Sunday, October 11, 2015

Review: BROTHER by Ania Ahlborn


Publisher: Gallery Books
Pub. Date: September 29, 2015
Genre: Horror
Source: Print ARC
Rating: 4 Stars

From the bestselling horror author of Within These Walls and The Bird Eater comes a brand-new novel of terror that follows a teenager determined to break from his family’s unconventional—and deeply disturbing—traditions.

Deep in the heart of Appalachia stands a crooked farmhouse miles from any road. The Morrows keep to themselves, and it’s served them well so far. When girls go missing off the side of the highway, the cops don’t knock on their door. Which is a good thing, seeing as to what’s buried in the Morrows’ backyard.

But nineteen-year-old Michael Morrow isn’t like the rest of his family. He doesn’t take pleasure in the screams that echo through the trees. Michael pines for normalcy, and he’s sure that someday he’ll see the world beyond West Virginia. When he meets Alice, a pretty girl working at a record shop in the small nearby town of Dahlia, he’s immediately smitten. For a moment, he nearly forgets about the monster he’s become. But his brother, Rebel, is all too eager to remind Michael of his place…


What in the hell did I just read?! Brother is like Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets Saw; except instead of the victims pov, we get the villains view instead. Sounds cool, right? Well, it's disturbing as all get out, but lost of all it's incredibly sad. Sad to see a family be so jaded to abuse, murder, incest, cannibalism... Yet also terrifying to live in so much animosity and fear. Michael, the character the book is mainly centered around, dreams of getting out. Out of a family who work together to torture and kill young girls. It's sort of a game; a sport to them. There is nothing whatsoever redeeming about the novel I just devoured but that's what I love about it so much. Is something seriously wrong with me?

The Morrow family is...a fucked up, dysfunctional family who thrive on fear and the pain that causes that fear. One incredible thing about their predicament is that they live out in the wilderness where no one can hear the screaming and begging of life. The pleading and hollow look in their eyes when they realize that no one is going to save them. It gives me chills just thinking about it. There's so much I can't say without giving stuff away! The terrifying vibe the whole story pulled off is perfect for Halloween and horror fans alike. Surprisingly, I was still able to read the book alone in the dark. Because the story isn't scary in the terms that things jump out at you; more like the things that don't pop out at you until it's too late. And next thing you know, you're tied up about to be slaughtered like a pig.

Honestly, I would love to go back and read the book again. Sure, it makes me sound like a freak, but I loved the writing so much. To be in the author's head, I have to say that her mind is as fucked up as Stephen King. And I mean that in the highest compliments. Overall, I totally recommend this creepy book to 17 + readers. There are some pretty gruesome and disturbing things in Brother. For the adults...well if you don't have an open mind going into this, I suggest staying clear. Or don't... If you do, don't say I didn't warn you *maniacally laughs*
All jokes aside, this is a great read and I can't recommend enough that it's the perfect October read.

* Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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About the Author:
Born in Ciechanow Poland, Ania has always been drawn to the darker, mysterious, and sometimes morbid sides of life. Her earliest childhood memory is of crawling through a hole in the chain link fence that separated her family home from the large wooded cemetery next door. She’d spend hours among the headstones, breaking up bouquets of silk flowers so that everyone had their equal share.

Author of eight novels, Ania's books have been lauded by the likes of Publisher's Weekly, The New York Daily News, and The New York Times. Some titles have been optioned for film.

Hailing from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Ania currently lives in Portland, Oregon.

For more from Ania, visit her site, or connect via social media on Facebook and Twitter.

Twitter: @aniaahlborn

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