As a fan of Ania Ahlborn’s work, I was excited not just to pick up ‘Apart in the Dark’ because it contained more of her work but because it contained two novellas by one of my favorite authors! In the collection, we have ‘The Pretty Ones’ which takes place during the Summer of Sam in 1977 and we’re shown a murder mystery that almost seem related to the serial killer but ends up as something much darker. Next up is ‘I Call Upon Thee’ where Maggie Olsen who is a ghost story with an exciting twist.

‘The Pretty Ones’ had a somewhat slow start which almost threw me due to how quick Ania’s words usually draw me in. I was almost worried for a few pages, but once things got going, I was sucked in. While the story is somewhat predictable, the writing and characters make it no less enjoyable for it, and the suspense is well written even if you think you know what is going to happen!

The true stand out between these two though is ‘I Call Upon Thee.’ She does such a great job at building up the suspense and dread as we slowly learn what happened to Maggie and what happens when she has returned to her childhood home to face her past. This one felt like an instant classic that could easily be something that you’d find in a classic Stephen King collection. The atmosphere building she pulls off is not only perfect but makes you want to get to the end even if you don’t want the story to finish.

Truly, it feels like one of those older King novellas which end up getting turned into a movie and the setting and way things play out would be perfect to see on the big screen.

Overall, these were both fast reads. Clocking in at nearly 400 pages this wasn’t fast due to the length but simply because I couldn’t put the book down long enough to get some air. I had it completed in a single afternoon with only a quick lunch break in between stories. Thankfully, something good came out of the extreme cold we briefly felt this Winter.

If you’re a fan of creepy stories or Ania Ahlborn’s work than you won’t regret picking this collection up! My only warning is that you’ll need to set aside a block of uninterrupted reading time, so nothing distracts you from these two unique stories which she has created.

‘Apart in the Dark’
Two novellas by: Ania Ahlborn
Gallery Books
January 16th, 2018