Book Review: Lilith Saintcrow’s Cloud Watcher

Posted October 14, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Lilith Saintcrow’s Cloud Watcher

Cloud Watcher


Lilith Saintcrow

paranormal romance that was published by ImaJinn Books on October 30, 2006 and has 216 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Hunter’s Prayer, Redemption Alley, Flesh Circus, Heaven's Spite, The Demon's Librarian, Dead Man Rising, Steelflower, The Devil’s Right Hand, Saint City Sinners, To Hell and Back, Death's Excellent Vacation, Chicks Kick Butt, Dark and Stormy Knights, Angel Town, Storm Watcher, Fire Watcher, Mindhealer, The Iron Wyrm Affair, The Red Plague Affair, Dark Watcher, To Hell and Back

Fourth in The Watchers paranormal romance series revolving around three Guardian witches who have found their fourth. The couple focus is on Anya and Jack Grey.

My Take

It’s an interesting series and this story has a twist on witch burning and the Inquisition.

I do like the premise and I wish I could say the same for the characters. They actually are decent human beings, so to speak, and I do like them once they bond with their Watchers. It’s the before-the-bonding that each one drives me nuts.

I realize it’s not their fault. It’s Saintcrow’s fault for taking the easy way out. But, it’s the formula for this series to have the latest heroine an absolute idiot. Authors, please, put a bit more effort into this. Ask your buddies for ideas. It makes me want to gag when the heroine does something so incredibly stupid. What? Is it really true that people do rush off into danger when they’re exhausted…wait, it is true. I do suspect, however, that it’s more true when the situation is truly dire. Yes, the circumstances each time have been grim, but anyone with half a brain would also realize that being prepared and waiting a short time for extra manpower is a practical move. Especially when that help knows what it’s doing. And you know that you don’t.

Sure it’s a fantasy story, but Saintcrow is also asking us to suspend belief — I’m just not willing to suspend it that far. Hmmm, how odd is it that I can believe for a few hours that magic and demons exist, but that intelligent people can be incredibly stupid??? Eeek…what does that say about me?

And why do I keep reading this series when it makes me nuts?

That whining over, I did like the start of this when Jack shows up at Rowangrove Metaphysical and Occult Supplies and is bowled over by how naturally the three Guardians and their Watchers behave. And how easily they accept him!

I was surprised when Anya was actually a normal person for the first three-fourths of the story. Her fears and worries are realistic, although she seems to accept Jack a little too easily considering how much she feared him at first. Saintcrow could have put some effort into this part and it would have been the better for [the readers] to have their relationship develop more naturally. I do love how warmly Theo, Mari, and Elise welcome Anya and take care with Shell. I think it’s this warmth that keeps drawing me back. Saintcrow sets a very homey background with all this, in spite of the nasty beasties out there!

We do get a bit of the history of how the Watchers were formed.

I like the conflict Saintcrow has created for Jack. He wants so desperately to atone for his actions and yet he also wants to hurt Shell. He knows it’s wrong even if it would be for a good cause and it’s a struggle for him to accept.

Of course, it’s always nice when the heroine goes from desperate and poor to happy and well-off. There’s more happily-ever-after when Elise — a majorly stupid-thinking character — rescinds her nay and allows the Light Circle in. Just how lame is it that a character who is so vehemently against an organization that — three times to that point—has only protected. Then all of a sudden she just changes her mind on something she had such strong feelings about.

The Story

It’s a nightmare that just won’t stop. Anya knows she must be going insane. Who see such monsters? They don’t exist. Yet they continue to find her and burn her out, forcing her to flee.

She’s running out of money and the energy to survive. She is weakening and there’s Shell to think of, he can’t think for himself. Little does Anya realize, but when they finally end up in Santiago City she will find her Watcher, and he will find her.

The Characters

Anya Harris has a gift of Persuasion. A gift she hates to use as it feels so wrong. Yes, it’s been useful a few times when she was truly desperate, but it’s not right to use in that way. And it provides a lever for the enemy. Shell Garritson is a mentally challenged man Anya found in an alley. She takes him in, cares for him, and he knows more than he’s letting on.

Jack Grey, known throughout history as Lupo Grigio, is doing penance for the murders he committed at his father’s orders back in the early 1500s.

Elise Nicholson is a fire wielding witch who sings with a band and paints while Remy, a.k.a., the Hunter, is her Watcher (see Fire Watcher). Theo is a healer and she and Dante came together in Dark Watcher while Mari is a water witch who met her Watcher, Hanson, in Storm Watcher. Together, the three witches are the Guardians of Santiago City.

Averik Rhodes is the procurator-general for Wescorp. And after all Jack has explained, I don’t understand why the mere words procurator don’t send Anya running.

Lightbringers are witches. Watchers are men who were wrong, evil in their life. Circle Lightfall, an organization that wants to protect witches and psychics, trains them and sets them to protect all witches until they find the one witch with whom they can bond and stop the pain. The Brotherhood is businessmen and demons who take witches and brainwash them into following their orders, selling them to the highest bidder and the Crusade is a religious organization that wants to bring the Inquisition back for witches.

The Cover and Title

The cover is an interpretation from a scene within the book. A tall skyscraper, its windows reflecting the blue, cloudy sky, a broken window belching flame, and also reflecting a really weird looking demon.

The title is simply a metaphor for Anya being an air witch. I guess Saintcrow figured “Air Watcher” wasn’t as metaphysical as Cloud Watcher.