5 Stars: “Seed” by Ania Ahlborn

Posted: 12th July 2014 by Jason Kristopher in Books


From Amazon.com:

With nothing but the clothes on his back—and something horrific snapping at his heels—Jack Winter fled his rural Georgia home when he was still just a boy. Watching the world he knew vanish in a trucker’s rearview mirror, he thought he was leaving an unspeakable nightmare behind forever. But years later, the bright new future he’s built suddenly turns pitch black, as something fiendishly familiar looms dead ahead.

When Jack, his wife Aimee, and their two small children survive a violent car crash, it seems like a miracle. But Jack knows what he saw on the road that night, and it wasn’t divine intervention. The profound evil from his past won’t let them die…at least not quickly. It’s back, and it’s hungry; ready to make Jack pay for running, to work its malignant magic on his angelic youngest daughter, and to whisper a chilling promise: I’ve always been here, and I’ll never leave.

Country comfort is no match for spine-tingling Southern gothic suspense in Ania Ahlborn’s tale of an ordinary man with a demon on his back. Seed plants its page-turning terror deep in your soul, and lets it grow wild.

I’ll freely admit it: I don’t generally like horror, other than the occasional Stephen King, and even that is falling by the wayside these days. And yes, I know how ironic it is that a zombie apocalypse author doesn’t like horror books.

So when Ania Ahlborn kept pestering me to read her book Seed, I was more than a little leery about it (not really; she’s just active on Twitter and I finally figured I should see what the heck all the fuss was about). I sampled the first chapter or so, and it was good enough that I thought I’d give it a try – which is saying something, considering that, as I said, I don’t generally like horror.

If I had to sum up the book in one word, it would be this: Phenomenal.

I felt like I was a part of Jack Winter (the protagonist), suffering through the trials of his life and wondering what was going to happen next. Creepy and scary without being gory, the book hooked me early and reeled me in the whole way through. I was turning pages faster than my Kindle app could keep up, it seemed.

It’s well-written, with evocative prose that makes you feel like you’re in the setting, that you’re right there with the characters. And let me tell you – the little girl is beyond creepy. So well done that there were several points I considered putting the book down, if only to keep from having to see what hideously shiver-inducing action came next.

There was only one fault I could find with the book: the ending. I want to be absolutely clear here, though, so make sure you read this carefully. The ending was as well done as the rest of the book, and followed naturally through from the rest of the story. It was almost like it had to end that way, because anything else would seem trite or contrived. And that’s fine; that’s how a lot of life is, if you look at it through distance/time. It would never have worked with the rest of the story, and would’ve been an awful way to end the book, but I was hoping for a different ending, regardless. That’s just me, though, and I would never dock her a star because I wanted a cookie-cutter ending. 🙂

Ms. Ahlborn did a great job. I cannot emphasize this highly enough. If she got me to read all the way to the end and enjoy the book – despite the shudders – then you need to read it if you’re a horror fan at all. Buy this book. Period, end of story.

Originally published on moderndayhitchhiker.com.

  1. Came across her work thanks the Kindle First release of The Bird Eater, which made me get The Shuddering. Another great page-turner. I’ll be checking out Seed and The Neighbors sometime soon.

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