How far would you go to save those you love?  Would you sacrifice all your hopes and dreams to keep your loved ones safe?  In the process, giving up all your are, or ever will be.  A noble concept is it not?  Indeed, but this type of self-sacrifice does not take place without a fair amount of consternation and grief.  For in the process of saving others- you may lose them as well.

In Cathleen Maza’s tale, Watched, we are treated to just such a scenario.  A truly riveting read for all lovers of the supernatural and spooky stories!

Watched is Book Two in the Soul Shepherds series. It continues to follow the escapades of sisters Elise and Sarah while picking up where the first book left off.  As a soul shepherd, Elise was burdened with the ability to guide lost, departed souls to their rightful place in the afterlife.  A terrifying and life-altering curse that she was only able to endure with the help of her loyal sister.  However, after a sudden accident, Elise mercifully lost her soul shepherd abilities, and a “normal” life finally looked within reach.  Until a mysterious and enshrouded figure appears, that is!  The nefarious being presents the sisters with an offer that cannot be refused.  Either one of them accepts this proposal, or the soul shepherd curse will be passed on to their next generation of loved ones.  It is safe to say that nobody is prepared for what comes next!

There is an awful lot to like in this short book.  The story events flow remarkably smoothly and keep the reader entertained and entranced as they anticipate what is to come.  I particularly enjoyed the prologue as I found it acted as a very effective hook.  There was simply no way I was putting the book down after reading those opening pages!  The rest of the tale followed a natural progression that was both engaging and captivating.  As a true fan of the supernatural, I believe the author captured the elements of this genre exceedingly well.  The whole concept of soul shepherds, which is presented in Watched, clearly operates outside of the understanding of science and the real world.  This, in turn, grabs the attention of the supernatural fiction fan and does not let go until the very last page.

In regards to characterization, it is difficult not to admire Elise as the protagonist and Sarah for her supporting role.  They are both authentic and believable characters who exist in an otherworldly setting.  That is no easy feat to accomplish.  The Shadowman acts as an antagonist but in a very mysterious and cryptic fashion.  Not so much “in your face,” but a pernicious individual nonetheless.  A great contrast to the sisters, who are portrayed in more of a heroic fashion.  Lastly, the families of both Elise and Sarah are presented in enough depth so that the reader can become attached to them and thus truly empathize and understand the tragic plight the sisters find themselves in.

Overall I found this to be a thoroughly enjoyable tale.  As mentioned, it is relatively short, so it can be easily read in one sitting.

5 out of 5 Watching Stars for this one!