Breed by Chase Novak

BreedBreed by Chase Novak
Published by Mulholland Books, an imprint of Hachette
Review copy received at SIBA 2012

From the publisher:

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.

First of all, this is NOT my type of book. I think I can count on one hand the number of horror novels I’ve read in my lifetime. But when I saw this one at SIBA last year, for some reason a glowing review by another blogger (can’t for the life of me remember who) was sticking out in my brain, causing me to feel compelled to pick up the book. When I finally started reading this (ahem… a year later, oops) I knew exactly what about this book makes it so special – I was sucked into this story immediately, hanging on Novak’s every word, desperately trying to figure out what the HELL was up with these people.

But this book is not for the weak of heart (or stomach). There were many times when I had to put the book down, pace around the room a bit, or read something light for fifty pages or so to take the edge off. A lot of super creepy, gross, terrifying, and disturbing stuff happens in these pages. I guess that’s why they call it horror – because the book was truly horrifying.

To talk about the plot in any way would be spoiling a lot of what’s unique about this novel, but let’s just say this book was like nothing I’ve read before, and that’s both a huge compliment and a warning to those of you who aren’t used to reading this kind of thing. You will be shocked by its contents, in mostly good but sometimes awful ways.

I suspect that some of my thriller/horror-loving friends will want to jump at this one, while other more squeamish friends will want to stay far, far away. I’m more in the middle of the two camps and I have to say that overall I was very impressed with this novel. It’s completely different from what I usually read, and while I had to look away from its pages from time to time, overall I was riveted to this novel and didn’t want to put it down.

Recommended for horror/thriller fans and those looking for something outside their comfort zone.

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