Book Review: Brother (Ania Ahlborn)




If you are looking for a book to get you into a Halloween spirit or are a horror novel enthusiast, then look no further for your next read!   Michael Morrow lives deep in the backwoods with his family. He is a typical 19-year-old boy; figuring out where he fits in his household dynamic and pining for a local girl who works at the record store. The only issue is that Michael’s family is made up of cannibalistic serial killers. They say that blood is thicker than water, but what happens to a family when blood is the main issue….

Brother, written by Ania Ahlborn, is hands down, the best novel I have read all year. The book opens with Michael in his room, listening to the sounds of a screaming woman on his front lawn. This is seemingly a typical experience, as he does not react more than to complain about the noise keeping him awake.   Talk about a beginning! Throughout the book, we see Michael’s struggle with his role in the “family business” and his budding relationship with a young woman who works in a record store.

I, personally, did not find this novel particularly gory. I am, however, a horror movie enthusiast though so a little blood and guts don’t generally get to me. Besides,this book has so many twists and turns throughout the plot, it was totally worth the read!

First, it seems it will just be a typical serial killer story but it truly is so much more than that.   The story definitely has a Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets The Hills Have Eyes vibe; it had an eerie ambiance and made me feel uneasy. I was absolutely on the edge of my seat while I was reading this.  Each chapter, some told through the perspective of Michael and others told through his brother, Ray (Reb), gave new insights into the family, the plot and a new twist.

One of my favourite parts of this novel, besides the plot twists, was the dynamic between the Morrow family. It was phenomenally written. I loved how Ahlborn gave the opportunity for all the relationships to unfold and even though the story was told through the eyes of the two brothers, it didn’t feel as if we were missing a narrative perspective. The juxtaposition between sympathetic Michael, an anti-hero really, and his sadistic brother Ray (Rebel) was fascinating to watch play out.

The ending of this novel left me shocked and speechless.   I had to process it for a good hour after I read it. It was amazing.

I cannot wait to read another book by this author!


6 thoughts on “Book Review: Brother (Ania Ahlborn)

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