With Halloween fast approaching, horror novels have been flying off the shelves. One of the most provoking novels comes from Ania Ahlborn, author of “The Bird Eaters” and “Within These Walls.” Titled simply “Brother,” Ahlborn takes us on a journey to backwoods Appalachia, where our young protagonist Michael lives with his twisted family. This novel is not for the faint of heart by any means, and takes you on a terrifying adventure through the darkest corners of the mountains.
Released on September 29, “Brother” is a brand new piece, and it makes Ahlborn’s previous works look tame. As a baby Michael is picked up from the side of the street by a deranged family, and at nineteen years old, he desperately wants out. He is constantly tormented by his older brother Ray, who goes by the name Rebel, and he feels completely trapped in his West Virginia life. When Michael meets Alice, a young girl from a neighboring town, he thinks he has found true love. However, his family is not shy to put him back in his place.
The novel is extremely creepy and sometimes gory, as Ahlborn notes some of her literary inspirations as Joe Hill, Stephen King, and Gillian Flynn. This is apparent throughout “Brother,” as it emulates the horror and dread of some of the greatest shock novels. The book has a peculiar air about it that will make you not want to put it down. The suspense is just one facet of the piece, and there are so many absurd plot twists you will just be dying to know what happens next. Again, I say that “Brother” is not for faint-hearted individuals. You will need a strong will, a strong mind, and even a strong stomach to be able to get through this entire chiller.