Since starting HorrorFictionBlog, I have been looking to start reviewing books. I put it off for months now, most likely due to the fact that I get absorbed in writing articles, stories, or working on my own manuscripts. However, I am very happy to finally publish my first review here on HFB with Ania Ahlborn’s “The Devil Crept In”.
I was sent an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review and I’m glad this was the first review on HFB because, in this honesty, I can happily say that The Devil Crept In set one hell of a bar for future reviews on this page. Ms. Ahlborn does it again with this novel and has created something worth not only your attention, but your time and your analysis as well. This is a piece of work that deserves to be talked about. Period.
The first thing that drew me to Ania was her amazing covers of her previous books, The Bird Eater, Within These Walls, and The Neighbors. They’re stunning and captivating for any horror fan and the cover of The Devil Crept In falls close to the tree in this regard. From first glance, you can tell that something is awry and you feel compelled to pick up the novel.
The story starts with the disappearance of a young man (Jude) and his cousin (Stevie) who tries to find him, desperate and afraid . Unfortunately, Deer Valley, Oregon has a history of strange disappearances and even a black mark across it’s face with the finding of young Max Larson, a boy from many years ago, dead, sending the small community into shock. Something is out there. Something dark and terrifying. And whoever…or whatever…it may be is back on the prowl.
The novel builds a wonderfully creepy world and allows you to immediately connect with the characters, feeling for these young folk as this veil of mystery falls on Deer Valley. The rough upbringing and current situation of Stevie draws you in at a rapid pace and forces you to keep reading, even when things start to look bleak for the boy. You simply can’t put the book down.
If I were to rate it, I would honestly give this book a 5 out of 5. This novel has really set a standard for the rest of my horror reading in 2017.
Thank you to Ania and Gallery Books for the Advanced Reader Copy, and good luck on this wonderful publication.
For more about Ania Ahlborn and The Devil Crept In, visit her website at AniaAhlborn.com.
Review by: M.J. Orz