Happy Friday the 13th bookworms! It seems only fitting that I share a review of a horror book with you today. After reading ‘The Devil Crept In’ by Ania Ahlborn earlier this year and deeming it creeptastic, it seems only fitting that I share another review for an Ahlborn book, this time for Brother.
From the back cover:
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…
It’s certified – Ahlborn knows how to write creepy! The Morrows are one twisted, dysfunctional family; from the blurb you can made an educated guess as to what’s buried in their back yard but, let me tell you, that is the least disturbing thing about this plot. What I really liked about this book was the horror feel it had to it; sometimes you read a book categorised as horror but are left feeling like maybe the book would be better suited to the thriller category or the read was dark but not in a ‘horror-genre’ way. Ahlborn knows what she’s doing, Brother is undeniably dark, creepy and disturbingly horror.
When I read ‘The Devil Crept In’, it had me flinching but Brother delivers a different, but equally good, kind of horror – the kind that settles in your bones and stays there for the entire read because this family is so disturbed, you can never even begin to understand their logic or their actions, and so you just feel unsettled, uncomfortable even.
You can see Michael battling his inner demons, his desire for normalcy and while he’s not a likeable character, you are invested in his plight – is blood thicker than water, Rebel certainly thinks so. I loved the cleverness of this plot, the disturbed use of family ties as a central theme, misguided loyalty. The Morrow family is savage, and if you’re not a regular reader/watcher of horror, you may find the content of this book particularly gory. I flew through this book, reading the majority in one night, so I’d definitely say this is a quick read, despite it not being a thriller, you’re sucked into the plot and left to dwell in this family’s dysfunction.
I really enjoyed this book and have decided I’m going to make my way through all Ahlborn’s books because I’m so impressed with the way she writes horror. If you’re looking for a creepy Halloween read, I highly recommend Brother.