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Descending Son

3.26  ·  Rating Details  ·  964 Ratings  ·  115 Reviews
If Jess Stark really knew what was on the other side of the coffin lid, he might just decide to remain six feet under . . .

Jess stayed away from Palm Springs for seven years, avoiding his family and the girl who broke his heart. It took a desperate call from his mother to force him home to see his ailing father. As soon as he returned, Jess found himself embroiled in two s
Paperback, 422 pages
Published February 1st 2014 by 47North (first published October 29th 2013)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,478)
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Jan 04, 2014 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, amazon-first
This was my January 2014 selection of Amazon First - finally I picked a winner! Descending Son is a horror mystery-thriller that had me entranced from the beginning until the end.

It's a normal workday for Jess Stark until his co-worker relays a message to him carrying him back to his past. After the call from his mother, Jess returns to his home town after his 7-year hiatus. The story twists and turns from there as Jess encounters family, old friends, and old foes. As Jess follows these paths,
Jul 16, 2014 Bill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this one on audio and it was a pretty good tale from Scott Sheperd. The characters seemed to be fleshed out well and the story had an steady pace, even though I got confused a little a few times with the plotting.

An ancient evil has been trapped in the jungle of Mexico until it is unknowingly unleashed by an American film crew in the area. Now it is out free and the bodies are starting to pile up. Jess will need to sort out his family dysfunction and betrayals and try an
Alia R. Herrman
Feb 12, 2014 Alia R. Herrman rated it did not like it
I picked this book up with Amazon First, and I'm glad I didn't have to actually pay for it. The editing was pretty poor and I found errors throughout, something which tends to distract me when reading a book. I'm also not certain if I failed to thoroughly read the summary for the book or if I just forgot about it by the time I started reading, but my jaw hit the floor when this story took a sharp right turn for the supernatural about a third of the way through—and not in a good way. I am no stra ...more
Jan 25, 2014 Allen rated it did not like it
This was my January pick for my free amazon book and there will be spoilers throughout because I feel the need to rant about it.

It starts out with a strong promise of intrigue.... A man being drug through the desert and thrown into a freshly dug grave and buried alive. The book begins as a mystery as he recounts the events that led up to him being thrown into the coffin...

then he gets out and the whole thing goes to hell a little over 100 pages in.

The book could be compared to lost. spoon feedi
Jan 07, 2014 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Surprise supernatural tale

I knew this was a horror book when I started reading it...but I forgot that small point. The first third of the book starts out as a police procedural/mystery and it was very good.

Then, whammo, right at the end of chapter 20, the supernatural hits. And the story became just okay. I don't want to give away any spoilers but I liked the first part of the book much more than the last 2/3.

That's not to say the last part of the book was terrible - it wasn't. But it felt a tri
Feb 18, 2014 81reaper rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I went into this book completely blind. I hadn't read any reviews nor any of the summaries.
In hindsight, I feel this is the absolute best way to approach this book.

I won't give away any details but my experience follows:
I wasn't aware that this book had three "parts". It could have easily been released as a three book series, but I am glad it wasn't. I was trucking along on part one, enjoying the story, when all of the sudden a curve ball was thrown my way. I was caught completely off guard by t
I received a copy of this eBook for free as part of the Kindle First program for Prime members.

In a nutshell: A not very good vampire horror novel.

I really had to push myself to get through this book; ended up skimming over the last 50 or so pages.
Feb 14, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received a free ARC copy of Descending Son in exchange for a review.

I love a good thriller/mystery novel and while the supernatural and sci-fi scene isn't really for me, I can honestly say I really enjoyed this book. It was well written and had a great balance of suspense, thrill and humor. Part One of Descending Son was, WOW! REALLY GOOD! I couldn't put it down! I was a bit surprised by Part Two and certainly wasn't expecting the supernatural twist... I apparently missed that in the original
As selected, it was ok.


Started out good as a mystery, then vampires got thrown in the mix.

There were just some odd things that didn't seem right or weren't consistent. Such as when two vampires decide not to kill the hero, which would have (1) solved the problem, and (2) been much easier (especially since they feed on humans anyway), but instead they throw him into the trunk of a car, drive into the desert, and bury him alive. Really?

One thing that really got me was the fac
Anthony I.
Jun 24, 2014 Anthony I. rated it it was ok
There were a few moments where this book was really interesting...specifically the exploits in mexico, but overall, the constantly changing story threads, writing cliches (try and count how many times people fall asleep "before their head hits the pillow"...just try), and attempt at sentiment made it a struggle for me to finish (and it's not a real short book either). also, I had nearly given up because I thought it was supposed to be a supernatural horror novel, and I was reading what seemed to ...more
Kurt Lieber
Feb 11, 2014 Kurt Lieber rated it did not like it
Shelves: disliked
The plot of this book was interesting enough. Or at least interesting enough to make me finish it. The writing, however, was not very good. The prose was utilitarian and simplistic. Events were relayed in a straightforward fashion, with far too much telling and not enough showing. The author also has certain affects to the way that he writes which became predictable and a bit annoying. For example, many/most of the chapters ended with a short, overly dramatic sentence. (e.g. "He thought he had i ...more
Anthony Helm
Jan 31, 2014 Anthony Helm rated it liked it
This book starts off quite nicely as a kind of police procedural mystery and then goes off suddenly into a supernatural-horror story, which I somehow never quite picked up on when reading the teaser text. Unfortunately, as other readers have commented, after the change of gears, the story becomes simply "ok." It was interesting enough to keep me reading, but I was less on-the-edge-of-my-seat throughout the second and third acts. Also, although the author did a little bit of research about Dartmo ...more
Lady Z
This story has plot twists galore and more layers than an onion. I thought it was a mystery/thriller, but as the story progressed it became something entirely different. Normally I avoid this genre, but there I was deep into the story when it hit and I couldn't put it down. Pretty tricky, but I enjoyed the ride.

One thing I couldn't resolve was how threatening "the killer" with the cops would be a deterrent. That part didn't make sense.

Overall this was a fun listen. It has everything; suspense, r
Jan 22, 2014 Marvin rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
Descending Son wants to be a mystery, a horror novel and a soap opera all at the same time. All that does is stretch the story into a meandering mish-mash. It starts out well as a mystery with our main protagonist returning home to his ailing father after a seven year absence. A mysterious car accident and the strange demise of his father moves the novel into suspense mode. Yet after a third of the tale, a supernatural aspect emerges and we are in horror city. I don't want to ruin the "surprise" ...more
Michele Bardsley
Great Paranormal Thriller

Descending Son is a page-turner! I started this thriller with the intention of reading a couple of chapters before bed, but I ended up reading late into the night. The story seems innocuous at first--an estranged son, Jesse, who reluctantly returns home to see his dying father. The story gains momentum as Jesse seeks to uncover the truth about his father's demise, and discovers a horrifying secret that some people will kill to keep. I highly recommend Descending Son to r
Oct 07, 2015 Al rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook-done
starts slow, then builds up a head of steam, then unfortunately seems to peter out at the end. I had gotten this as a free selection from Amazon several months ago and just got around to getting the audiobook and listening while working. I had forgotten about the supernatural angle, so it was a good twist that was gradually hinted at before becoming the main plot line. I can't help thinking the author left a couple loose ends for a possible sequel, but it's frustrating to have a resolution hinte ...more
This book toys with being a mystery novel for about a third of its length before revealing that its answer to "whodunit?" is "Mexican vampires" and then going from there. I was enjoying the mystery well enough to be disappointed by this. Even the quality of writing seems to fall off. The vampires are pretty standard modern ones: they're rich, beautiful, and no, they don't actually run away screaming from garlic or crucifixes. Lord knows that would be SILLY! I held out hope nearly to the end that ...more
Gaston Sanders
Apr 23, 2014 Gaston Sanders rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent story by a compelling author...

Shepherd has done a wonderful job of writing an entertaining and very enjoyable book about the Mexican vampire. His characters are intriguing and realistic and I fell in love with each of the good guys and hated all the mean ones. I love the love-hate relationship between Jess and his father. It was very well done. I adored Maria, as I'm sure I was supposed to do.
All in all, it was a superior book by a master author. I highly recommend it to anyone lookin
Jun 09, 2016 roanoke rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vampires
4.5 stars

Descending Son is about a man named Jess Stark, who is a seemingly average guy who has a suspicious past. Seven years before the book takes place he left his family and friends without a word and never spoke to them again. The only thing that brings him back is a phone call from his mother that tells him his father is dying. He reluctantly leaves to visit and is instantly thrown into a huge mess of old family tensions, hurt feelings, and mysterious deaths. Myths become reality, and how
Armando Negron
Sep 29, 2015 Armando Negron rated it really liked it
I had this book sitting in my iPad for over a year and a half, not because of a lack of interest, but rather a lack of time to read it. Other books got in my way before I resumed this read, but then I kind of rediscovered it. And I'm very glad I did.

"Descending Son" simply put is a vampire novel, however it brings a different perspective borrowing from the classical lore that is assigned to this mystical creatures. In this case we have a man that is brought back home to see his ill father, just
Jolene Dretzka
Nov 28, 2014 Jolene Dretzka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Amy Dutcher
I received this book as part of a Goodreads Giveaway.

This was a fresh take on a rather overdone supernatural creature. The closest thing to a downfall, that I found, was that it took approximately 149 pages before it got to anything of interest or supernatural. The first 149 pages seemed to be paving the way for everything to come & filling us in on the main characters back-story. Still, despite the slow start, it was a fast read. The author has a way with writing that makes the pages fly by
Jennifer Boyce
Oct 06, 2013 Jennifer Boyce rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, thriller
This book takes a little bit to get into. The story is somewhat confusing at first and hard to follow until a couple chapters in. After a couple chapters, though, things start to get interesting.

There is a lot of emphasis on family dynamics in this book. It’s especially interesting because the family is so dysfunctional. The author did a really nice job of introducing the reader to the family dynamics in a seamless and subtle way. The author also did a nice job of creating believable characters,
Nov 07, 2013 Paula rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book from the Goodreads First reads giveaway program. Thank you author/publisher for the opportunity to read and review your new novel.

The Descending Son by Scott Shepherd is part suspense, mystery, thriller and just plain FREAKY!! I really enjoyed this book, it starts with Jess getting a phone call from his mom saying his dad is dying. He hasn't been home to Palm Springs for seven years due to bad feelings toward his father. Some mysterious things happen upon his return and Jess
Christine Lowe
Jan 10, 2014 Christine Lowe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Page 78

When allowed to chose a book for free, I debated on genre and came up with horror. As I was reading I thought I must have made a mistake because this didn't read like any horror story I had ever read. The book was not written in linear style so I had to pay attention to chapter headings to put the story together. I think I was around page 78 when things became a bit clearer and I began to enjoy the book.

If you like vampires, you will enjoy this book. The story was original with believable
Mary Glass
Stoker and Saberhagen sigh with ennui

Stoker and Saberhagen sigh with ennui

Because I do love a good vamp story, and they abound, I cannot, will not pretend this is one. The hero is hapless and lives only by the grace of fiction. Gonna spend more time with the family while boning the maid's brilliant, beautiful daughter who has dreamed of naught but him, the hapless hero since infancy. Okay. Scratch the brilliant part.
Feb 15, 2014 Shannon rated it it was ok
I gave this a chance because it was free through First Reads, and I am familiar with the setting, but I somehow missed the hint at a supernatural turn when I read the book blurb. The first third of the novel was interesting and had nice movement, but the sci-fi blow almost landed the thing in my archives. I stuck with it and was, overall, entertained; however, I was able to predict the twists in the last two-thirds, and II did not really like the method that the author used when ending chapters- ...more
Justin Kean
Spanish Vampires made for a decent read

Fairly well written and a decent plot make this a good, albeit easy read. if you're looking for real horror then this particular vampire book may not be it, though. This book is based quite a bit around love, lost love, and the difficulties of family relationships. The father son dynamic was well done, and I actually think the author could have written a good family dynamic book without the supernatural elements.
paul keith hawkins
Not another vampire book

well, I am not one of the myriads of vampire book fans, although i really like Vampira. when I bought this book I didn't know it was about vampires. this is more of a classic scary mystery. you don't know what is really going on for quite a while. it has melancholy family dynamics and some interesting characters. I think just about anyone would enjoy it, not just the vampiric crowd
Feb 21, 2014 Leanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-owned, own
good read. I was unprepared for the unexpected turn to supernatural part of the way into the book. I usually read the back of the book to get an idea of what is going on but failed to for some reason with this book, and was I pleasantly surprised. I would have read the book in just a couple of weeks if I didn't have to put it down to work and sleep.
I recommended the book.
I am glad I picked this book up as my Amazon January book of the month.
Meggy Felsenthal
Jan 30, 2014 Meggy Felsenthal rated it really liked it
I just want to say I really enjoyed the way the author wrote this book. he was detailed just enough to get the perfect image of what ever he described. he also created strong character development which made all the characters liked and hated accordingly.

I liked the book, not my favorite but in my tops. I liked the wide left turn it took midway through, especially if you're not expecting it you react the same way Jess does. :-)
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