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Brother by Ania Ahlborn

Brother by Ania Ahlborn
Published by Gallery Books on 29 September 2015
Genres: Horror
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased Book
Buy on Amazon
five stars - Brother by Ania Ahlborn

Brotherfollows a teenager determined to break from his family’s unconventional—and deeply disturbing—traditions.

Deep in the heart of Appalachia stands a crooked farmhouse miles from any road. The Morrows keep to themselves, and it’s served them well so far. When girls go missing off the side of the highway, the cops don’t knock on their door. Which is a good thing, seeing as to what’s buried in the Morrows’ backyard.

But nineteen-year-old Michael Morrow isn’t like the rest of his family. He doesn’t take pleasure in the screams that echo through the trees. Michael pines for normalcy, and he’s sure that someday he’ll see the world beyond West Virginia. When he meets Alice, a pretty girl working at a record shop in the small nearby town of Dahlia, he’s immediately smitten. For a moment, he nearly forgets about the monster he’s become. But his brother, Rebel, is all too eager to remind Michael of his place…

Brother has ruined me for other horror novels. This was the piece de resistance of extreme. Darker than a motherfucking black hole.

To say I have a soft spot for horror stories that push against the boundaries of what is deemed acceptable in modern literature is an understatement. For this reason, I have been getting into extreme horror lately in a big way. It’s the kind of story that ends up like a sticky spiderweb – you turn and get trapped further, the spider a never-ending threat that pushes further on the edge of your peripheral vision. It stalks you slowly, ramping up the fear and the anticipation. That is exactly how I see extreme horror.

Brother is one such book that evoked all the emotions from me. As soon as I finished the book, I had considered throwing it across the room due to how it was left. I felt angry, shocked, annoyed, I felt it all. I will always rate a book 5 stars that is able to exude that kind of emotion from me as a reader. I felt destroyed. I was walking around the house aimlessly, not knowing what to do next. I knew I couldn’t have started another book, but I didn’t know what to do either. I read this as a buddy read with anna_reads_horror on tik Tok and I could barely wait for her to finish so we could talk about it. I felt unhinged!

So, Brother…out in the West Virginia sticks live the Morrow family. They are a family with secrets. Bloody ones. Micheal wants to break free of their bloody secrets. He isn’t like the rest. Maybe because he isn’t. The Morrow family took Micheal as a three-year-old boy and brought him up like their own. They taught him to hunt and prepare a carcass for butchering. The things that that prepared him for doing was diabolical.

One thing this book does incredibly well is the examination of Nurture vs. nature. Is a killer made or born? In Brother’s case it is certainly nurtured into one. Micheal was only a baby when he was taken from his family. He is surrounded by bloodlust predominately from his mother and his brother Reb.

Now, Reb is a different beast entirely. He is sadistic, calculated and hates his adoptive brother Micheal. He does things to Micheal that only a psychopath would be capable of. Adding someone of my comments during the buddy read to show just how this made me feel at different points –

‘Momma liked her girls young’ urgh, I’ve a really bad feeling 13%

‘Why do you think your family left you outside. They don’t want you no more’ 14%

‘OMG just imagine if that firework had gone off in his hands. 30%

‘He yearned to touch her, but the idea of doing it while she was breathing scared him.’ URGH 43%

‘a party aint a party without a splash of red’ OH NO 77%


PSX 20210425 224806 01 1 - Brother by Ania Ahlborn

Born in Ciechanow Poland, Ania has always been drawn to the darker, mysterious, and sometimes morbid sides of life. Her earliest childhood memory is of crawling through a hole in the chain link fence that separated her family home from the large wooded cemetery next door. She’d spend hours among the headstones, breaking up bouquets of silk flowers so that everyone had their equal share.

Author of nine novels, Ania’s books have been lauded by the likes of Publisher’s Weekly, The New York Daily News, and The New York Times. Some titles have been optioned for film.

Hailing from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Ania currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina.

Ania Ahlborn

five stars - Brother by Ania Ahlborn


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