Title/Author: The Shuddering by Ania Ahlborn.Midnyte Musings: I can't really take out the spoilers with this review. 1) Because for me the plot is so integral to the story and 2) I want to discuss the book, not just tell you to read it.
Narration: Luke Daniels.
Publisher: Brilliance Audio.
Source: Gifted by Midnight Book Girl.
Synopsis: They only come when it snows, and nobody ever gets away. A group of close friends gathers at a secluded cabin in the wintry mountains of Colorado for a final holiday hurrah. Instead, it may be their last stand. First a massive blizzard leaves them marooned. Then the more chilling realization: something is lurking in the woods, watching them, waiting? Now a weekend of family, friends, and fun has turned into a test of love and loyalty in the face of inhuman horrors. The only hope for those huddled inside is to fight - tooth and nail, bullet and blade - for their lives. Otherwise, they'll end up like the monsters' other victims: bright pools of blood on glittering snow, screams lost in the vast mountains. ~Goodreads.com
Remember when Horror movies were full of unexpected twists and turns? The expectations you had due to watching other movies didn't hold true for Horror and anything could happen. That's kind of what The Shuddering is for me. Ania Ahlborn takes me back to "old school" Horror. There is a set up so the reader kind of knows about the danger and then there is the story of the main characters and their own encounters. What you hope for, what you really want may not come to pass. And just when you think that things might be okay, it is taken away from you without really telling you.
Julie from My Five Monkeys mentioned she had a book hangover from reading something. That's what I have from The Shuddering. I was SO attached to some of the characters and I was rooting for them SO much. The people in this book are what make it. Jane and her brother Ryan want one last trip to their family mountain cabin before Ryan moves out of the country. Ryan invites his best friend, Sawyer, who also happens to be Jane's ex-boyfriend. The one who got away. When he shows up with his girlfriend things get awkward. What I really love is the feelings of the characters are believable and there is no bad guy. The story and emotions of all the players are presented and they are real, complicated and bittersweet. I totally loved Sawyer and his voice put me in mind of Chris Helmsworth, so that's how I pictured him. I wanted Jane and Sawyer to get back together so bad and became very much invested in them. Sawyer is torn between the feelings he still has for Jane and his commitment to his girlfriend. I loved that Sawyer is not a jerk about it. He didn't suddenly ditch his girlfriend and his feelings are still there for her and he shows the reader why he fell for her. (Although I knew in my heart that he and Jane belonged together.) Jane also invited her best friend, Lauren and she and Ryan also explored their own new feelings for each other. Ryan starts to feel that Lauren may be the one woman who he would want to risk being in a relationship with. Although I enjoyed the Sawyer/Jane drama the most, the Ryan/Lauren situation was also interesting. If the characters fell flat this book would not have worked for me at all. The portrayal of the dynamics of this group is an astute observation of the psychological workings into their minds.
Now lets get to the Horror part. The monsters are mysterious creatures. They are frightening, huge, ugly and relentless. Although I had a little bit of a difficult time really visualizing them, this did not diminish their power. I also appreciated a plain ol' monster. Something unknown and original.
I gave my husband the book to listen to as well, and he loves it. He kept gushing about how great it is was. He also kept asking if the monsters would turn out to be aliens. Hmmm, well I guess there's no real answer to that mystery.
If you want to listen to a fun Horror story, one that puts you back to the time when scary stories were thrilling and heart pounding, check out The Shuddering.
Narration: This book had a cast of characters and that always presents a challenge for the narrator and me as a reader. I do think that Luke Daniels did a good job, even if all the other snowboarders sounded like surfer dudes. I absolutely Sawyer's voice and like I said before, it didn't hurt that he sounded like Chris Helmsworth to me. My husband had a little bit of an issue with the female voices and I told him that usually is the case with a male narrator.
Starstruck over: The characterization of the main characters.
Buy it now for only $2.00 on Kindle: The Shuddering.