I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Banished by Lou Yardley
on November 10 2020
Genres: Horror, Occult & Supernatural, Supernatural, Monster Horror
Format: eBook, ARC
Buy on Amazon
Welcome to the monstrous world of Venari. Try not to get eaten.
Elkbury is an idyllic village, hidden away in a rural area of pseudo-medieval Venari. It’s a place free of death and disease due to a mysterious ceremony called the Banishment. It’s a secret system that has worked well for decades. But, secrets rarely stay secret forever. When Hedwin’s grandmother is about to undertake her own Banishment, he and his best friend Laura Beth decide to find out what their beloved Anastasia is about to experience.
Just like disease, murder has no place in Elkbury, but it has wormed its way in. Wren Goodwort takes it upon herself to find the mysterious killer and clear her name in the process.
Soon Wren, Hedwin, Laura Beth, and the rest of the villagers are thrown together to fight for their lives as deadly, monstrous, and hungry secrets are uncovered and Elkbury’s delicate balance is destroyed.
“Banished” will introduce you to your new favourite monsters; some human, some not.
Banished is the newest offering from one of my favourite indie authors, Lou Yardley. She teaches us that deception is a fruit best left well alone. Every village has its secrets and Elkbury is no exception, the residents will find this out the hard way. Wren, Hedwin and the villagers will come to regret no questioning everything. On the outside it seems they all have the perfect life – a safe village to live out their lives, no death and disease, all thanks to a secret ceremony called The Banishment. You know what they say about illusions, they are there to be shattered.
The Banishment ceremony should ensure that murder isn’t a part of Elkbury but alas with the confines of human nature it has found a way to take root once again. Starting Banished immediately had my back teeth crunching and my stomach churning. Slowly, slowly, kind of like leaving a back gate open, the doubts start creeping in. Once they were embedded in my brain they would multiply and fester and the more I looked around the more I feared for the residents. They say that finding out the truth will set you free but what if the truth will tear you apart?
Banished is another novel from Lou that just completely blew me away. The cover immediately grabs you and it’s a book that has you intrigued before you read a word of its contents. Lou writes horror superbly and I have her in the same category as another amazing horror writer with an imagination like no other – Hunter Shea. The characters voices come alive and her narrative can dance in from of your eyes. Lou creates the most authentic prose, and her world building becomes dream like but so freaking horrific at the same time.
The strongest part of this novel and in my opinion Lou’s strongest to date is just how each word paves the way for the characters to get into your mind. She feeds us them intravenously, and once they are in our psyche, they are here to stay. Her technically supreme skill at creating multi- dimensional characters is what keeps you coming back for more – every.damn.time. Lou’s novels always have a wide range of emotions ready to pounce at you at the turn of a page and Banished was no different. Her protagonists are human with strengths and weaknesses with hopes and regrets and its delivered with a swift punch to the genitals!
We have a priest that apparently has the resident’s best interests at heart but has more than one skeleton in the closet. A Seer that sees it all – all she needs is you hand, attached or not. A village that pub that knows more than it’d like to know, gossip and deceit being a part of all village inns. Lou has sewed many different fates together with more than a little bloodshed along the way.
Banished is a visceral but palpitatingly dark horror that investigates the secretive nature of communities and secret cults. It’s not for the squeamish but it’s almost impossible to put down.
ABOUT LOU YARDLEY
Planted on this planet by a rogue team of aliens, Lou Yardley has largely been left to her own devices. This has resulted in a coffee addiction, an obsession with hats, and an ever-growing collection of horror stories. These tales are steeped in gore as much as possible, as Lou loves when things get messy. We really don’t want to think about what her home planet is like. We suspect it’s very sticky… and it’s best not to think about what those stains are. I wouldn’t touch anything if I were you.
Until the mothership comes to collect her, Lou is doing her indie horror thing somewhere just outside of London in the UK. She lives with her other half, Mark, and their feline overlords.
You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram or you can get more involved through her mailing list or by becoming a patron. Links are included below.
Lou would like you to know that there should be more horror films with puppets. Puppets are cool.