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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Review: The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn (and a listing of all her books!)

The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Gallery Books
Publishes 2/7/17

Where do I even begin?! I accidentally stumbled across Ania ages ago when her first book, Seed, happened to be on sale for $0.99. As a lover of horror, how could I pass up something that sounded so intriguing for less than a dollar?! It truly creeped me out and I've followed her ever since, getting each of her subsequent books on their release days and have enjoyed EVERY SINGLE BOOK. Imagine how happy I was (I may have even squealed a little) when I was given an advanced copy of her latest book, The Devil Crept In. This is one of the best yet!

Written in three parts, we meet Stevie in part one. His cousin and best (only) friend, Jude, has gone missing and he will do anything to try and find him. What will he do when no one else will give him the time of day, including his own family? How can he get them to understand that Jude is out there somewhere and he's afraid it might have something to do with the scary house they stumble upon every once in a while? Or is he just imaging things since he has episodes of seeing things that aren't really there? I really fell in love with Stevie and my heart went out to him and his quest. Because then Jude comes home and there's something just not quite right about him and only Stevie seems to know it.

Part 2, we meet Rosie - an introverted woman who has basically been told all her life she's not good enough. She recluses herself with her husband as they try for a child. Tragedy occurs and she meets Ras, who asks what she would do for the one thing that she wants. Anything. And anything, she does. What wouldn't a mother do for her child? How far would she go? How much can she take?

Part 3 brings the two storylines together ... the devil sure does creep in and everyone is affected. In reading the first two parts I started to wonder how in the world they would mesh but mesh they DID. And so seamlessly. The author builds the world in such a way that you're enthralled, creeped out completely but you just can't look away! I felt for Stevie, I felt for Jude, I felt for their families, I felt for Rosie, I even felt for her child, Otto.

Ania has done it again - don't hesitate - if you like creepy well written horror, pre-order this book NOW! Seriously, what are you doing? STOP reading this and go get on it! You won't be disappointed.

Huge heartfelt thanks to Ania, Gallery Books and NetGalley for this advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

Below is a listing of her other books and their synopses (taken from Goodreads).  I highly recommend each and every one of them.  While I may have loved more than others, I still hold all of them in a special place in my black little horror loving heart.


In the vine-twisted swamps of Louisiana, the shadows have teeth.

Jack Winter has spent his entire life running from something no one else can see. His childhood is his darkest secret, but after a near fatal accident along a deserted road, the darkness he was sure he’d escaped rears its ugly head… and smiles.

But this time, he isn’t the only one who sees the soulless eyes of his past. This time, his six-year-old daughter Charlie leans into his ear and whispers: Daddy, I saw it too.

And then she begins to change.

Faced with reliving the nightmares of his childhood, Jack watches his daughter spiral into the shadows that had nearly consumed him twenty years before.

But Charlie isn’t the only one who’s changing.

Jack never outran the darkness. It’s been with him all along.

And it’s hungrier than ever.

A new breed of dark fiction: the subtlety of Seed will haunt you, and the end will wickedly satisfy.

The Bird Eater:
Twenty years ago, the mysterious death of his aunt left Aaron Holbrook orphaned and alone. He abandoned his rural Arkansas hometown vowing never to return, until his seven-year-old son died in an accident, plunging Aaron into a nightmare of addiction and grief. Desperate to reclaim a piece of himself, he returns to the hills of his childhood, to Holbrook House, where he hopes to find peace among the memories of his youth. But solace doesn’t come easy. Someone—or something—has other plans. Like Aaron, Holbrook House is but a shell of what it once was, a target for vandals and ghost hunters who have nicknamed it “the devil’s den.” Aaron doesn’t believe in the paranormal—at least, not until a strange boy begins following him wherever he goes. Plagued by violent dreams and disturbing visions, Aaron begins to wonder if he’s losing his mind. But a festering darkness lurks at the heart of Holbrook House… a darkness that grins from within the shadows, delighting in Aaron’s sorrow, biding its time. 

The Neighbors:
Andrew Morrison sacrificed everything—his childhood, his education, and the girl of his dreams—to look after his alcoholic mother. But enough is enough, and now he’s determined to get out and live his life. That means trading the home he grew up in for a rented room in the house of an old childhood friend— both of which are in sorry shape.

The only thing worse than Drew’s squalid new digs and sullen new roommate is the envy he feels for the house next door: a picture-perfect suburban domicile straight out of Norman Rockwell, with a couple of happy householders to match. But the better acquainted he gets with his new neighbors—especially the sweet and sexy Harlow Ward—the more he suspects unspeakable darkness beyond the white picket fence.

Within These Walls:

With his marriage on the rocks and his life in shambles, washed up crime writer Lucas Graham is desperate for a comeback. So when he’s promised exclusive access to notorious cult leader and death row inmate Jeffrey Halcomb, the opportunity is too good to pass up. Lucas leaves New York for the scene of the crime—a split-level farmhouse on the gray-sanded beach of Washington State—a house whose foundation is steeped in the blood of Halcomb’s diviners; runaways who, thirty years prior, were drawn to his message of family, unity, and unconditional love. Lucas wants to tell the real story of Halcomb’s faithful departed, but when Halcomb goes back on his promise of granting Lucas exclusive information on the case, he’s left to put the story together on his own. Except he is not alone. For Jeffrey Halcomb promised his devout eternal life…and within these walls, they’re far from dead.

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…  

The Shuddering:
Ryan Adler and his twin sister, Jane, spent their happiest childhood days at their parents' mountain Colorado cabin - until divorce tore their family apart. Now, with the house about to be sold, the Adler twins gather with their closest friends for one last snowboarding-filled holiday. While commitment-phobic Ryan gazes longingly at Lauren, wondering if his playboy days are over, Jane's hopes of reconciling with her old boyfriend evaporate when he brings along his new fiancĂ©e. As drama builds among the friends, something lurks in the forest, watching the cabin, growing ever bolder as the snow falls - and hunger rises. After a blizzard leaves the group stranded, the true test of their love and loyalty begins as the hideous creatures outside close in, one bloody attack at a time. Now Ryan, Jane, and their friends must fight - tooth and nail, bullet and blade - for their lives. Or else surrender to unspeakable deaths in the darkened woods. 

The Pretty Ones:

New York, 1977. The sweltering height of the Summer of Sam. The entire city is gripped with fear, but all Nell Sullivan worries about is whether or not she’ll ever make a friend. The self-proclaimed “Plain Jane” does her best to fit in with the girls at work, but Nell’s brother, Barrett, assures her that she’ll never be like them. When Nell manages to finally garner some much-yearned-for attention, the unthinkable happens to her newfound friend. The office pool blames Son of Sam, but Nell knows the awful truth…because doing the devil’s work is easy when there’s already a serial killer on the loose.  

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