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The Watchers (Covert Missions Book #1) by [Olsen, Mark Andrew]
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The Watchers (Covert Missions Book #1) Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Length: 420 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Twenty-year-old Abby Sherman has a blog on a social networking website called "mycorner.com." 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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Review

"...The Watchers is a wild ride of action-packed suspense" -- Sheryl Root, armchairinterviews.com

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

"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 Previews.com

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: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #382,191 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kevin Lucia on March 1, 2007
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 Verified Purchase
Started out good but gradually lost interest. Don't know if it was me or not, but just seemed to drag on and ramble about seemingly irrelevant stuff. Wasn't expecting it to be a Christian fiction, which I don't mind. But, bad theology can ruin what could potentially be otherwise a good read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This plot driven book was outside the usual and overdone plots I am seeing more and more. I am happy to say I hadn't seen this one very often. I liked the pace and found myself reading well into the night trying to see "what happens next".
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
i watched or read or used the item. You can look at my "star" review. I have nothing else to say about the product.

Am I thew only one who resents having to type x number of characters and I have to Headline my review. Why does Amazon force their customers to serve them???
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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: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was enthralling. I was drawn in, not wanting to stop reading. It reminded me of when I read This Present Darkness years ago. I found myself encouraged, with a renewed desire to recognize the power of prayer. Looking forward to reading the sequels!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Easy to read fiction account of the spiritual journey of a seer, just short of a thriller. I appreciate the emphasis on the relationship a true believer must maintain with the Lord for their physical and spiritual protection. This story depicts the real and quantifiable difference between what the world calls religion and what I/we call relationship. Just added another writer to my favorites. Sometimes fiction is the best teacher.
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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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