> Skip to content

Savage and apocalyptic, this is the new world.

Savage and apocalyptic, this is the new world.

Devoid of rain, the earth has shrunk to dust and salt, hemmed by a swollen sea. Survivors gather to re-establish order but it’s nothing like before.
It is Jeremiah’s world.

Commanded by the cruel Garrick, Jem is a Watchman and hunter of Disses: rebels who dare to challenge the Tower and its ruling Council. Loner by design and killer by nature, he’s unapologetically part of a cruel regime until a new assignment exposes a web of deceit, and past sins demand their reckoning. When a young boy elicits his sympathy, and an enigmatic woman his interest, Jem is made to question everything he believes before undertaking one last terrifying mission. Now he must do unto others if he's to take care of his own.

In this dark and compelling first novel from a stunning new voice in fiction, it is impossible to know who is friend or foe, hero or villain.


The world-building here is excellent. Abbott is strong on the anthropological details. She also shows how the good intentions of a community are perverted not just by scarcity but by emergent patterns of power and the Nietzschean urge to preserve them at all costs. An accomplished and highly readable debut.

Ed Wright, The Australian

Watershed is brilliantly imagined, clever and just plain thrilling. Cancel everything, you won’t be able to stop reading.

Toni Jordan

Abbott's ability as a female writer to get inside the skin of the young Jeremiah is one of the book's highlights.

Linda Morris, The Sunday Age

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback


    May 30, 2016

    Vintage Australia

    448 pages

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    May 30, 2016

    Random House Australia

    448 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Watershed Moments

Enter Watershed: Jane Abbott’s savage and apocalyptic vision of the future.

Book List
Varying Degrees

The ‘Cli-Fi’ authors bringing fresh perspectives to future climate challenges.

Awards and Recognition

  • Aurealis Awards
    Aurealis Awards - Best Science Fiction Novel

Also by Jane Abbott



The Bear and The Nightingale
The Handmaid's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
A Gentleman in Moscow
Echo Burning
The Colour Of Magic
The Heart's Invisible Furies
The Girl on the Train
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Night Circus
Swing Time
The Golden Age
Tiger Men
Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World
Fifty Shades Darker
Ready Player One
The Light Between Oceans
A Long Way from Home