Last year, I read a great little horror book titled SEED by a female horror writer that received a lot of buzz and praise. I was looking forward to reading more from her, and was glad when I got my hands on her latest, THE NEIGHBORS.
Andrew Morrison gave up a lot in his young life to take care of his alcoholic mother. One day he had enough and decided to move out on his own, and moved in to an old friend’s place. This home is in terrible shape and sticks out like a sore thumb in what is an otherwise squeaky clean neighborhood. Andrew is especially intrigued by the perfect house next door to them, with the perfectly kept lawn and white picket fence, with what is seemingly the perfect couple living there. It soon becomes evident that Andrew’s neighbors are much more than meets the eye — especially the ‘sexy milf’ next-door named Harlow.
Ania Ahlborn’s writing is accessible and this story is smooth flowing, easy to read and fast-paced. The characters she created here really came to life and the flash-back-back-story scenes were written extremely well. Whereas Ania’s previous novel SEED was straight up horror, THE NEIGHBORS feels much more like a psychological thriller and strange suburban tale. But for my particular tastes it didn’t quite go all the way with the perverse and twisted aspects of the story and where it could have been taken. I guess I wanted to see more extreme elements of the story told — it felt at times as if Ania was being held back by something while writing.
Overall, I enjoyed this book, and although it doesn’t stand up to Ania’s book SEED, it is still a good read and I would recommend it to any of you that follow this blog. I look forward to more Ania Ahlborn — she is still a great talent to follow and keep an eye on.