Friday, July 24, 2009

Breeding Ground


I’m writing this hoping that Erin Andrews has not already broken the internet, and these words will be read…*

For some time, people whose opinions I respect have been telling me I should read Breeding Ground by Sarah Pinborough. “You’ll love it” they said. Being a contrarian by nature, I ignored them, and kept it buried at the bottom of my To Be Read pile. Recently, though, I noticed a sequel was on its way (Feeding Ground) and I didn’t want to face the possibility of an entire series sitting there taunting me with its come-hither eyes (like Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, all of which I own but have never read). So I gave it a shot, and you know what? All those know-it-alls were right. It is a helluva book.

Matt and Chloe are a happy young reasonably affluent couple in England. They become even happier when they receive the news that Chloe is pregnant. But Chloe begins to gain lumpy weight in all the wrong places. This section is very well done. The reader knows pretty much what is going to happen, and Pinborough paces it just right to properly exploit the feeling of dread.

Sure enough, Chloe’s day comes, and in a horrific scene, she gives birth to a …giant spider. A giant man-eating spider. What’s more, almost all the women in the country (presumably the world) have done the same thing. The few men (and a couple of women) who survive the initial onslaught struggle to find a place where they can survive.

This is a creature feature mixed with a post-apocalyptic story. Pinborough deftly produces the sort of shutters you’d expect to have if you saw a giant honkin’ spider, and there are intriguing mysteries that accompany the appearance of the beasts. Very few of which are answered here, as there is a sort of open ending. That’s okay, since the knowledge there would be a sequel started the whole adventure.

I would highly recommend Sarah Pinborough’s Breeding Ground, and Feeding Ground will automatically receive a place high on the TBR pile.



* Lest I be perceived as being too crass, let me say that what was done was outrageous, and she has my sympathies. But the amount of attention being paid to something that should only really concern the victim is staggering.
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10 comments:

The Doctor said...

Erin who?

As for Breeding Ground, it's been on my reading pile for a while as well (along with Tower Hill). But when I was told it was "great" I went and read her first release, The Hidden, instead. That was a mistake - it's a proficiently written book with some good horror set-pieces, but the interstitial material is best described as "plodding". I kept reading it wishing it was written by someone like Graham Masterton. Hey, the ending would likely have been something ridiculous, but at least the book would have had some zest!

Anyway, sounds like Breeding Ground is a very different kind of novel. One day...

KentAllard said...

"Erin who?"

American sportscaster video-taped (without her consent) nude in a hotel room. Quite the sensation, I guess. I haven't read The Hidden. First novels can be like that, though. Sometimes the lucky writers are those who don't get their first published.

Jim Mcleod said...

Started to read this, but I dropped it in the bath. May have to pick up another copy after reading all tghe praise for this one

KentAllard said...

I'll admit I love a creature feature book, but I really liked it. I mean, hell, giant spiders.

John Hornor said...

I've been on vacation, but - from the peanut gallery - I'll say, S. Pinborough (bah, I don't have the time to learn how to spell her name right) is HAWT. I had to stop following her on Twitter because she got me so worked up with her tweets, I couldn't stand it.

Never read any of her books, but I have one in the TBR pile. Will move it upwards.

KentAllard said...

Ummm, okay. I didn't think it was possible to get worked up in 140 characters or less.

John Hornor said...

It's not. But it IS possible if you're reading it, and the tweeter is Sarah Pinborough.

If not, you're a soulless husk of a man.

The Doctor said...

She's English, she probably has bad teeth.

The Doctor said...

Okay, I just checked. She doesn't have bad teeth. HAWT.

KentAllard said...

Yes, she is. The comments on this are much better than anything I said about the book :-)