Review: The Bird Eater by Ania Ahlborn

Insanity, ghosties and a terribly annoying woman force me to write a not-so-serious review. Sorry in advance.

The Bird Eater by Ania Ahlborn 
Ghost Story
Released April 2014 
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. 

My Thoughts

After starting out with a nasty murder by a boy with a maniacal grin, I was expecting The Bird Eater to be so much better than it actually turned out to be.

Twenty-one years after the chilling events in the opening scene, Aaron returns to his dilapidated and reputedly haunted childhood home hoping to heal his freshly broken life. Apparently his therapist advised him to do so despite the fact that he witnessed a murder in the house and he’s currently struggling with depression, borderline substance abuse, separation from his wife and the death of his young son. Yep, being all alone in a murder house will surely cure his woes. I hope he didn’t pay that person too much for the shitty advice.

The problem for me with this story was Aaron and all of the other main characters. Aaron was a broken man and remained that way throughout the story and, quite honestly, his self-loathing exhausted me and the way the book was written kept me from feeling his anguish. There was a disconnect between Aaron and I which kept me from feeling much of anything. Aaron reconnects with his childhood friends and his childhood love and I found that so bizarre and unbelievably frustrating that I nearly have no words. I mean, 21 years have passed, he was 14 freaking years old when his world crumbled and this Cheri person is still carrying a torch for him?!!!

Dayam, even I gave up on Corey Hart after a year and moved on with my life when he didn’t show up to whisk me away and I was in luv.

Reality should’ve kicked in for Cheri at some point in those 21 years!

And did I mention that Cheri is also MARRIED to some poor schlub who works his bum off so she can buy nice things and she’s ready to toss him away because her grief ridden true love has returned!? Cheri thinks she can fix Aaron. Ugh, Cheri was a weak, pathetic excuse for a character and only managed to suck any enjoyment out of this story for me. Aaron’s other childhood friend is a supposed ghost hunter but doesn’t do any ghost hunting in the local haunted house. WTF is going on with these characters?!

Whew, glad that’s out of the way. There were a few things I enjoyed; the creep factor, the crazed Birdboy, the atmosphere and the slow build (to a lame reveal) but obviously this is not a book I would ever reread.

It’s getting 2 ½ stars and, yes, I am rounding down because I am bothered!

 Read This Instead

A Bit About the Writer
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. She'd spend hours among the headstones, breaking up bouquets of silk flowers so that everyone had their equal share.

Ania's first novel, SEED, was self-published. It clawed its way up the Amazon charts to the number one horror spot, earning her a multi-book deal and a key to the kingdom of the macabre. Less than five years later, her work has been lauded by the likes of Publishers Weekly, New York Daily News, and the New York Times.

She hopes to one day be invited to dinner at Stephen King's place, where she will immediately be crushed beneath the weight of her imposter syndrome.

Visit Ania's website at:


  1. they really sound like they deserved each other *eyeball twitch* on the bright side your review was funnny :D

    1. Thanks, Lily. They did deserve each other. Guess there's someone for everyone ;)

  2. Have you ever read Brother by Ahlborn? I was wondering if it was good like The Devil Crept In, or skippable like this one?

    1. Just my opinion but Brother is even better than The Devil Crept In. Loved that book!

    2. I haven't read Brother yet. Sounds like I need to!

  3. I have The Devil Crept In and keep forgetting to read it. Need to move it to the top of my stack. Your review is hilarious and very honest. Thanks for the heads up.

  4. Darn. I bought this book two years ago but haven't had the chance to read it yet. I absolutely love Brother by this author so I had high hopes for it. Great review!

    1. Well, some of my friends have rated it much higher so maybe you won't be as bothered as I was by the characters.

  5. To bad about this one. I thought The Devil Crept In was okay but not great. I have Brother and now I am not sure if it's worth messing with, have you read it?

  6. Sunglasses at night lol. That cracked me up.

  7. I'm pretty sure I have something by the author on my ereader...might try it in horror week...

  8. Oh, bummer! This is one of the Ania Ahlborn's I haven't read. At least I'm not missing out.


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