Twenty years ago, Aaron’s aunt, his main caregiver, passed away unexpectedly in her home (known as Holbrook House), leaving him alone. After his seven-year-old son passes away in an accident, he finds himself back to her home in Arkansas as he tries to deal with his own grief and his addictions. Once he arrives back home, he hears stories and rumors of what has been happening at Holbrook House. Aaron doesn’t believe in the paranormal but begins to change his tune when he begins to see a strange boy everywhere he goes. As Aaron becomes more paranoid, begins experiencing visions and having strange dreams, whatever is happening at Holbrook House seems to be getting stronger….will Aaron be able to fight his own demons to stay alive or will what is happening in Holbrook House consume him?
The Bird Eater, by horror genius Ania Ahlborn, is a twist on a haunted house story that could potentially give you nightmares. WHAT A CREEPY BOOK! The beginning starts off slow, but as the plot comes together, weaving intricately the past and the present, the pace quickens…. as will your heart rate!
The novel opens with Aaron returning back to Arkansas based on the recommendation of his therapist. His son is dead, in an accident he blames himself for, and his wife has left him. He is going back to home to revisit his roots, renovate his old him and try to restart his life. Upon his arrival, he sees a boy. He assumes the kid is there to play pranks on him but when he starts having visions and the boy is visiting more consistently, he starts to believe something more sinister is going on.
This one is hard to explain without giving away spoilers but be known that, as with most of Ahlborn’s work, this one is dark and twisted. There wasn’t a lot of gore or overused horror tactics; instead, I found that this novel just made me feel downright uneasy and creeped out.
Ahlborn writes a vivid narrative filled with complex characters. I especially loved the development of Aaron. Noting his issues with addiction gives this tale a maddening twist. Is he a reliable narrator? Can he be trusted? Both the characters of the story (and myself!) grapple with this throughout the narrative.
Fans of dark and twisty will love this one! I gave it 4/5 stars on Goodreads!