The Bird Eater by Ania Ahlborn
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I wanted shorter books to read while traveling to and from Niagara Falls where I was going to be running a marathon. This was the ideal time to actually read some of the Amazon First Read books my wife and I had chosen since it's a perk of being Amazon Prime members. These books all appear to be from one of Amazon's own imprints, this one was published by 47North which deals specifically with fantasy, sci-fi, and horror titles.
Ania Ahlborn brings us The Bird Eater, a story that falls squarely in the horror genre. It starts dark and that darkness continues throughout. We follow Aaron Holbrook, who's trying to piece his life back together after his son is killed in a car accident, he slips into the quagmire of drinking and drugs while his marriage falling apart. Aaron is straight up flawed, he's been through much even before these events, his mother and his aunt both died tragically and mysteriously.
The house Aaron was raised in, the same house his Aunt died in needs to be sold. He moves back to a town he was taken from by child protective services after his Aunt died. He returns a haunted man cover in ink, which happened to be various birds. Soon after he arrives he's menaced by a creepy kid, the menacing later turns into terrorizing. Aaron rekindles relationships with a past love interest who's now married, which can only end badly and a long lost friend who now run his fathers grocery store. He also has a video recorder, something his therapist suggested as a form of therapy by keeping what is essentially a video journal. He learns the house he's living in has a name, The Devil's Den, and is supposedly haunted.
Bad choices are made and the situation spirals to a dangerous place, shadows, nightmares that seem too real. The house and creepy kid are attached, evil permeates through them and feeds off each other drawing others in. Bad things happen and a cycle starts over.
I gave this book a pretty low rating, two stars which when you hover on them says it best: it was ok. I didn't love the story, especially how it ended. The ending was rushed and cheesy, there were a lot of stereotypical bump in the night "scary" things happening in the book. The story felt like it was missing something, like certain parts just needed to be tweaked to make it better. I applaud the program Amazon has put together and will be happy to keep reading these books in the future.
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