Shepherd’s Warning by Cailyn Lloyd

Shepherd's Warning

Shepherd’s Warning
by Cailyn Lloyd

457 Pages

Published by Land of Oz LLC (10th July 2019)

Book #1 in The Elders series

Purchase from | Amazon AU |Amazon US | Amazon UK | Booktopia| Book Depository | Fishpond AU |





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My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Land of Oz LLC, and the author via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Actual rating of 3.5

There’s always been something strange about the old MacKenzie Mansion out in rural Wisconsin. Over the years there have been numerous unexplained deaths and disappearances surrounding the house. The locals steer clear, better to be safe than sorry. So when Lucas and Nate MacKenzie show up with their families after inheriting the mansion from their deceased mother, the townsfolk are wary. The brothers, however, never knew about the place until their mother passed, therefore, know nothing of the sordid history surrounding it. Hoping to hit it big with HGTV stardom in their sights, Nate, Lucas and Lucas’ wife, Laura, begin renovations hoping to bring the place back into it’s former glory. The renovations have knocked something loose though, something that has been held back and buried for longer than anyone cares to know. Will they survive what’s coming? Or will the only man who knows what’s going on reach them in time?

I love a good ‘ol haunted house horror story. So it was a no brainer when I decided to request this one. I was intrigued about the families that come to renovate the old mansion as they knew nothing of it’s existence. There was mystery surrounding the story as well as the horror aspect, though the mystery wasn’t so much a mystery as the story is told from third person POV, leading us to know what’s going on with all the characters and players in this story before they’re even aware. That’s okay though, it still made for a good read.

I’m not the biggest fan of third person POV, but for this story it did work well. It took some of the mystery out of the story however as mentioned above, once again, this is okay because this book is not marketed as a mystery, let’s be real here. It’s marketed as a horror, and while I’ll say it does belong in the genre, I’ll also add that it’s a slow burn horror, and not just horror in the supernatural sense of the word. This story takes a look at two people – Lucas and Laura – who are pushing 50, are running away from the loss of someone important to them, and trying the best they can to throw themselves into a project so they can forget about the loss. It also deals with the strain that such a loss can put on a marriage, and while a lot of what was happening I’ll put down to the supernatural, there was also some very real occurrences that some people experience in real life, it’s these instances that added to the horror aspect for me. I’ll admit, reading it in bed before sleep last night, I started getting creeped out for no apparent reason, as there’s nothing truly terrifying in this story (in my opinion) but Lloyd does a fantastic job of creating a foreboding and creepy atmosphere that I really felt. I opted to hold off reading more until today, when the sun was out hahaha.

The story itself, as mentioned above is rather slow burn, there’s not a whole lot that is happening, there’s some strange stuff occurring in the house which all of the different occupants encounter, while they’re doing renovations. There’s the strange townsfolk who keep a watch out for “those MacKenzies” but they never really tell “those MacKenzies” what the issue is, they tend to just say how they don’t want to talk about it and hustle off on their merry way. So our protagonists are left trying to piece things together by themselves and not really getting anywhere.

Shepherd is a bit player, which I wasn’t expecting, he’s a secondary character, with a purpose and the answers, which we learn from early on when we meet him, but the story mostly focuses on the MacKenzies renovating the house. I liked Shepherd’s character and I’m kinda hoping that we get to see more of him as this series progresses. Lucas was fairly unlikable from the beginning as far as I’m concerned, as was Ashley. Laura is okay, but she bugged me a little bit with her ignorance about what was going on with her, and the house. I get it, you’re scared…pushing it down and pretending it’s not happening or doesn’t exist is not going to help you. Dana, Laura and Lucas’ daughter, was an okay character, but once again, certain things that she said or did just made me want to slap her upside the head. When you’re mother is asking something of you, and you have a good relationship with each other, I feel like the only answer you give is, yes. Maybe that’s just me though.

The little mysteries and the main part of the plot were well written and well thought out and definitely have left an opening for more exploration on the matter. Though there was no major revelations for me in this story, as in, not much was a surprise, but that’s okay, I still found it an enjoyable read and will happily continue with the series.

I will put here that there is some trigger warnings, domestic violence, and attempted rape being the biggest two. I kinda felt a little let down with the attempted rape scene…I almost feel like it was included to add more shock factor to the story? I’m probably wrong, but that’s just how it felt to me, and it did knock my rating down a teeny bit for this reason.

All in all, this was a slow burn, creepy vibing haunted house horror, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

View all my reviews

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