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Breed: A Novel by Chase Novak

Breed: A Novel (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Chase Novak

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2503545,873 (3.34)19
Title:Breed: A Novel
Authors:Chase Novak
Info:Mulholland Books (2012), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library, Read :), Reviewed, Signed books, ARC
Tags:horror, fertility

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Breed by Chase Novak (2012)



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Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
A decent read with a surprising ending. Can't say that I saw it coming and I was pleasantly surprised. I was actually giggling a bit because it was just 100% not a thought in my mind that that was gonna happen. As I read it I thought, "Well that escalated quickly.." so I couldn't help but giggle. Nonetheless, strong ending :]

One thing I really disliked about this book though (which has nothing to do with the story itself so it did not impact my rating) is the fact that there's NO CHAPTERS! Ehhhhh..

I was reading this as an "in-between" book as well as a book I was going to take with me when I travel. I was planning on starting it here where I live and was hoping to read it through out my trip while visiting my family, as I wanted a book I wouldn't mind getting interrupted on or one I wouldn't mind not being able to pick up the few days I'm away. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. I read through this book in 2 days. I leave for my trip tomorrow evening. Whoopsies! I also chose this one particularly to read a "Halloween/October" themed book and did it fit the part! While this was an entertaining, quick read, I don't think I'll be picking it up again but I did enjoy it enough to where I would recommend reading it once! So because of that, I might do a giveaway with my copy (which is in mint condition because I'm a book snob) to let someone else enjoy this adventure :]

*FOREWARNING: If you're sensitive to animal killings like I am, there are a few parts in the book that will make you wince. Chase Novak by no means drags out these scenes. They're quick and to the point. I would still recommend this read if it interests you, but I would have liked a warning myself :P

** To See My FULL Review Visit: The Nerdy Bookmark - A Not-So-Serious Book Review Blog ** ( )
  kay_reads | Nov 17, 2015 |
But at that moment, Adam tightens his grip on Michael’s hand, and Alice likewise squeezes his other hand, and with the childish, trusting touch of these twins, his fate is sealed. He cannot and he will not betray them.

I have to start this review by saying that I don't normally read horror books. Horror is not my favorite genre but I am always willing to read different things. Oddly enough when I finished this I didn't feel like it was horror enough. Yes there were some really creepy and freaky things but for most of this book I was a bit bored.

This book follows a family who is definitely not normal after the mother and father undergo odd fertility treatments to conceive the children, Adam and Alice. I never liked the mother and father, Alex and Leslie. The more I read this the more I hated them. I didn't really like some of the side effects of what they were going through (like the memory loss and especially the loss of their vocabulary). Quite frankly I didn't really connect with any of these characters.

There just wasn't enough creepy and freaky in this. It was a lot of running and hiding and that got old fast. My favorite creepy part was definitely the showdown between Alex and Michael. It was gory but it was fast paced and interesting. I was also left unsatisfied with the ending. It kind of felt like the author just gave up on the book. I don't really see what the sequel will be on but as I have already committed myself on Netgalley to reading it I guess I'll find out. This book wasn't bad but it also wasn't good; it was just okay. ( )
  dpappas | Dec 12, 2014 |
The book ends up being much less about pregnancy and more about the perils of genetic modification, providing an interesting twist on the evil pregnancy trope that carries out through the childhood of the babies that were conceived.

Essentially, the parents’ genetics were so messed up by the treatments performed by the doctor that they start turning into something different from human. Something a bit more animalistic. The children, of course, also have some of this animalistic genetics, but most of the differences don’t show up until puberty. This allows the children to be innocents for most of the book while their parents have gone off the rails from their very first treatment. My favorite part of this book is how it offers a smart critique of pushing our bodies to do something they don’t want to do. Where is that line? How far should we push things with science and at what point will using science make us something different from human? And is that something different going to necessarily be better? Leslie clearly feels that her children were ultimately worth everything she, her husband, and their bodies went through, but the book itself leaves the answer to that question up to the reader.

Beyond this concept, though, the actual execution of the characterizations and the plot get a bit messy. The writing can sometimes wander off onto tangents or become repetitive. Some aspects of the plot are explored too much whereas others are glossed over too quickly. The book starts out tightly written and fast-paced but toward the end of the book the plot gets disjointed and goes a bit off the rails. Part of the issue is a bit of a lack of continuity regarding just how messed up Leslie and Alex actually are by the treatments. Are they still at all human or are they completely untrustworthy? Is there any possibility of redemption for them? At first both seem equally far gone but then Leslie seems to pull back from the edge a bit, thanks to a MacGuffin. It’s hard to be frightened of the situation if the frightening aspect of the parents comes and goes at will.

Similarly, in spite of the book wanting us to root for Alice and Adam (the twins Leslie and Alex have), it’s hard to really feel for them when they come across as extraordinarily two-dimensional, particularly Alice. Children characters can be written in a well-rounded way, and when it’s well-done, it’s incredible. Here, though, Alice and Adam seem to mostly be fulfilling the role of children and not of fully fleshed characters.

Most of these issues are more prevalent in the second half of the book, so it’s no surprise the ending is a bit odd and feels like it leaves the reader hanging. I was surprised to find out there’s a sequel, as I thought this was a standalone book. On the one hand I’m glad there’s another one, because the story isn’t finished. On the other, I’m not a fan of such total cliffhanger endings.

Overall, the first half of the book offers up a thrilling and horrifying critique of just how far people should be willing to go to get pregnant. The second half, however, is not as tightly plotted and drops the well-rounded characterization found in the first half of the book. Recommended to pregnancy and/or genetic modification horror enthusiasts who may be interested in a different twist but won’t be disappointed by a cliffhanger ending.

Check out my full review. ( )
  gaialover | Oct 2, 2014 |
Rating: 3 of 5

Breed started off with terrific momentum and intrigue, then it sort of ... petered out. I don't know what happened or why Novak lost me so abruptly around page 167, but from that point forward I was pushing myself through to the end. Perhaps it was the heavy-handed foreshadowing that ruined the mystery and anticipation? It was SO obvious what was going to happen in the Twisden family. Or maybe this should've been a short story/novella where it would pack more punch? The strongest aspect of the entire story was its exploration of obsession and going against nature for one's own desires. ( )
  flying_monkeys | Jan 14, 2014 |
A book with a blurb by Stephen King always turns out to be a good book for me. In Breed we meet Leslie and Alex, a happy married couple who have everything they could possibly want, except for children. After going through numerous treatments and failing, they find out about a doctor in Slovenia who has had success in getting couples to conceive. Leslie and Alex travel all the way over there and do end up getting pregnant after the sketchy treatment. Five months later, they have triplets; but the third baby is born with extremely deformations and is "discarded". As time goes by, Leslie and Alex start experiencing the side effects of their questionable treatment and what follows is a very fast paced and gory horror story about how their lives get completely destroyed. I really liked it all the way through, even those stomach churning scenes; but I definitely think that the chasing sequences (Alex and Leslie going after their kids) could have been shorter and less repetitive. Other than that, Breed is everything Mr. King said it would be. ( )
1 vote AleAleta | Dec 12, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316198560, Hardcover)

Critically celebrated novelist Scott Spencer delivers a Rosemary's Baby-like novel of gothic horror, set against the backdrop of modern-day Upper East Side Manhattan.

Alex and Leslie Twisden lead charmed lives-fabulous jobs, a luxurious town house on Manhattan's Upper East Side, a passionate marriage. What they don't have is a child, and as they try one infertility treatment after the next, yearning turns into obsession. As a last-ditch attempt to make their dream of parenthood come true, Alex and Leslie travel deep into Slovenia, where they submit to a painful and terrifying procedure that finally gives them what they so fervently desire . . . but with awful consequences.

Ten years later, cosseted and adored but living in a house of secrets, the twins Adam and Alice find themselves locked into their rooms every night, with sounds coming from their parents' bedroom getting progressively louder, more violent, and more disturbing.

Driven to a desperate search for answers, Adam and Alice set out on a quest to learn the true nature of the man and woman who raised them. Their discovery will upend everything they thought they knew about their parents and will reveal a threat so horrible that it must be escaped, at any cost.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:01 -0400)

A couple obsessed with their infertility travels to Slovenia to have an unusual and painful procedure that results in horrible consequences they manage to hide until their twins, Adam and Alice, turn ten years old and start asking questions.

(summary from another edition)

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