Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Book Review: The Bird Eater by Ania Ahlborn

Title: The Bird Eater
Author: Ania Ahlborn
Publisher: 47 North
Date of Publication: April 1, 2014
Source: Kindle Firsts book program, ARC
Rating: Horror, adult

Goodreads Description:

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.
My Thoughts:

I first came across The Bird Eater from the Kindle First program.  I was able to pick one book to read that hasn't been published yet and buy it at a discounted price.  (Click on the link to find out more)
When I came across this book, that name really stood out.  Then after I read the synopsis, I figured I needed to grab this one up soon.  And whew boy!  This book had me scared witless a good amount of the time.  
You know how you watch a scary movie with one hand in front of your face (I do anyways) and you are peeking through your fingers at the good (terrifying) scenes?  Well imagine that....but with a book.  And it's really hard to read with one hand in front of your face.  
I usually don't watch the horror movies with ghosts, or those "based on a true story" ones, like Paranormal Activity or Insidious, because I know I will be up all night watching out for anything that looks or sounds suspicious.  
But a book?  I figured I could get through okay with a book.  
Yeah.  Right.  

The Bird Eater just throws you right into the mix.  Right into the "hey lets scare the hell out of you right now!!" scenes; and there is no where you rather be.  The first chapter I was already hooked and just had to keep reading to find out what would happen next.  
The plot was amazingly terrifying and intensely creative for me.  But again, I am more of a vampire, zombie, or werewolf kinda girl - not the evil little kid terror ones.  So, this was definitely out of my comfort zone but I feel like I have found an author that I have to read more of now.  Ania Alhborn is a force to be reckoned with in the horror genre indeed.  
As the plot goes through, we find out little tidbits of the Holbrook House and the inhabitants of it as more crazy and weird things seem to happen.  The author doesn't flood us with the past all in the beginning; instead we found out information here and there through the dreams and other people's experiences through the whole book even towards the end.  It is definitely a climatic buildup for the terror you experience as the characters deal with the paranormal activities that surround them.  
Besides being frightening, though, the story is thought-provoking too.  It makes you question the reasons some kids have this evil demeanor about them compared to just simple bullying.  This kid in the book is the true essence of evil but even that isn't the surprise that awaits us in the story.  The Bird Eater has so many twists and turns  in it that you really won't figure out everything until the last page of the book.  And even then?  I still have questions that made me stay up late into the night trying to answer for myself.  

The only issue I really had with the book was the time lapse between Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.  Instead, I wished there was a Prologue perhaps?  And at the end too, maybe there could have been an Epilogue instead.   I think that would have helped us with the transition more .  
Other than that, The Bird Eater was a wonderfully terrifying look into what really lurks behind those creepy houses and the people that live there.  Is it creepy because of just its look? Or is it a feeling that makes you realize it is truly sinister?  
If you are a fan of horror and love a story that leaves you jumping at every darkened corner and creaking noise, while you read then you have got to grab The Bird Eater!  
Hell, I still need someone to go with me to the bathroom at night time now.  But I can't wait til I read another Ania Alhborn story.

"Fear was supposed to be born of nightshade and thunderstorms; it wasn't supposed to exist beneath the blue of a summer sky."
The Bird Eater, Chapter 16, 69%

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