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The Aussie Zombie

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Breeding Ground

Breeding Ground - Sarah Pinborough

Breeding Ground has been on my TBR since October 2011 and was on my wishlist for several months before that. And yes, this is a horror book about spiders - arachnophobes beware.

The story begins with a young couple, Matt and Chloe who discover that, although unplanned, Chloe is expecting their first child. Their lives are typical of a couple in their early thirties, and although unexpected, both are excited about the prospect of their new arrival. It's only as Chloe's pregnancy progresses that things start to take a turn for the unusual, as she puts on weight rapidly and becomes moody and unpredictable.

The realisation that things are not normal comes slowly to Matt, and that's the first part of the plot I had an issue with. I get that he was caught up in his job and Chloe's difficulties, but he doesn't notice that something unusual is happening in his town and indeed around the country until the shit hits the fan late one night and it seemed unrealistic that he hadn't seen anything unusual on the news or even within his town.

In some parts of the story I liked Matt, at others I would have greatly enjoyed slapping him - he moves from woman to woman without much show of emotion (OK, he's a man but do we really need to be so stereotypical?) and he isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer - he misses vital clues when another woman falls pregnant that are exactly the same as Chloe experienced only a short time before.

There's a cast of other survivors, some interesting, some completely annoying and a whole bunch that kind of melt together into one person rather than having individual personalities and I kept getting confused as to who exactly each of these characters were and I couldn't tell you their back stories by the time I reached the end of the book. It's fine to have unlikable characters, and it's even something I enjoy, but none of them were particularly memorable.

When it comes to the horror level, this is gory and scary - what the spiders do to the humans they capture is truly gruesome and nothing is held back in the descriptions. Killer spiders were never going to be anything else, and these spiders are particularly horrendous.

There isn't a full explanation of how the spiders came to mutate and invade, and exactly what their intention is other than nom-nom humans, but there is another book so I assume at least some of those questions are answered. The premise of Breeding Ground is chilling, but the execution lacks characterisation and enough background for me to have really enjoyed it.

Read more of my reviews at The Aussie Zombie

Source: http://www.theaussiezombie.com/2013/04/review-breeding-ground-by-sarah.html