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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

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback


    May 30, 2016

    Vintage Australia

    448 pages

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

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

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    May 30, 2016

    Random House Australia

    448 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
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