Review: The Shepherd (The Shepherd Series: Book 1) – Ethan Cross

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*****
Now this is a review that I have been wanted to do for a while, but I have been putting it off because I have feared I wouldn’t have been able to do the book justice. Plus I read it a while ago so I wanted to re read it so that I could ensure that my review was more accurate and wasn’t based on my over hyped memory of what I could remember.

I don’t want to give away too many spoilers with this book, or the series, and yes this series is still on going *school girl squirmy giggles* so I am going to put in the Goodreads description of this book for you all to read.

TO STOP A MONSTER…

Marcus Williams and Francis Ackerman Jr. both have a talent for hurting people. Marcus, a former New York City homicide detective, uses his abilities to protect others while Ackerman uses his gifts to inflict pain and suffering.

HE MUST EMBRACE THE MONSTER WITHIN HIMSELF

When both men become unwilling pawns in a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of our government, Marcus finds himself in a deadly game of cat and mouse trapped between a twisted psychopath and a vigilante with seemingly unlimited resources. Aided by a rogue FBI agent and the vigilante’s beautiful daughter – a woman with whom he’s quickly falling in love – Marcus must expose the deadly political conspiracy and confront his past while hunting down one of the must cunning and ruthless killers in the world.”

Honestly, I didn’t read any of this when I decided to buy this book. I was doing a food shop in Asda, a supermarket in the UK that just happens to sell books (in case you didn’t know), and they were having a massive sale on books that day. A massive selection for only £1 each :o. I had been looking for new authors to try and get into and wanted a change, so how can you say no at that price. So that’s when I came across this book..

Oh. My. God!! On the front it had dice with “DIE” and “LIVE” and another with options such as “CUT” and “BURN” written on them in red, with what looks like drops of blood surrounding them. It also has a the question, which is what grabbed my attention, more than anything else, “do YOU wanna PLAY a game?”. So it already looked like a book that I wanted and it was only £1, ONE POUND! So the description that I read on the back of the book and finally sold this book to me was:
Meet Francis Ackerman, America’s most terrifying serial killer.
What excites him most is the game of chance.
He likes to play with ordinary people. Innocent people.
Someone just like you.
If you take part in Ackerman’s game, he’ll stalk you, then take you prisoner.
Will he let you live? Or will you die?
There are so many different ways to die, and Ackerman knows them all. It’s part of his game.

Do YOU wanna play?
Francis Ackerman does.
And he’s found you….”

Such a better description don’t you think? It entices you. Brings you in and makes you apart of the story. Makes you afraid before you’ve even opened the book. Now I want to read it all over again. What made me want to buy it and read it, was because it sounded so realistic and so scary! Its scary enough when someone breaks into your house and you know you’re going to die. Now imagine being sat down and told you have a chance. You could live. That he could walk out of your house and leave you unharmed and alive. But you could also die. Whats worse than that build up of hope, when you originally thought that there was none and that you were going to die anyways, to then lose it all when you then get told you lose. Something like that could happen in everyday life, which should have made me put it back down, but I love stuff like that. Movies, Books, etc. This sounded like a really good horror, thriller movie. What I mean is that I could picture everything so easily and if I could do that, then I would have no problem getting into this book. Now, after reading it, this should definitely be a movie franchise!

The writing was done so clearly and vividly, that everything was so easy to picture and to visualise. Even though at times there were multiple things happening at once, I had no problem whatsoever being able to see everything and imagine what was happening. It was so well written that while reading it it was playing out in my head as a movie. The writing was also so clear with the way he wrote certain things, enough to hint at, but not to give things away, to get you to come back for the next book. The way the storyline all lined up and worked together, to create the ending that it did. To be completely honest, for me the last few chapters and the way this book ended, almost ruined this amazing book for me, but I see what they were trying to do. My first impression was of the author not knowing how to make an ending after creating an awesome book. But, after reading the rest of the series, I can easily forgive the ending because it links in and makes the rest of the series. Without that ending, we wouldn’t get the next books.

The two main characters we get Marcus Williams and Francis Ackerman Jr are really well done. You’ve got Marcus, you’re good guy, the hero of the story, who tries to do anything he can to help and protect people, but feels the weight of the people he loses and can’t save. You can see that he is fighting with himself, afraid that he may be like the monsters that he used to lock away, because he knows that he is definitely capable of it. And then we have Ackerman. Ackerman is the villain, who has been killing people for so long, and escaping capture, and genuinely has no fear whatsoever. There is so more depth to his character and so much back story behind him. Weirdly, Ackerman is beyond a shadow of a doubt, my favourite character and for me, it is his character that makes this book and this series so amazing and so engrossing to read. You never know what you’re going to get with him and I love his character so much more than I hate him, even with everything he’s done. So much so, I am honestly going to say, that Francis Ackerman Jr is my favourite character ever written, well so far that I’ve read, so thank you Ethan Cross. I really hope that a book is done about his childhood, because that would be fantastic! But maybe he needs that bit of mystery.

So for £1, I fell in love with a brand new author and series, which turned out to both be my new favourites, yay! Believe me when I say that the three more books I purchased after this book, were not as cheap but were equally as great.

This books gets one of my highest recommendations ever! With a massive 5 out of 5 stars! Have you read this book? What did you think? Comment below 😀

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