When I hear the word ‘sentinels’, my first thought is of the towering, mutant-killing robots from X-MEN. Author Matt Manochio’s recent book, SENTINELS, has nothing to do with automatons, however its antagonists are just as menacing. And whereas superpowers might work battling Marvel’s metal giants, Manochio’s sentinels offer no such hope.
If you are not familiar with SENTINELS, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Samhain Publishing:
These are no ordinary killers. They don’t distinguish between good and evil. They just kill. South Carolina’s a ruthless place after the Civil War. And when Sheriff’s Deputy Noah Chandler finds seven Ku Klux Klansmen and two Northern soldiers massacred along a road, he cannot imagine who would murder these two diametrically opposed forces. When a surviving Klansman babbles about wraiths, and is later murdered inside a heavily guarded jail cell, Noah realizes something sinister stalks his town. He believes a freed slave who’s trying to protect his farm from a merciless land baron can help unmask the killers. Soon Noah will have to personally confront the things good men must do to protect their loved ones from evil.
Earlier this year, in January, I had the pleasure of reviewing Manochio’s book THE DARK SERVANT. I was very impressed with the originality of his concept for that one, and I can say the same here.
SENTINELS is written well and flows with a nice, fluid rhythm. The pacing is spot on, and the plot unfolds with perfect balance. There’s even a nice twist that shows up later in the book, and thankfully, it is not cliche or over the top. In short, this book offers a solid and entertaining reading experience.
The characters are well thought-out, however I feel like more backstory could have been offered on a couple of them. This isn’t a detractor to the story, and it does not cut down on the enjoyment the book offers…however, I do feel like it warrants mentioning. Still, the main characters (such as Noah) are fleshed-out and believable.
The story in SENTINELS is fresh and engaging. As I mentioned, the concept of Manochio’s ‘sentinels’ is original, and I never once rolled my eyes at any overused horror tropes or banalities. This book is an island of refuge in a sea of overused horror plots.
SENTINELS is a great book, and I suggest giving it a look. Manochio is an author to watch, and I’m excited to see what he gives us next. SENTINELS is available now in a variety of formats.