by Katie French
Published on August 1, 2012
Format: eBook ~276 pages
Tour Host: Kismet Book Tours
Genre: YA Dystopian
Sixteen-year-old Riley Meemick is one of the world's last free girls. When Riley was born, her mother escaped the Breeders, the group of doctors using cruel experiments to bolster the dwindling human race. Her parents do everything possible to keep her from their clutches-- moving from one desolate farm after another to escape the Breeders' long reach. The Breeders control everything- the local war lords, the remaining factories, the fuel. They have unchecked power in this lawless society. And they're hunting Riley.
When the local Sheriff abducts the adult members of her family and hands her mother over to the Breeders, Riley and her eight-year-old brother, Ethan, hiding in a shelter, are left to starve. Then Clay arrives, the handsome gunslinger who seems determined to help to make up for past sins. The problem is Clay thinks Riley is a bender-- a genderless mutation, neither male nor female. As Riley's affection for Clay grows she wonders can she trust Clay with her secret and risk her freedom?
The three embark on a journey across the scarred remains of New Mexico-- escaping the Riders who use human sacrifice to appease their Good Mother, various men scrambling for luck, and a deranged lone survivor of a plague. When Riley is shot and forced into the Breeder's hospital, she learns the horrible fate of her mother—a fate she'll share unless she can find a way out.
“When the Breeders come for ya, there ain't no escape. They strap ya to a bed and all ya hear is the thud of your heart and the cries of your friends as they wheel ya down to hell. Then the doctors come. You squeeze your eyes shut and pray you can forget. But ya never do.”
The Breeders sucks you in to a world that has been ravaged by a poison that made girls a rarity. In order to "save" the human race, so called doctors kidnap girls and inseminate them in order to give birth to more girls. But girls aren't the only ones who are being taken. Young boys are being taken by a group called Riders that torture them in the name of the Great Mother. If you can't handle violence of both the bloody and sexual types, then this book may not be for you. The Breeders is an emotional roller coaster from beginning to end.
The setting is in New Mexico and the Wild West has reemerged after the near decimation of the human race. While I can picture everything in my head, I kept having to tell myself that this is the future and not the actual Wild West. The government is not spoken of, only Sheriffs and corrupt law men - so what happened to the make this new reality. While I do like the book and was able to figure out what had happened, the back story could have been fleshed out and then some things would make more sense.
The main character, Riley, is a girl who will stop at nothing to get her family back. While I found her to be believable in this setting, I found her a little too stubborn for her own good and because of that some people who she wanted to save were left behind because of her impetuousness. However, she is fiercely protective and fights with every ounce of strength that she has. Clay, her sort-of savior, is interesting. He is also protective and always tries to do the right thing, but his past and his guilt are his motivators.
There are some truly evil people in The Breeders and the author Katie French writes their characters so well that I wanted to take a gun and shoot them too. She is great at writing vivid scenes and is able to bring the story to life. I found The Breeders to be a very suspenseful and captivating book. The plot is set at an extremely fast pace and is a quick, but emotionally draining read. I will say that their could have been more editing done, but for the most part I was able to read over the typos and grammatical errors because the story went so quickly. There is non-stop action and Riley can't seem to catch a break as she is thrown from one terrifying scenario to the next. I did find the small bit of romance a nice touch. I like that it is not the theme of the book, but a sweet addition in the midst of everything.
I am a huge fan of Dystopian novels and The Breeders is one that I would recommend to people who want something that will keep them on their toes. There will be a sequel, but there isn't any real news on that front yet. The ending could have let it be a stand alone, but because of who Riley is, I feel that there will be many more injustices for her to fight. Just don't read it before bed like I did because my heart was racing so much that I couldn't fall asleep.
FTC Advisory: I was given a copy of this book from the author for an honest review as part of a blog tour. No backroom deals or whispered promises were made.
Nessa: A Breeders Story
FREE on Smashwords - Just click on the picture!!
Katie French imagined herself an author when her poem caught the eye of her second grade teacher.
In middle school she spent her free time locked in her room, writing her first young adult novel. Though her social life suffered, her love for literature thrived. She studied English at Eastern Michigan University, where she veered from writing and earned an education degree. She spent nine years teaching high school English.
Currently she is a school counselor, doing a job that is both one of the hardest things she’s ever done and the most rewarding. In her free time she writes, reads great books and takes care of her two beautiful and crazy children. She is a contributor and co-creator of Underground Book Reviews, a website dedicated to erasing the boundaries between traditional and non-traditional publishing. She lives in Michigan with her husband and two children.
Website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads