Customer Reviews for

Breed: A Novel

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Great Horrific Thriller

Breed is the story of the American Dream gone wrong, of having everything and it never being enough, of loving those who potentially hurt us the most, and ultimately of love conquering our darkest urges. I had heard amazing early buzz about Breed before BEA and I was so...
Breed is the story of the American Dream gone wrong, of having everything and it never being enough, of loving those who potentially hurt us the most, and ultimately of love conquering our darkest urges. I had heard amazing early buzz about Breed before BEA and I was so happy to receive a copy there. Let me tell you now, although Breed took some twists I didn't anticipate, I was by no means disappointed. I finished this book in one page-turning, hair-raising day and loved every minute of it.

So, Alex and Leslie have a fairy tale romance. They love each other deeply, have great jobs, have more money and luxury than they could possibly need. They simply have it all...except...they want children, their own children and are unable to make them. Enter a last ditch effort at fertility through a shady connection and even more dubious doctor. Everything should work out just perfectly, right?

Cut to ten years later and they have two beautiful twins Alice and Adam. They are gorgeous, brilliant, clever, loving...and being held prisoner in their beautiful Upper East Side home. In order to protect them from eminent danger, Alex and Leslie lock the twins up every night without fail. Leaving the adults to continue their descent into evil while keeping their precious darlings safe.

The chase is on as Alice and Adam search for answers about themselves and try to save themselves from certain death. Breed is not for the faint of heart. (Pet lovers in particular, be prepared.) It is gory, messy and disturbing in all of the best ways. The mystery is compelling and the stakes are high.

After finishing Breed I had two distinct thoughts: 1. This would make a great movie and 2. This book needs a sequel. As far as the first thought goes, it remains to be seen, but is probably very likely. And about that second thought, Breed didn't immediately scream sequel to me (I thought it was a stand alone novel) and the ending is not a desperate cliff-hanger (although very shocking). Breed stands very well on its own, but I wanted to know more. More about the minor characters, more about the fates of Adam and Alice, more about the impact of this fertility treatment on the rest of the world. Well, friends, my wishes are coming true. According to the NY Times, Chase Novak (AKA award-winning writer, Scott Spencer) has said he is indeed planning a sequel, Brood. I, for one, can't wait!

posted by KimballSK on September 1, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Horror is not a genre I often read. I used to read Stephen King

Horror is not a genre I often read. I used to read Stephen King (Cujo), and Peter Straub's Ghost Story scared the heck out of me. I don't read any of the vampire/werewolf novels that are so popular now, so I'm not sure what drew me to Chase Novak's Breed.
A cross betwee...
Horror is not a genre I often read. I used to read Stephen King (Cujo), and Peter Straub's Ghost Story scared the heck out of me. I don't read any of the vampire/werewolf novels that are so popular now, so I'm not sure what drew me to Chase Novak's Breed.
A cross between Rosemary's Baby (a classic horror novel I did read) and the vampire/werewolf genre, Alex and Leslie Twisden, two perfectly lovely Upper East New York City residents lead a wonderful life: fulfilling jobs, a happy marriage, an enjoyable social life. Having a baby would make everything perfect.
Alex is heir to a fortune, and they live in his family's incredible townhouse. After trying for a long time unsuccessfully to have a baby, the support group they belong to is starting to grate on them. Throwing money at the situation hasn't helped, but when they run into a former support group couple on the street and see that they are pregnant, they beg the couple to share their secret.
They get the name of a doctor in Eastern Europe, and off they go. When they get there, the situation is very scary and Leslie doesn't trust the doctor. But Alex convinces her to take the treatment and Leslie becomes pregnant.
Fast forward ten years and we meet their twins Alice and Adam. Every night the children are locked in their bedrooms, and they hear frightening, animalistic noises coming from their parents room. As the noises become more disturbing, Adam convinces Alice that they must escape or something horrible will befall them.
Leslie and Alex have been almost reclusive, unable to work, and their home has fallen down around them. The once beautiful showplace looks like homeless drug addicts live there. They live like animals, and any animals in their path had better scurry.
When Leslie and Alex find their children have escaped, the chase is on. Adam makes his way to a trusted teacher's apartment, where Alex tracks him. Alice ends up in Central Park and finds a group of mysterious children who have some kind of connection to her.
The children's ventures into the scary underbelly of New York made the hair on my arms stand up. Alex is always on the trail, one step behind them and when he finds them hell breaks loose.
I wasn't really satisfied with the end of the novel, however. I wasn't sure how it would end, but the end seemed a bit abrupt to me.
This is a violent, scary, disturbing, grotesque novel, one I never would have normally chosen to read, yet I couldn't stop reading. Novak (a pseudonym for writer Scott Spencer, who wrote Endless Love) knows how to keep the reader turning the pages.
It's the kind of book where you find that you have to force yourself to breathe out, and any little noise will make you peer into the dark corner of the bedroom fearing what you may find. Read this one with the lights on.
Although there are young protagonists in the book, this is not a book for young teens.

posted by bookchickdi on December 13, 2012

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  • Posted December 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    As much as I was looking forward to this book, by the end I hate

    As much as I was looking forward to this book, by the end I hated it. No, hated it not a strong enough word. I loathed this book. This book was a perfect example of a great idea that was executed terribly.

    ***Warning: From this point forward this review may contain spoilers. Stop reading now to remain unspoiled.***

    The basic premise of this was intriguing. An affluent couple who is so desperate to have a child that they travel to an unknown part of the world to have an unknown procedure performed on them. Here is where I ran into my first problem. At one point Leslie decides not to go through with the procedure. I can’t argue with her, she’s in a country she’s never heard of, in a filthy office, about to be injected by a weird doctor with something and the doctor won’t tell her what it is. She starts hollering and the doctor orders her husband from the room…and he complies! For all he knows they are holding her down and injecting her against her will! I was furious on her behalf. But then I got furious with her. She just lets it go and proceeds on their lives together, including having sex with him that same day! I would have gotten a good divorce lawyer before I was out the door of the office after beaning the doctor in his skull with my foot! So that bothered me.

    Another huge problem I had with the beginning of the story was the POV. It was written in third person omniscient. So it basically read like a news report. We would see what was happening and how it happened. But we’d have no idea why it happened, what they thought or felt about what happened, or any of the details that make you care about the characters. For that reason I found that I didn’t really care about Leslie or Alex because the only things I could see about them were ignorant, selfish, and horrendously stupid.

    After the twins are born the POV shifts to third person close, which was slightly better than before but by that point I just didn’t care. I didn’t care about the characters, I didn’t care about the plot, I wanted something to happen. Yeah yeah, I get it the parents are monsters now. Gotcha, now let’s do something with it. What they did was that the twins ran away and spent most of the book running from their parents. Along the way they discover other kids that are like them and who have parents like them. Apparently there are hundreds of these people wandering around and yet…no one else in the world has noticed.

    We also learn a little bit about the original doctor and what was in the original shots. I was excited about that and expected this story to become a quest for answers. But it didn’t. We were still on some stupid chase from the parents which was boring and starting to drag. And THEN we go on a quest for answers back to the original doctor. All I could think was, “Why did no one think of this in the last 10 years?” But even that proved worthless because there were no answers to be had. The plot never went anywhere and then you reached the end and realized that you had spent several hundred pages on a pointless quest for nothing. This plot had so much potential and all of it was squandered. When I reached the end of the book I was mostly relieved that it was over. I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone. All that you’ll gain from it is feeling vaguely nauseous and then being angry that there was no pay off for the grossness.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2012

    Thumbs down

    To me it was not very good was disapointed in it i should have saved my money

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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