Book Review: Brother

BROTHER | Ania Ahlborn
09.29.2015 | Gallery Books
Rating: 4/5 stars


Deep in the Appalachian woods is a farmhouse full of secrets. The Morrows reside here. They keep to themselves and are hardly seen in the neighboring town as they live a largely self-sufficient life on their property. The highway is full of hitchhikers, so the local cops don’t bat an eye when a string of girls go missing. They certainly don’t believe there is a connection to The Morrows, however, hidden beneath the ground of their property lies the truth.

Day or night, dead was dead.

Michael Morrow has never fit in with his family. He knows that he was adopted at a young age, saved by The Morrows from a life and family that didn’t want him. Unlike the rest of the family, he can’t seem to sleep soundly at night with the screams coming up from the basement. The tasks his family asks of him are unspeakable and deep down he knows that he could never tell another soul about what happens in his home. When Michael finally gets the chance to be out in the real world and explore the small nearby town of Dahlia he becomes swept away in thoughts of running away from West Virginia. He’s found a girl, Alice, who he thinks could come to love and accept him. As Michael’s mind dreams of a new life with Alice, he begins to forget the real one he lives in and danger in the form of his brother, Rebel, is lurking, patiently waiting to strike. Is Michael destined to remain with The Morrows or will he be able to escape this prison he calls home?

If that house we’re alive, it would feed on happiness and breathe out nothing but screaming and hate.

Ania Ahlborn explores the disturbing family that is The Morrows within the pages of BROTHER. This family has so many secrets that with each chapter something new comes out about one of the members, the family’s past, and their plans for the future. The Morrows see nothing wrong with abducting the girls hitchhiking along the highway, keeping them prisoner, murdering them, and doing so much more. Somehow these unspeakable acts aren’t the worst thing about The Morrow family. Trust me, this family is messed up on too many levels to count!

Every kindness, no matter how small, was anchored in blood.

The standout characters that drive this novel are easily Michael and his brother, Rebel. Michael is the golden child, but he’s also adopted. These two factors do nothing but insight rage in Rebel. Their relationship is one of fear. Michael is terrified of Rebel and for good reason. Rebel has all the screws loose and he’s hellbent on revenge for a string of wrongs he has experienced. What exactly is his revenge plan? Oh, you just wait and see! The plot to BROTHER is deliciously clever and Ahlborn will leave you guessing until the very end. If you’re looking for a perfect creepy Halloween read, look no further! I can’t wait to explore more of Ahlborn’s work and see what else she has in store for readers. I’ve already decided that THE DEVIL CREPT IN will be my next read from her, but if you have other favorites, let me know!

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