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4.61  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  51 reviews

Just as things are finally looking up for Aaron and Ellen Dreyer, tragedy strikes close to home when a neighbor is brutally murdered and a mysterious figure begins to lurk in the woods outside their home new home.

Then their five-year-old son went missing in broad daylight.

With the police offering little help, they are forced
Kindle Edition
Published May 14th 2021 by Eerie River Publishing
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Average rating 4.61  · 
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Pan | Book Reviews and Recommendations
The awesome people of Eerie River Publishing were kind enough to send me Drew Starling's debut novell, 'Sentinel', for review.

The story unfolds when the Dreyer family moves into their new country home, in search for a quiet, simple life.

The small town of Bensalem seems ideal at the beginning, but the perfect picture will soon be shattered by strange occurrences, the appearance of an unknown entity, the brutal murder of a neighbor and the disappearance of Caleb, Aaron and Ellen's own child.

May 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
❤❤❤😱 Crush for this scary and addicting thriller.

The Grand Elder is the feared leader of the Order of the Old Roses.
That day he summoned a deacon to entrust him with a secret and vital mission for the Order.
The deacon will have to go to Bensalem...

In Bensalem, Aaron Dreyer returns from a grueling trip to India.
He’s exhausted but so happy to finally reunite with his wife Ellen and their four-year-old son Caleb...


A great discover and a crush for this fantastic, captivating, scary an
May 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I read a complimentary advance copy of the book in exchange for my voluntary and honest review.

The Dreyer family (Aaron, Ellen and their 4-year old son Caleb) moved to a rural home near a small town. They thought life was going to slow down and be quiet, a good place to raise their son. In short time, things started getting creepy. Soon, Caleb disappeared and a hunt ensued.

This was a scary read. I was completely captivated by the characters and the events going on around them, events dragging t
May 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Scary and thrilling. A really fun read. (I got an advance copy)
May 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I received an advance copy of Sentinel and I was hooked, start to finish. The tension kept me on the edge of my seat, and the characters kept me coming back for more.
Cat B.
Apr 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
Great first novel for a short story author. Some very creepy characters in this one. Not everything is as it seems in this small sleepy town. Some of the smiling faces hide some hideous secrets and Mr. Starling doles them out like a fisherman teasing a trout with a nice fat fly. The prose is not TOO gory for those who prefer not to be grossed out too too much. Moves along nicely with very few hiccups. Definitely worth a read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book and this is my honest and
Zac Martin
May 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
I have been a fan of Drew Starling's horror shorts for some time so I was excited to see what he could do with a full length novel. He did NOT disappoint! This is a great start to a what will hopefully become a series. Good character development that really has you emotionally invested in them. I could almost feel the anxiety and terror of the two main characters as they lost and subsequently search for their little boy and the feelings of helplessness when local law enforcement won't take them ...more
Jessica Belmont
Jun 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Sentinel by Drew Starling is an incredible journey. I felt the emotions of these characters. I truly think one of the things that makes this book so good is the character development.

Sentinel is dark and unsettling. The mysterious intrigue surrounding the plot had me reading late into the night. I finished this in one sitting because there was no way I could wait to find out what happened.

I’m a new fan of Drew Starling and fully intend to read his future work. The writing in Sentinel is beautifu
May 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book and I am leaving an honest review.

First, I liked the author's prose very much, he really knows his way with words and use them to enhance the overall experience. The characters are believable and likable, the pacing is very good - a real page-turner. The horror elements lean to the cosmic horror territory and are executed really well. There's a kind of nightmare sequence that really stuck with me.
My only complaint is that I wanted a little more of
Neen Cohen
Jun 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
A young family move to Bensalem, a small town with the beauty of nature surrounding them, what could possibly go wrong. Sentinel is a slow build up as we learn about the townspeople of this small sleepy town, which is not nearly as sleepy as first impressions give. Once the story speeds up, it drags you along, heart kicking and screaming. An ensemble cast, there were definitely some characters I felt a deeper connection to then others, but I cannot wait to see what they have in store for them in ...more
May 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Not many of us elected a President and wrote a novel in a year. Drew did — and this is so worth your time.
May 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Compulsive and gripping! This chilling read will have you on the edge of your seat as the aura of suspense increasingly bumps up your anxiety, notch by excruciatingly-taut notch. The palpable tension will hold you in thrall. The fast pace of the wildly-captivating plot will keep you swiping the pages feverishly. If you like dark, absolutely unpredictable, twisted horror and suspense as much as I do, you can't go wrong with this book!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to read
Apr 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
Review to come, but I'll definitely be reading the next one.

Very minor spoilers.

Thank you to Mr Starling for an ARC of his novel for a fair review.

And my review is that I had great good fun reading this book. There was so much strange, small town, folk horror delight in this book. And a bit of a surprise with the monsters. I became invested in the mythology of the novel, and I'm intrigued to find out more about the whys and wherefores of everything.

As for the characters, I actually quite liked E
Jodi Bennett
May 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Aaron, Ellen and their son Caleb move to a new house in Bensalem. It is in a small town in the country. The start to notice some things aren't as they seem. Actually there are a lot of things that aren't as they seem. There are secrets running through generations of this town and this family is getting pulled into all of it. This book will keep you up reading it, but be sure to keep the lights on as the creep factor is there. Looking forward to the next installment. ...more
Brenda Volpe
Apr 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A wonderfully creepy book. I started reading and finished the book in two days. I could hardly bring myself to put it down. I loved the Dreyer family and their dog and I couldn't wait to find out what the supernatural being was and why it kept appearing to them. This is a stand alone book but I can hardly wait for the next book in the series to come out. I want to read more and more and more. If you love good characters and a well written scary story, this is the book for you. I highly recommend ...more
Brian Lobodzinski
Apr 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
I was expecting the usual 'innocent family moves to countryside and evil happens' boring theme but I got caught up with the characters and the plot evolved in a more intriguing manner than I was expecting. Lots of scope for future development and I would recommend it to readers who want something a little bit different.
I have to admit that I am a member of his ARC group but I would have said if I hadn't enjoyed it.
Apr 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
When Aaron and Ellen Dreyer, along with Caleb, their four-year-old son, move into their country home, they expect a nice, quiet life. But something evil is lurking in the deep, dark woods behind their home, something that is disrupting their life. When their neighbor is murdered, and Caleb goes missing, Aaron and Ellen know that it is linked to the entity that has been lurking in their backyard. When no one seems to take their story seriously, they decide to find Caleb on their own. As they go i ...more
Apr 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a brilliant read.
Wonderful well written plot and story line that had me engaged from the start.
Love the well fleshed out characters and found them believable.
Great suspense and action with wonderful world building.
Can't wait to read what the author brings out next.
Recommend reading.

I read a complimentary advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest review.
Doreen Fernandes
Apr 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Aaron and Ellen Dreyer along with 5 year old Caleb move into a small town. The town has secrets. Aaron is woken up in the middle of the night and sees a nightmarish entity moving around the vicinity. Then his neighbour is brutally murdered and eventually his son goes missing. Who is the creature? Will he ever find his son? A brilliantly crafted story which had my pulse racing.
Dawn J.
May 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Received this book free for an honest review. Very well written. Kept me wondering if truly horror, or just a natural phenom. True horror! A must read for horror reader. Characters are very likeable and believable. This could happen!
Jennifer Willison
Apr 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Sentinel is a page-turner that will not let you easily put it down.
Emily Haynes
Apr 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Aaron moves to a new town. His next door neighbor is killed violently. He see things in the woods. The town is hiding a dangerous secret.
May 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wow! From start to finish this book offers everything you need to get you on the edge of your seat, hiding behind the sofa, and shaking under your duvet.
I bet once you start it you won't be able to put it down.
It's just so creative and packed with wonderful descriptive scenes, dialogue is well written and the characters were fantastic.
I was given this free review copy ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review
Elizabeth Nettleton
May 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
"Sentinel" is a fantastic debut novel by Drew Starling. The story is about a young family, Ellen, Aaron and their son Caleb, who encounter something evil lurking in the woods near their country home. The book is very well written and entertaining, with compelling, believable characters and a plot that had me hooked from beginning to end. I highly recommend this book for horror fans, and I'm looking forward to the next installment!
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
When Ellen, Aaron, their young son and dog move to the town of Bensalem, everything seems perfect. It’s quiet, there’s only one neighbor, and their house is gorgeous. Little do they know, there’s something strange in the town of Bensalem. What starts as a sighting of a strange shadow thing and a few weird phone calls escalates quickly into a gruesome murder and the disappearance of their son. Ellen and Aaron find themselves in the middle of something that’s much bigger than what they thought.

Amy Thomas
Jun 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Drew Starling's debut novel follow a family who have recently moved to a town called Bensalem. It doesn't take long for their peaceful life to be interrupted by strange occurrences, a family dog that seems unsettled at night, and the murder of a close neighbour before culminating in the disappearance of their son, Caleb. As the police investigate, it becomes clear that something larger, and far more sinister is at play...

The thing that stands out to me most about Sentinel is how easy it is to re
May 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing

If you are looking for your latest "OMG! I couldn't put it down" read, or a great horror story with believable characters you care about from the start and don't know what will happen to them, you need not look any further.

The author sets the stage well, builds an underlying feeling of dread which only grows as the story progresses. Strange happenings, unbelievable events, horrific results, and no clear path to weave all of the pieces together - at least I wasn't able to - kep
Athena Galanis
May 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Received an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review.
Been a horror fan, ever since I can remember, but sadly most horror books or films, just make me laugh, they don't leave much for my imagination. Until someone told me about Drew !!!
You might feel a bit lost at the beginning of the book, but after a few pages, it's one of those books you can't seem to put down... you have to read it all at once ...
I can't wait for the next one !!!
Goes to my 2021 top books and it's only May 🤘
Jun 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Don't read this at night!!!

What would you do if you saw some huge creature walk across the periphery of your yard? Every night. Call the police? Confront it? Hide? Follow it? Get closer with a powerful light to see it better? Well, sometimes you might be better off moving. M!!!!r. Starling has written a scary tale. Keep your children close to you all times!! AS IF THAT WOULD MATTER!!!!
Liliyana Shadowlyn
Jun 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021-reads
The weather may be getting warmer, but this book will give you chills. What would you do to get your missing child back? Aaron and Ellen definitely find more than they ever expected when they set out on their journey to find and rescue their young son. This book had me on the edge of my seat, turning pages, wondering where the story would take me next. If you're looking for a story that will get your heart racing, and get your gut twisting, then look no further! ...more
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An Amazon bestselling author of horror and dark fiction, Drew Starling is a husband and dog dad who loves strong female leads, martial arts, and long walks in the woods with canine companions. He would like to think his plots are better than his prose, but strives to make his words sound both beautiful and terrifying at the same time. He listens to Beethoven, Megadeth, and Enya when he writes, and ...more

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