The Shuddering by Ania Ahlborn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What’s not to enjoy about a classically-constructed gore fest with horrifying monsters!?
The Shuddering follows a group of friends on a snowboarding holiday in the unforgiving Colorado mountains.
The Adler twins, Ryan and Jane, spent a lot of their childhood at their parent’s posh ski cabin. Now that their parents are no longer together, their father has decided to sell the memorable property.
Ryan, who has just accepted a job overseas, decides to plan one final weekend at the home with his twin and his best friend, Sawyer.
Jane, recently divorced, decides to bring along her best friend, Lauren and Sawyer brings his gloomy girlfriend, April. Jane, who dated Sawyer in high school and really never got over him, isn’t exactly excited about April’s presence.
As the weekend gets underway, it’s clear tension is going to be the name of the game. Unfortunately, for the Adler party, that’s soon to be the least of their worries.
There’s something lurking in the woods, observing them, coming closer and closer to the cabin and it’s hungry.
Oona, Ryan’s beloved husky, is the first to notice something is amiss.
Her strange behavior leads Ryan to believe that a wolf pack may be hunting in the area.
When a blizzard hits, they become snowed in and the agitation reaches a new peak. The group ends up separating as April and Sawyer try to depart the property.
It doesn’t end well.
From there the intensity and action never stops. As you learn the truth of what pursues the group of weekend travelers, the desperation of their circumstances becomes more and more clear.
I love how Ahlborn built this out. It’s a classic set-up for a horror story and that was exactly the vibe that I was looking for when I picked it up.
I was stressed about the dog, of course. If you have ever read any of my reviews, you probably could have guessed that was coming, so that did have a slight effect on my enjoyment level.
Also, some the decisions made by the characters were questionable, but at the same time, I think that is half the fun. I mean, is a Horror movie even enjoyable if you aren’t yelling at the screen half the time?
The gore and violence were very well done. It was disgusting, it was bloody, it was stomach-churning and it was unrelenting.
I would definitely recommend this to any fan of the horror genre; particularly, if you, like me, enjoy horror stories set in Winter. This is the perfect book for that vibe!
I was a fan of Ahlborn’s work prior to this, but this definitely seals the deal. I will read anything she writes!
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