From the bestselling horror author of Within These Walls and The Bird Eater comes a brand-new novel of terror that follows 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…
My Review - 4
The title, cover and summary really gripped me, I'm glad I was able to read this one before seeing it all over the blogs. I find I appreciate most books more this way.
We meet the Morrow's, a made up family of mother and father, two daughters and two sons but are any their blood children, you question this during the story. It baffles me on the stories when children are abducted and brainwashed to believe they were not wanted by their family and to embrace their new. It is hard to believe we have some crazy sick people in our world but with the news we know it is an unfortunate pat of our world.
The continuous buildup to the climatic ending is perfection. You know it will end badly and just wonder how but the additional jaw dropping, emotional ending, just wow. Ray, known as Rebel is the King of manipulation and patience. As children, Michael does something that Rebel thinks requires retaliation. He takes this to the ultimate horrific level.
It took awhile to understand at first but I did enjoy the present day story vs the story building from when Michael joined the family. It helped you to understand the disturbing intent of Rebel.
What I love about horrors is they have you talking to the characters "No Michael, don't go, Michael look out, Michael don't believe him, etc." It makes you become more engaged in the story and I felt emotionally charged. How can I be rooting for a murderer but that is not his natural way, Michael was made into a monster and didn't know how to get out.
This story is worth the read just for the horrific manipulation. Michael hands down is my favourite character but the build up for Rebel to get what he wanted, brilliantly crazy. I feel like it could have been more character development for the mother and father but it didn't take away from the story. They are sick demonic family. Michael with the right upbringing definitely could have been a Physician. There is so much I want to say but will give away the brilliance of Ania Ahlborn story 'Brother'
There is blood and lots of it. This is not for the reader that won't be able to sleep at night without visions because it is graphic. Nothing is for shock value in my opinion. This family is related to the serial killer from Silence of the Lambs that had the women in the whole, that is all I will say.
I will definitely be read more from Ania Ahlborn. I didn't realize it but I have read The Neighbors, my review here.
My Review 3 1/2 stars