Twenty years ago, the mysterious death of his aunt left Aaron Holbrook orphaned and alone. He abandoned his rural Arkansas hometown vowing never to return, until his seven-year-old son died in an accident, plunging Aaron into a nightmare of addiction and grief.
Desperate to reclaim a piece of himself, he returns to the hills of his childhood, to Holbrook House, where he hopes to find peace among the memories of his youth. But solace doesn't come easy. Someone or something has other plans.
Like Aaron, Holbrook House is but a shell of what it once was, a target for vandals and ghost hunters who have nicknamed it the devil's den. Aaron doesn't believe in the paranormal at least, not until a strange boy begins following him wherever he goes.
Plagued by violent dreams and disturbing visions, Aaron begins to wonder if he's losing his mind. But a festering darkness lurks at the heart of Holbrook House, a darkness that grins from within the shadows, delighting in Aaron's sorrow, biding its time.
I've read some of Ania Ahlborn's work before and loved it. The Bird Eater was no different. I loved this book and was completely enthralled throughout!
I like the title of this book. When I saw it, I wanted to know right away what the book would be about. The title is definitely mysterious although it's explained in the story.
I don't really like the cover. It's not really scary enough. This is definitely a spooky book, so I would've liked to see a bit of a more spooky cover.
I thought the world building was fantastic! There were a few times when I was questioning the main character's choices such as why he didn't describe or ask around about the boy that was shadowing him. However, I don't know what I would do if that situation ever happened to me. I loved how the story took place in a small town. I find small towns creepier than big cities.
The pacing was perfect! Never once did I feel bored with this book. In fact, it was hard to put down. I constantly had to know what would happen next!
I'm a big fan of horror, but I'm really picky about what kind of horror I read. Luckily, the plot held my attention. At the beginning of the book, the reader is introduced to a teenage boy who has an affinity for evil. Aaron's aunt is murdered by this boy, and Aaron is shipped off to another state. After the death of his young son, Aaron returns to his childhood home on the advice of his therapist. From there, Aaron spirals into what he thinks is insanity but what is actually something a lot more sinister. There's a little bit of a plot twist, but I didn't feel like it was a big one. I didn't think there was a cliff hanger ending, but let's just say that another book could be written to make this a series if the author wanted it to be.
I found the characters to be very well written. It was easy to like Aaron and also to feel sorry for him. He's a man who is very depressed and still grieving the loss of his young son. Aaron's wife has left him due to him being so depressed. He wants to get better for himself and also so his wife will take him back. The spooky kid was also a great character. I thought he had just the right enough amount of scariness without making him a cheesy character.
I really enjoyed the dialogue. The author didn't use words that I found difficult to understand. The dialogue seems to be written for the average person (such as myself). I felt the dialogue flowed very smoothly and never once felt disjointed or awkward. There is some swearing is this book and a lot of violence and gore. This book doesn't really have any sex in it though.
Overall, The Bird Eater by Ania Ahlborn is a fantastic book that will delight fans of the horror genre. With a great setting, fantastic world building, and a super sinister character, this is a book that horror fans can not afford to miss!
I'd recommend this book to those aged 18+ who are big fans of horror and thrillers. The violence and gore may put some people off though.
I'd give The Bird Eater by Ania Ahlborn a 5 out of 5.
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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.
Beyond writing, Ania enjoys gourmet cooking, baking, movies, drawing, and traveling. She currently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico with her husband and two dogs, Beau the Scottie and Galaxy the Yorkie.
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(I received this book in ebook format through Amazon's Kindle Owners' Lending Library. I was not required to write a review).