Book Review: The Shuddering by Ania Ahlborn

5 out of 5 stars

Ok, so I’m a little late to the party reviewing this one. (My TBR list is long. So long.) But this one deserves a review, no matter how long it’s been out there.

I’m a horror writer. As such, I don’t get too freaked out by pretty much anything but my own imagination. This book gave me a nightmare. Literally. I had a freaking nightmare. Need I say more?

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Ok, I will.

I’m a longtime fan of Ahlborn’s. For those of you that don’t know, she’s an indie author, originally self-published, then picked up by Amazon’s imprint, 47North. She’s got about five books out, and they’re all worth a read.

This wasn’t what I thought it would be. Just looking at the description, I figured it would be more of a The Shining-type psychological thriller. Not that I dislike that kind of thing, but I’m more about the supernatural horror. I was positively gleeful when I realized it was supernatural.

The premise is this: A group of old friends (and one rather annoying newbie) get together for one last romp in the mountains before the unofficial ‘leader’ of the group moves away. Snowboarding, hanging out in a giant cabin, that sort of thing. Of course there’s some past drama that comes to the surface, and that’s what the majority of the first half of the book deals with. (Along with some side incidences of mayhem thrown in to keep you going.) Everything’s going relatively well, until they get snowed in. Then things start moving in the woods. Hungry things.

The thing Ahlborn does well (in all her books) is the slow burn, and this one is all about that burn. Agonizing, edge of your seat kind of burn. It’s wonderful. And the ending. Holy crap, the ending.

There were a couple instances of jarring POV shifts (which most people probably wouldn’t even notice, but I’m anal), but not enough to keep me from continuing.

Warning: If you don’t like gore, don’t read this. Although I don’t know why you would even be interested in horror if you can’t stand the blood. Go read a romance.

So pick this up for a nice Halloween read. (Or any of Ahlborn’s other books.) Like now, when winter is coming. You’ll never look at snow the same again.

 

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