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review 2017-04-07 19:39
The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn
The Devil Crept In - Ania Ahlborn

This story starts out a little slow but it’s of the slow burn variety that builds into something terrible and terrifying so I didn’t mind too much.


Stevie's best and only friend, Jude, wandered out into the woods near their home one day and never came home. No one besides Jude's mother and Stevie seem terribly upset about it. Jude was an unlikable sort, sure, but the lack of interest in finding him is a little bothersome so Stevie decides to investigate on his own. He and Jude had spent endless hours in the forest doing what boys do in the woods and came upon a creepy old house. Stevie is certain that house has something to do with Jude’s disappearance.


This story is a mishmash of many horror-ish things. It’s a coming of age tale mixed up with remnants of King’s Pet Sematary and a splattering of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre but it’s totally its own story. What is eventually revealed is horrifying, disturbing and very gruesome and could give you nightmares if you think about the images too much.


I enjoyed the slow unraveling of this story and watching how the origin of a nightmare begins. Stevie was an interesting kid, struggling with a disorder that makes him a target and growing up with an assholish step-dad. He’s determined to find his friend and later he’s unafraid to stir up a little trouble to get at the truth. There’s a side story that I won’t reveal that absolutely captured me where one very unlucky woman is faced with a moral dilemma like none other I’ve ever read and I felt for her. She only wanted love but she got something else entirely!


A word of warning, if you need one, there are deaths in here and many of them happen to innocent little beasts but it’s all part of this story and felt like an awful, natural progression of one of the characters.


If you like your horror gory and creepy then this one’s for you.


I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley. Thanks, Netgalley!

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text 2017-04-06 15:42
Price Drop Alert $2.00
The Bird Eater - Ania Ahlborn

Missed this one, as I did? Here's your chance! It's $2.00 for the Kindle Amazon US  and for an additional $1.99 you can add narration! I recent finished up The Devil Crept In by this author (review coming . . . someday) and it was a creepy slow-burn, just the way I love them.


The Bird Eater by Ania Ahlborn
Horror Fiction  290 Pages
Amazon ♦ Goodreads
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.


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review 2017-03-08 15:00
The Devil Crept In Review
The Devil Crept In - Ania Ahlborn

Ania Ahlborn pumps fresh blood into a familiar plot with The Devil Crept In. Small towns, unspeakable evil, and missing kids are plot staples that every horror author plays with at some time. But The Devil Crept In doesn’t feel like it’s running down a well-worn path. Instead, there’s just enough familiarity to coax you into a false sense of security. You’ll finish it with a sigh of satisfaction if you’ve been craving a classic type of horror read.


The main character is Stevie who is a ten-year-old boy with some form of mental illness. He is cognizant enough of his mental state to realize that he’s not normal. His word salad, hallucinations, etc, are all things that he deals with daily. He has no friends, his dad left because of it, and he’s pretty much ostracized in the town because he’s ‘the weird kid’. Basically, a fairly accurate representation of the isolation and struggles that someone with untreated mental illness goes through on a daily basis. While I do have some associations with adult schizophrenics and other people with mental illnesses, I have never talked with one suffering from echolalia or seen them deal with visual hallucinations. So, I say ‘fairly accurate’ without having specific backup experience, just to be clear.


So, needless to say, when the feces flies, Stevie isn’t exactly the most reliable witness. But he’s a curious, brave, and strong little boy who is determined to find out what has happened to his cousin/best friend Jude. What he finds would be enough to scare the dickens out of even the most mentally stable person. What he finds is on a level that would make even ‘normal’ kids be given the stink-eye. But Stevie, like all plucky kid heroes, doesn’t sit back and shut up. In The Devil Crept In, Stevie’s bravery bursts out.  Stevie’s communication issues never make reading the story an issue, by the way.


The Devil Crept In is a disturbing, atmospheric novel that channels some old-school horror greatness. Two stories are told, with one starting several years back and leading up to present day. The switching back and forth is not excessive, and Ahlborn is careful about how much she reveals. There are characters to root for (sometimes even against your will) and well-placed action. Readers with kids may find a few of the scenes to be hard to handle, but it’s worth it to push through them.

Ania Ahlborn has already proven to be a talented horror writer. If she continues to deliver novels of the calibre we see in The Devil Crept In, she’ll be a force to be reckoned with in a few years.


Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley for review consideration.

Source: www.scifiandscary.com/the-devil-crept-in-review/#more-26478
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review 2017-02-25 06:28
Review of The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn
The Devil Crept In - Ania Ahlborn

I have loved Ania Ahlborn since I first read The Bird Eater and have since read everything that she has published. Although I have liked some books better than others, I can't say that she has written anything that I didn't enjoy; I don't actually think she's capable of that. Ania has a style that is hard to pin down, but you know the moment you pick up one of her books that it's hers and that this is what you need to be reading. The Devil Crept In is a book that you need to be reading.


Stevie Clark is a 10 year old with an odd speech tic and not a lot going for him. Jude Brighton is Stevie's cousin, best friend, and the center of Stevie's world. When Jude suddenly goes missing, Stevie's life comes to a standstill. Jude being gone is not an option. The more time that passes, the more urgently Stevie knows it is that he finds him. The rumors, the murmuring around town about the Larsen kid, the missing pets, something still out there... Sometimes the truth is worse than your nightmares and a lot whole harder to wake up from.


Hey Jude... where are you?


The Devil Crept In is my favorite book of Ania's since Seed, which has stayed with me since I first read it several years ago. The same building tension. The same creep factor. And I know that a book has gotten into my head when I find myself mentally rhyming words in the same cadence as the main character. Oops. I won't likely be forgetting this one any time soon and will, as always, be impatiently awaiting her next book. Thanks for another great read, Ania.


I received an advanced copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This is it.


© 2017 by Andi Rawson of Andreya's Asylum


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review 2017-02-13 02:09
The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn
The Devil Crept In - Ania Ahlborn

An unforgettable horror novel from bestselling sensation Ania Ahlborn—hailed as a writer of “some of the most promising horror I’ve encountered in years” (New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire)—in which a small-town boy investigates the mysterious disappearance of his cousin and uncovers a terrifying secret kept hidden for years.

Young Jude Brighton has been missing for three days, and while the search for him is in full swing in the small town of Deer Valley, Oregon, the locals are starting to lose hope. They’re well aware that the first forty-eight hours are critical and after that, the odds usually point to a worst-case scenario. And despite Stevie Clark’s youth, he knows that, too; he’s seen the cop shows. He knows what each ticking moment may mean for Jude, his cousin and best friend.

That, and there was that boy, Max Larsen...the one from years ago, found dead after also disappearing under mysterious circumstances. And then there were the animals: pets gone missing out of yards. For years, the residents of Deer Valley have murmured about these unsolved crimes…and that a killer may still be lurking around their quiet town. Now, fear is reborn—and for Stevie, who is determined to find out what really happened to Jude, the awful truth may be too horrifying to imagine.


At first, I had a hard time getting into this one. It was very slow going at the beginning, and I almost stopped reading it. But, it started picking up for me when learning the story about Otto, then it got really interesting and I ended up really enjoying it. I'm not going to go into the synopsis as other reviewers have done so already, but I do recommend it.


I know it isn't much of a review, but I haven't been feeling like writing reviews lately, so I apologize. 

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