Book Review: The Shuddering (Ania Ahlborn)

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A group of friends, including twins Ryan and Jane, gather at a mountain cabin in Colorado for a weekend of fun.   Drama unfolds instantly, as Jane’s ex-boyfriend brings his new fiancé and Ryan finds himself falling for Jane’s friend. As the group deals with their personal issues, something far more sinister in unfolding in the forest. Watching them. As the snow turns to a blizzard, leaving the group stranded, the things in the forest begin to attack, turning the winter blanket of snow blood red and leaving each person shuddering in fear.

 The Shuddering by Ania Ahlborn is a horror thriller set in the mountains of Colorado.   I have said it numerous times, and I’ll say it again, I am a ride or die Ania Ahlborn fan.   As far as I am concerned, all of her stories are gold.   This one is a survival story as a group of friends fight to defend themselves from an unspeakable evil haunting them in the snowy woods.  This one was a quick read; I had no problems finishing it in an afternoon.

Jane and Ryan are on the way up to their father’s cabin for a weekend of winter fun. Joining them are Ryan’s best friend, Sawyer (subsequently, Jane’s ex- boyfriend) and his new fiancé April. Jane’s best friend Lauren is also along for the ride. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to them, a man has been slaughtered in the woods by an unnamed creature while searching for firewood.   After their arrival, the group begins to hear things in the woods. A shuddering in the trees. Once they realize the danger they are in, it is simply too late and they must fight for their lives. The novel reads like a movie; could easily imagine this one being sold for film rights.

As usual in Ahlborn’s writing, she has some supernatural elements and her descriptions are vivid and detailed. She spares no expense in her accounts of the attacks or the creatures in the woods. This makes for an incredibly chilling and eerie reading experience.  She also develops each character significantly, bringing their backstories and weaving them together to build tension.

I found that this one lacked some of the twists and turns that I have learned to love most about Ahlborn’s work. I found it to be more to the point, which is fine, just not as complex as some of her other writings.

Although not my favourite novel, I still enjoyed reading this tale and found it to be perfect for wintertime. If you are someone looking for a lighter horror read, then this one would ease your craving. However, if you are looking for something blow-you-mind scary or fantastic. I’d skip this one and pick up Brother instead ( you can find my full review for that one here!) or wait for her new February release called The Devil Crept In (my full review for that one is here).

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