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The Bird Eater

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  7,246 ratings  ·  784 reviews
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 ho ...more
Audio CD, 10 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Brilliance Audio
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Average rating 3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,246 ratings  ·  784 reviews

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Dan Schwent
Mar 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014, lendable
His life in shambles, Aaron Holbrook returns to his home town to the house he grew up in, which also happens to be the house his aunt was murdered in. His plan is to rehab the house and sell it. Too bad The Bird Eater has other plans...

I got this as part of the Kindle First program.

The Bird Eater reminded me a lot of the Anne Rice Mayfair Witches series, which is high praise since I think The Witching Hour was the last good book Anne Rice wrote. The Holbrook House has been haunted by a ghostly t
Melanie Payne
The Bird Eater has a creepy, interesting concept, but a poorly conceived plot.
There is a lot of deep, descriptive character development which helps round out the story. However, there are certain characters that are not essential to the plot and can be cut out altogether (e.g. Hazel and Cooper). Hazel’s character is merely used as a plot device, and is only important towards the end of the novel when she gives backstory on Birdie. Birdie’s backstory is used as a big reveal toward the
Johann (jobis89)
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“You couldn’t live with the devil and expect to come out whole.”

First of all, there’s a dog called Barney in The Bird Eater, so we’re off to a great start in this review! The book is commendable for that reason alone.

Ahlborn writes some of the most readable, yet highly addictive horror stories. When you pick up one of her books time flies by and before you know it, you’ve devoured 100 pages. Usually 100 spooky, chilling pages - it is always a pleasure!

I really enjoy those stories wherein we are
Mar 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Buddy read with two fabulous ladies: Shandra and Anasylvia

3-3.5 Stars

This was quite an interesting read to say the least. If you are looking for creepy, then just like the cover implies, you get creepy.


-Easy read. I read this within a 48 hour period, even while juggling a couple of other books. The pages just flew by.

-Vivid. The fact that the pages just flew by is a testament of how well the story was told. It read just as a movie might. I really could visualize the entire story as wel
Bark  |  Ladies Of Horror Fiction
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 substanc
✨Bean's Books✨
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Creepy as fuck! 😱
Aaron Holbrook is returning home after 16 years of being gone. After his aunt died under curious circumstances when he was just a young teen, he up and disappeared leaving his hometown and his friends behind. But Aaron has demons. Some he will bring with him and some he will face inside the house that has stood vacant for nearly two decades. The question is, who will be the victor in this battle with demons of the past?
Wow! This is my second Ania Ahlborn novel and I have to say.
Mar 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'What if insanity is just a heightened sense of perception?' Food for thought in this tale of love and loss and terror.

Aaron Holbrook is the epitome of a broken man. His attempts at combating his guilt over an accident resulting in the death of his seven year old son have netted him nothing but an addiction to booze & pills, a doomed marriage, and a rather elaborate array of tattoos with a most definite bird theme. His therapist's suggestion that Aaron return to Ironwood, Arkansas turns out to b
Mar 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: kindle-first
This book had the biggest plot hole of all plot holes - a complete and total lack of internet usage and/or research.

If you are going to go through the trouble of making the best friend an amateur ghost hunter, I would think he would have a file about five inches thick with all the research he did on the ghost that lives in the house where his best friend lived and that everyone admits is haunted.

Every page, I kept waiting for Eric to say "Hey, I did some research and...." But that never happened
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Downright Creepy!

Rural Ozark Arkansas. There's something wrong with the house at the end of Old Mill Road....and with Aaron Holbrook. Both are broken down and haunted by a deadly past.

In THE BIRD EATER, Aaron returns to his childhood home to face old demons and try to eradicate more recent ones, but all does not go so well when unsettling visions and disturbing nightmares begin; and bad turns to worse when Aaron encounters the hellish poltergeist of death house.

Except for a couple of undevelo

Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a captivating tale of depression, hauntings, and madness. The story flowed so well, that it captivated my attention from the very first chapter, right to the ending paragraph. A very intense, thought-provoking read.
Althea Ann
I think I would've liked this book better if I'd read it before the author's other book, 'Within These Walls.' I gave that one 4 stars - and I can't really argue that it was necessarily a superior book - but it was a very similar book. I suspect that if you read this one first, you might feel that 'Within These Walls' was the bit of a letdown. Both share the same basic 'haunted house' plot outline and progression.

Here, Aaron Holbrook is grief-stricken and drinking too much after the death of his
3.5 stars
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals every dared to dream before...
-- Edgar Allen Poe, The Raven

The Bird Eater is an effective measure of horror and suspense, opening with a potent first chapter describing the gruesome background of the 'haunted' house that could, if anything, be merited a five-star all on its own.

Ahlborn uses iconic psychological bits from well-loved Hitchcockian thrillers like The Birds-
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She s
Paul Nelson
Aug 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I listened to The Bird Eater on audio and was struck immediately with how intense the narration was from Peter Berkrot, the only problem for me was it remained on that sort of level throughout the story. Even going for a coffee or any other mundane activity was described in this same extreme style that in the end left the parts that should have been heightened by speeding the narration, just sort of fade into the background. The resultant cacophony is kind of exhausting for the listener and it f ...more
Mar 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, read-in-2014
I picked this up as a freebie via the new Kindle First program, and hoo boy. Creepy. It's been a while since I've read a book that actually made me hesitate before walking through a darkened part of the house.

I have to admit there was a particular direction I thought it was going ((view spoiler)), but it didn't go that way. I'm glad -- it was already dark enough and it wouldn'
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
The beginning of this book was quite intense and had me hooked right away. Aaron never knew his parents. He was raised by his aunt until the horrible day he lost her. At that time he was whisked away from his friends, and his childhood girlfriend never to return or contact them again...until another tragedy sends him home to Holbrook house. Aaron is in a terrible state of mind, and the fact that his childhood home is now considered the local haunted house by the towns people doesn't help matters ...more
Ruth Turner
May 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I didn't enjoy this one as much as Seed and The Shuddering.

For the first few chapters I though this was going to be another anxiety-ridden read, but unfortunately, it wasn't.

I would have liked to know more about Isaac, his father and the murder of his foster mother.

Also, the whole bird thing didn't make a lot of sense to me.

Eric, I thought, was rather bland. For someone with a life-long obsession with the paranormal, he showed little interest in a house rumored to be haunted for over twenty ye
Jan 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015, horror
3.5 stars

It seems I can’t get away from the is-it-really-horror-or-is-the-main-character-simply-going-insane type of books this Halloween 2015 season: The Haunting of Hill House (a group/buddy read with The Pantsless Ones), Bird Box, and now The Bird Eater.

I originally purchased this in early 2014 as part of the Amazon Kindle First program. After a few pickups and putdowns, I decided I would finally read this in conjunction with the RMFAO group genre challenge for this month: RMFAO October is Ho
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2014
4.5 Stars

The Bird Eater is a well written atmospheric thriller of a horror novel. Ania Ahlborn has quietly moved up my list of favorite horror authors that I have Caitlin Kiernan perched a top of. Ahlborn writes horror by ensuring that suspense, world building, tension, and atmosphere take the center stage. This book is no exception. The protagonist of this novel, Aaron is broken in so many ways that the outcome of this book to me was clear from the start.

I love how Alborn slowly told us just ho
Glen Krisch
Oct 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
A solid, creepy novel. I was leaning toward a 3.5 rating, but the ending kind of let me down. I like Ahlborn's style, and I look forward to reading her other books. ...more
Rob Slaven
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As usual I received this book for free. This time it was from Kindle Firsts. I'm glad I did because it was a breathless four hours on the sofa.

To describe this book in a nutshell, it's one of those wonderfully ambivalent horror novels that mystify you with their gruesomeness as you're reading and leave you with a big question mark at the end. The novel is fairly gory in bits but not outrageously so and those with a passionate fixation for kindness towards birds would be well advised to steer cle
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
This book was creepy right from the beginning. Don't read it at night! I was seeing shadows smiling at me and hearing the birds squawking outside. I loved the bird theme throughout this book, from the sterlings in the nest outside, to Aaron's tattoos and even a Big Bird lunchbox; and the cover! Gotta love this cover! My rating is 3-1/2 because I wanted to know more about Isaac and his family. The ending was fantastic and I can picture this book as a movie. ...more
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Oh my. This book was so amazingly written. It has got to be one of the scariest books I've ever read and is now in my top 3 favorite books. Aaron's fall into insanity is so real and creepy that it'll give me nightmares for god knows how long. And the bird eater, oh my so scary. I would recommend this to anyone who loves psychological thriller and horror lovers. You will not be disappointed. ...more
Jason Parent
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoy Ahlborn's writing style and the decision to use a considerably flawed protagonist. ...more
Heather *Undercover Goth Queen*
The first chapter was really good, but unfortunately, it was the best part of the book.

Ahlborn's writing was a bit much. There were descriptors squashed in everywhere. The wallpaper couldn't be just wallpaper, it was always's "Edie's old wallpaper." The curtains were "Edie's white curtains." The richest parts of the book were the details about the characters' pasts and childhoods, but like the descriptions, these were often shoved into the text, distracting from the overall story.

Grabbing fo
Zuky the BookBum
DNF at page 177 out of 268

I was never really into this one as much as I was into Ahlborn's other two so I'm really disappointed that this sucked so bad for me.

I don't mind romance in horror novels but I couldn't stand Cheri. She was a crappy, weird character and any other female character could have been better than her, this is why I gave up. I like Aaron, I didn't like Cheri, bad mix of people. No chemistry.
Oct 01, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: kindle-lending
I wanted to like this book so much. I even like the cover but it was not meant to be. I could not believe the horrible choices the characters made over & over. just because you knew someone when they are 14 does not mean they can vanish & reappear 21 years later & you still know them. the characters just aggravated me.
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Many authors have managed to gross me out but no one manages to scare the living heck out of me like Ania Ahlborn! If you want to be kept up at night and left with creepy images etched in your mind, do yourself a favour and read The Bird Eater.
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating, creepy read from Ahlborn about a man, Aaron, drowning in grief over the death of his young son who comes back home to the house he grew up in to try to recover by working hard to fix up the place. Of course, the house has other things in mind as evil spirits, responsible for the death of his aunt, begin to take charge. This is a haunted house story that truly haunts as Ahlborn's writing brings forth a vivid picture of one man's possible descent into madness while long-missed compa ...more
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have been a fan of Ania Ahlborn ever since she did a Horror Aficionados Guest Author group read of Seed a few years ago here on GR. Ania knows how to write a creepy tale and The Bird Eater is no exception. TBE is not without its flaws and could have used a stronger back plot earlier in the tale versus a late reveal, but still delivers a number of scary moments, complete with ghostly visions and descending madness. Overall, a well written and engagingly haunting read. 3.5 Stars.
Noel Penaflor
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
More of a Gothic Drama than a flat-out horror novel. Ahlborn is a master of mood and setting, but for 90% of the book, you're not really scared. More than once, you can sense the setup for a well-earned scare, only to have it level out. It's one of those novels that have 250 pages of windup and the final 20 are kicked into overdrive. I just mixed baseball and racing metaphors. With dimmed expectations of horror, this can be an engrossing read as the ending, more or less, is worth the journey. ...more
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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 next door. She’d spend hours among the headstones, breaking up bouquets of silk flowers so that everyone had their equal share.

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