Book review: Apart in the Dark by Ania Ahlborn

Caidyn's review (1)

Apart in the Dark: Novellas


These were so good. I love Ahlborn’s writing. She’s an amazing author and I’m always impressed by what she writes. Even if I don’t love the story, I’m still impressed and amazed by how she turns the story.

This book has two novellas in it. The Pretty Ones and I Call Upon Thee. And, honestly, I could have read these two in one day. But, alas, school got in the way and I had to put off how much I could read.

Since there are two stories, I’m going to review each of them separately. Both of them got 4/5!

The Pretty Ones

Oh man. Summer in NYC while the Son of Sam, aka David Berkowitz, was operating. Nell works in an office and lives with her brother who doesn’t really want her to have any relationships apart from him. Nell is plain and overweight. People don’t really seem to like her. And then the people she works with start dying.

Admittedly, I could immediately see where the story was going. That’s why I took a star off. I could see the “twist” a mile away. However, the story was so fantastic and I couldn’t wait to read how Ahlborn was going to do the whole reveal since I knew it would be good. I liked how she wove in the history with her story because I feel like it added so much more to it.

I Call Upon Thee

While the first novella deals with serial killers, this one goes with a haunting. And, oh, how I love a good haunting. Maggie Olsen has a normal childhood; friends, sleepovers, fights with her siblings. But ever since one day at the cemetery with her older sister, Brynn, things haven’t been right. In fact, tragedies keep coming.

So, when Brynn dies from an apparent suicide, Maggie goes home to help her other older sister, Arlen, with the funeral. Despite there being a huge storm coming straight for her house. When she arrives, the old memories come back.

This one was creepy. As I said, I love horror stories with a haunting attached to it. It’s always just so weird and creepy and I never can get enough of them. The only con to this was that I felt it went on for a bit too long. It could have been shorter and cut some parts out to slim it down because it was a longer novella. I mean, what I read was excellent, but I think that the stuff with Maggie’s boyfriend could have just been nixed or that the stuff with her old friend might have been left out completely.

Still, that ending and the following author’s note was good.

I’m not a huge fan of short story collections or novellas. For me, reading multiple stories in a row from the same author (or ones that kind of revolve around a similar theme) gets boring and I don’t like it. However, these books were so different and interesting that I couldn’t help but want more.

Talk to me!
Have you ever read anything by Ahlborn? What did you think?
Would you rather read a story about ghosts or a serial killer?

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