I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Mulholland on October 7th, 2014
Two teenagers struggle with a horrific family legacy, and the woman who has adopted them fights for their lives--and her own.
Adam and Alice are reaching the age when some of the children created by the fertility treatment that spawned them begin to turn feral. Will they succomb to the same physiological horror that destroyed their parents? Every change brings on terror--the voice cracking as it changes, the swelling of the breasts, the coarsening of down into actual hair. Their aunt, Cynthia, oversees renovations to the Twisden family's Manhattan residence--torn apart by the children's parents at their most savage--and struggles to give her niece and nephew the unconditional love they never had. Meanwhile, in the world outside, the forces of good and evil collide as a troop of feral offspring threatens to invade the refuge Cynthia is so determined to construct behind the Twisdens' walls.
Meh. After this book, I have officially given up anything that promises creepy horror style children. They always seem like they have such great ideas and promise, and they never deliver. This is my third such disappointment this year, after The Uninvited which was horrendous, and The Three.
Brood is the story of Alice and Adam Twisden, whose wealthy parents had undergone fertility treatments that eventually turned them into feral cannibals. They, like all the other children who were the offspring of these types of fertility treatments, aren’t exactly normal children. When the offspring of these fertility treatments reach puberty, some of them grow ungodly amounts of hair, some grow feathered wings, some have glowing fingertips… and all of them possess blood that when consumed, acts as a powerful animalistic aphrodisiac that makes Viagra look like a joke. These side effects have the children frightened enough that they are attempting to stave off puberty by starving themselves.
Anyways, after the death of Alice and Adam’s parents, the children were put into foster care, and are now being removed from the system by their Aunt Cynthia. Cynthia has remodeled their family home and hopes to live a normal life with her adoptive children, but terrible things happen in the house, and the weird little children run away on several occasions to go be with the other feral children like them. There are people trying to capture them and harvest their blood for research, there are black market dealers, and a bunch of other nonsense that made this book a blah.
First off, Brood was apparently a sequel in some fashion to Breed. This was not provided in the description on NetGalley (yet again, can we fix that please?), and so there were large gaps of information, especially in the opening chapters, that made this a less desirable read. There was a complete lack of contextual back story, so often plot statements had to be accepted on the fly with the hope they would be explained or suddenly made sense later on — and then they weren’t explained at all.
There was also a complete lack of defined plot – there was no defined protagonist or antagonist, the book simply jumped around several POVs without much structure. And these characters really didn’t have much personality, they would simply react in a way that was convenient to move the story. It was disjointed and completely unfocused, with no real climax or denouement. Perhaps it is supposed to be a middle book of a series? Either way it went no where. There was just a constant barrage of problems – oh no, the children are constantly gone. Oh no, you are being kidnapped, oh no, someone is in the house taking disgusting baths. Oh no there are rats. Oh no, oh no, oh no. Yawn.
The styling also made me crazy. The way the characters spoke (“Mes do this, yous do that”) was so agitating. I get the point of trying to represent children without an education, but it was insufferable and incessant! Also, I found the descriptions of underage individuals overly sexually explicit, and extremely uncomfortable. Even with puberty such a large factor in the story, it threw up ‘not okay’ flags in my head.
I am not going to go pick up the first book, nor any successive ones. Just a super let down.