Seed by Ania Ahlborn
Their little house in Georgia is crumbling around them, and they’re in desperate need of a new car, but for the most part, family life for Jack Winter and his wife, Aimee, is happy. They have two beautiful little girls, Abby and Charlie, and even if there’s a bit of tension when Jack goes to New Orleans to play gigs with his band, they’ve always gotten through it. Does it really matter that Jack can’t really remember his childhood before the day he ran away from home? Well, it might, because a darkness seems to be seeping into their happy little home. Things seem to start after Jack sees a pair of eyes in the road when driving with his family late at night, and crashes the car. Everyone seems fine, but as you soon see, nothing is really fine at all. They begin to hear a strange scratching in the walls, and their youngest, Charlie, begins seeing things in the room she shares with her sister. When Charlie gets very sick, things abruptly get worse. After a few days, Charlie seems to be feeling better, but she’s not the same little girl that Jack immediately fell in love with when she was born. As events escalate, Aimee becomes increasingly more afraid of her 6 year old, and Jack thinks he might know what’s terrorizing his family, because it’s an evil that has been with him all of his life, and he fears it has come for him again. Eventually Jack has to face his past if he has any hope of saving his family, and that means going back to the home he ran away from so long ago.
I haven’t read any really good horror in a little while, so Seed was quite the experience. I tend to like subtle horror more than more in your face fare (although I enjoy that too!), and the author has a knack for creeping, subtle scares that will cause you to pause every now and then, just to take it all in before continuing. You’ll certainly think of Bad Seed a few times when reading Seed, because Charlie’s behavior is insidious and terrifying, just like the evil that stalks the Winters. She’s just a little girl, but you’ll forget that at times, trust me. Seed is a wonderful study of a family falling apart in the face of a pretty nasty baddie and even though there’s not a lot of gore in this one, Ahlborn doesn’t really pull any punches, so I wouldn’t recommend Seed for the faint of heart. Seed has some of the most downright creepy scenes that I’ve read in a while, and I admit to having to resist keeping a light on at night for a few nights after reading it. If you enjoyed the movie Poltergeist, you’ll most certainly enjoy Seed (the author even references the movie in the book.) The tension is constant and it’s a very quick read, so you’ll surely fly through it like I did! Highly recommended, and a wonderful debut from a rising talent!