Over the past couple of weeks I have had the opportunity to read a book called Breeding Ground by Sarah Pinborough. I ordered a used copy of the book on eBay and it arrived a week later. I have to say, this is one of the most fun horror books I have read in a quite while. I absolutely love a good monster story and this one did not disappoint me.
The premise is that the world is caught off guard by an epidemic where almost all women in the world are unknowingly infected/impregnated with horrific spider beings, nicknamed ‘widows’, that grow inside of them and when born, use the hosts and their families for food. This is done by wrapping them in a web cocoon and slowly sucking them dry of blood. Wow, what a horrifying concept for a story!
In this story, the main character’s pregnant wife is one of the infected victims. As her child grows inside of her, so does the widow. The story continues where the main character joins with other people with one mission, survival.
The author had a fairly basic writing style that was easy to a fun read. The story was well-paced and was forward moving. I was fully committed and engaged while reading this story. There were nights where I was up way past my bedtime to continue reading at the expense of my energy levels the next day. In essence, the story’s widows sucked my energy by keeping me up at night, so I was one of the victims of the story, no pun intended.
I found at times that I was pretty horrified. First of all, I am a huge fan of spiders, at all, having had a pet tarantula as a kid growing up, but this story still freaked me out..
The author had a great knack for creating tension and making me uncomfortable while I was reading. Alot of fidgeting and moving in my seat while I was reading.
The widows were described very simply, not a huge amount of detail, but the simplicity allowed my imagination to take over. All I could picture were these hideous creatures that nightmares are made of.
I believe there is something primal in the fear of spiders.
This story does not go into details about what has caused the spider epidemic. I love having some mystery, but in this case, I would have liked a bit more detail.
One of the things this story does pretty well is that it brings a group of weary victims together into a group that must work together. While this group was working together, there were many conflicts among the characters. Some of the characters you love and some you hate. And one in particular, you love to hate.
At the end of the story, the fight for survival remains unresolved, opening up the possibility of a sequel. I am not sure is there was a sequel written, but I would read it if there was. In closing, this book was a fun read that did it’s job well. It freaked me out, it frightened me, it had characters I could relate to, and the opening pulled me in. Good stuff!