass guitar in his copious spare time. With a mom who used to hang out with Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo and a daughter who attends graduate school while fighting injustice and poverty in her spare time, Anthony’s actually the boring one in his family. His greatest ambition is to be a world-famous rockstar, but being a writer is okay, too.
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Top customer reviews
I enjoyed reading this urban fantasy. I felt fully immersed in the story and interested from start to finish in how the protagonist grows and becomes who he is meant to be. The cultural basis for his nemesis is fascinating, and very different from the usual. I quibble a little with the mixed cultures of some of the rituals but hey, it's fantasy. The romance, such as it was, seemed a little thin, but I decided it was just that our hero was fairly young, not self aware or emotionally mature. The writing was the high quality I would expect from Anthony - I only saw a couple mistakes in editing. All in all this was an absorbing read, and I look forward to seeing what's next.
Alex St. John is a journalist in Portland who, in the very first lines of the book, has a foreboding encounter with a homeless street person, after which he is drawn into investigating some local murders. Slowly, almost unwillingly, he learns that behind the deaths lurks something older, weirder, and much, much worse than a simple serial killer--and that he must be the one to confront it. The tale unfolds on two levels: one involves penetrating to the heart of a dark mystery and the force that drives it, while the other involves self-knowledge, coming to terms with the past, and making sense of the impossible present. Alex's journey is suspenseful, well-paced, and full of twists and turns on both levels.
Pryor infuses the well-worn tropes of the reluctant hero, the band of helpers, and the battle against supernatural evil with fresh energy. In this book and the two that follow, Alex's opponents--both human and not--are highly original (and terrifying). The allies he accretes along the way are all well-drawn personalities with stories of their own; the interrelationships of the characters bring considerable tension and emotional weight to the story. Settings are vividly yet economically presented, and Pryor's ability to write clear, fast-moving set pieces such as fight scenes is well displayed. There's crisp dialogue and even some humor (albeit sometimes rather dark). The heart of the story, though, is Alex, who not only discovers that the world and reality are not what he had thought, but that he carries the battle between light and darkness within himself.
Readers of dark urban fantasy, supernatural action adventure, and horror will find She Who Watches and its two sequels well worth their time. Alex is good, worthy company for this wild ride.
You get pulled into the story within the first few pages, get a good visual of all the characters and are able to keep track of them throughout the book. Even fight scenes involving 4 or 5 people didn't get muddled. I knew where every character was and what they were up to during every scene. I'm easily confused, so I appreciated the attention to detail.
I have read a couple of new authors on Kindle, and quite a few established books, where the editing was so deplorable I didn't want to keep
reading the book. Not so here, I'm willing to bet the author babysat his book through every step of the publishing process and made sure every
comma, apostrophe, and word was in the right place. I'm very grateful for that.
Definitely some rage against drug dealers in this story, in my opinion they are the scum of the earth anyway so I wasn't offended.
Bottom line, engaging story, very well written, and fun to read a book that takes place in my home town.