Title/Author: Seed by Ania Ahlborn.
Source: Received at BEA 2012.
Favorite character: Charlie.
All in all: Creepy.
Synopsis: With nothing but the clothes on his back — and something horrific snapping at his heels — Jack Winter fled his rural Georgia home when he was still just a boy. Watching the world he knew vanish in a trucker's rearview mirror, he thought he was leaving an unspeakable nightmare behind forever. But years later, the bright new future he's built suddenly turns pitch black, as something fiendishly familiar looms dead ahead. When Jack, his wife Aimee, and their two small children survive a violent car crash, it seems like a miracle. But Jack knows what he saw on the road that night, and it wasn't divine intervention. The profound evil from his past won't let them die, at least not quickly. It's back, and it's hungry; ready to make Jack pay for running, to work its malignant magic on his angelic youngest daughter, and to whisper a chilling promise: I've always been here, and I'll never leave. ~Goodreads.com
My thoughts: I have been following author Ania Ahlborn on Twitter for a while and even bought the e-book version of her book. However, it wasn't until the Horror Aficionados on Goodreads decided to read it that finally pushed me to start Seed. (I read the physical book that I received at BEA.)
Seed was a fast read for me and I looked forward to each time I could pick it up again. It is a tale of good and evil...wait, maybe I should say "normalcy" and evil. There is nothing astounding about this family. They are normal people just trying to get by. It has never occured to them that they would have problems larger than trying to make ends meet. Then strange things start to happen revolving around their youngest daughter Charlie. Is it something mental, emotional, physiological or does it go beyond that? The story brings up a lot of questions but in the end the answer is there and it is very satisfying to me.
I liked the mystery of the tale, the way it jumps between Jack's childhood and his present day adult life. It gave me ideas to ponder and then it built up to an event that I wasn't sure was going to occur. There are little hints throughout that made sense to me later in the book, or after I thought about them. And I did think about them. The events are memorable and the people believable.
The scary parts are so eerie I found myself giggling in glee because they creeped me out. It's hard for a book to do that. Although some of the scary events had been done before, Ania took me into the world and had me experiencing them for myself. There were truly some horrific parts and I remember the author taking some heat for it a while back on Twitter, but in my opinion, they are done well. Some with just hints of the violence that has occured and some with gore that is not overdone.
***SPOILER ALERT: I thought it was interesting and unique to read Charlie and Jack's point of view when they behaved in certain ways. They explain that they couldn't help themselves, much like a compulsive person. One of the freakiest parts for me was when Charlie stood over her sister's bed while she slept. Not just the fact that she did it, but why she felt she had to do it. :END SPOILER ALERT***
If Jack confused me and contradicted himself, I feel it was because he himself was confused and conflicted. On the one hand he wants to protect his family from his secret, on the other hand he would do anything to keep them from finding out his secret. So just how far does he have to go? Part of me wondered what he really wanted and who he really was. I didn't particularly think of him as a strong character, just the protagonist that perhaps turns his back on the truth.
This is a simple story, yet there are many complex layers to it. I feel Seed is a clean tale, with enough mysteries and questions to keep the reader guessing and questioning. And may I say, I was thrilled to read a straight up Horror story!
The tension builds and builds until the end, which didn't happen quite the way I expected. (Which I loved.) I think it could have gone in several different directions, but I applaud the authors choice. It made my wicked smile appear.
Actually, most of the book made my wicked smile appear.