Breed by Chase Novak

8/10 A gripping, fast-paced thriller that will only allow you to take a breath after you have finished it

Alex and Leslie Twisden told each other they would do anything to have children. The price didn't matter. But the experimental procedure they found had costs they couldn't foresee.

Adam and Alice Twisden’s lives seem perfectly normal. Except that, every night, without fail, their parents lock them into their rooms

And the twins know that the sounds they can hear are not just their imagination. They’re real. And they’re getting louder...

Breed, a supernatural thriller, is written by Scott Spencer under the pen-name of Chase Novak. From the synopsis I thought this would be a very interesting book. In thrillers I do like to read about genetic modification/engineering and often times these things go wrong, horribly wrong. Using the genetic modification/engineering part can quite spook me out. It is always nice to see how each author introduces this theme into his or her book and I found that it was integrated quite nicely in Breed.

Breed introduces a well thought-through concept for creating the supernatural setting. Two of the main characters, husband and wife Alex and Leslie have a desperate wish to have kids. But after many fertility treatments they still Leslie has not gotten pregnant. As they are on the brink of giving up entirely and opting for adoption Alex gets a tip of someone in their talk group, that a scientist in Slovenia has gotten nice breakthroughs. And as a last resort, Alex and Leslie decide to pay this doctor a visit.

The book itself is divided into two parts, first showing how Alex and Leslie met up in the past and how they are now living their quite luxurious lives, and ending with the birth of their children. The second part of the book skips forward ten years and focusses on the consequences that the Twisden family has brought on themselves. And eventually how everything escalates into total chaos. Chase Novak uses a logical build-up of the sequence of events that stays in the lines of the supernatural thriller theme, in this sequence everything reads very fast and I finished this book in about 5 hours, in a single setting. It really picks you up and does not let you go that easily.

In the beginning, with just having read the synopsis I thought that the threat would come from the children since they were locked each night in the rooms. Maybe Going for a more werewolf/vampire kind of theme. But the threat comes from both the parents: Alex and Leslie. And if you count 1 + 1 you already know where change came from. I must say that I was actually quite pleased with the introduction of their enhancement and how they came to it, and moreover how the scientist Dr. Kis came up with this remedy. If you look at the characters of Alex and Leslie you see that they are caring for their children but there is a certain change when they go from loving to wanting them and having feral urges toward them, reminiscent to the nature of the creature where they got their enhancements from.

Then there is Dr. Kis, the Solvenian doctor that finally grants Alex and Leslie their true wish. When I first got to read about him I just knew he wasn't to be trusted. I have to say that the introduction of Dr. Kis is of course essential to the storyline of Breed but on another take, looking at human nature, would you trust a Slovenian doctor to inject you with something vague? Well, I wouldn't. But then again, going to the remote country of Slovenia for a cure does add a certain feeling to the story, a bit like Transylvania. Overall you do not get to meet up with Dr. Kis that much except in the end, when he is pleading his final case for Leslie.

Lastly there are Adam and Alice the twins, what I liked about them is that they do care for the parents even though they are being locked up in completely boarded up rooms. In this isolation Adam is actually planning for more. And by his actions he is the cause of the escalation. As you get to read about Adam in his room there is great feature in the narration where Adam actually secured a baby phone from his parents and hears some of the conversations, and they are actually quite spooky. And on top of it Alex and Leslie are not the only ones that have taken this treatment… there is much much more to it…

Breed is a unique story that fits well onto the supernatural thriller shelf. Using a new background for the introduction of why Alex and Leslie became what they were, it was good to read that it was not yet another science experiment gone wrong. A nice thing in the end was how Leslie actually tries to get back together with her children but what Dr. Kis has said previously turn out to be just empty words... Breed is gripping, fast-paced thriller that will only allow you to take a breath after you have finished it.

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