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Ania Ahlborn: Seed

Edward G.

I reviewed “Seed” by Ania Ahlborn because it’s a self-published horror e-book and it’s been getting a lot of good reviews out in cyberland. But having finished it, I’m left wondering if those reviews are really telling it like it is.

I admit that “Seed” is competently written, professionally copyedited, and some of Ahlborn’s descriptions are quite funny and outrageous. It’s formatted well for Kindle, and at 99 cents it’s a no-risk buy for the reader, but beyond that it’s a mediocre novel at best.

“Seed” is about a six-year-old girl named Charlie (Are little girls really cuter with old men’s names?), who is actually a demon in human form. Her father, Jack, was (is) also a demon in human form, and when he was young, he killed his parents in a most gruesome manner.

Though Jack has tried to forget his past, it nevertheless comes home to roost in this youngest daughter who ends up committing similarly grizzly acts of her own. Jack had hoped he could leave his past behind him (after hacking up his parents and running away), and he hoped he could live a normal family man’s life, but apparently his destiny was to be a demon and carry on the demon line by making another demon to replace himself.

Unfortunately, Ahlborn didn’t research the details of her story very well, and at times this is embarrassingly obvious. For instance, she talks about a picture of a man standing next to a B-52 near its propellers. B-52’s are jets, of course, and don’t have propellers. She also makes reference to Charlie singing Cheap Trick’s “Cherry Pie” into her hairbrush. But that song was done by Warrant.

The weakest part, however, has to be the exaggerated info dump given to us by a waitress named Ginny at a bowling alley in Jack’s hometown. With that info dump, what seems to be 90% of the backstory is summarized by one minor character that apparently exists for no other reason than to provide it.

Nevertheless, this story is not without merit. The concept of a demon traveling time through the bloodlines of a family is fairly original. The author does keep you wondering how the story will resolve itself (until the info dump that is), and I’m sure those parents who have oppositional-defiant disordered kids running around the house will find camaraderie with Jack and his wife Aimee as they try to control the satanic seed that has sprouted from their loins.

But maybe they shouldn’t feel too comfortable in their commiseration. Because as much as this novel is a retelling of the same old demon-child theme, it delivers an important and often forgotten message that all parents need to know: Kids will imitate mom and dad—for better or worse.

Ultimately, the moral of “Seed” may be that you raise what you are, and what you were makes up what you are—there’s no escaping it. The example we set is the life we live, and there’s no point hoping our children will be better than we are; hope counts for nothing against the power of our example.

“Seed” is definitely worth reading if you’re looking for a new writer with a creative way of seeing things. Ania Ahlborn is a great wordsmith, and she’ll no doubt create a masterpiece in the future. When she does, you’ll want to say you read her when she was just starting out. As for me, I’d like to see what her second novel brings.