What works extremely well in this book is the tone the author creates. Every circumstance is life-or-death and no one’s safe. There’s no sense that the main character will be okay because he’s the main character, and since anything could happen, it feels real. Because of this, the book made me reflect on the structure of our current society in comparison to where Will is growing up. Spoiler alert, it’s upsetting.
As a rule of thumb, I don’t love it when the main character or narrator of a book hides secrets from the reader, which is how BREEDER is structured. Instead of interacting with the world through the eyes of the character, we as readers only find out about what the character already knows when the character is confronted with it. In my opinion, it’s a missed opportunity for greater tension-building and it also robs the reader from being able to fully imagine the world or connect with the character. For example, I am very confused about how fertility works here if only five percent of people can reproduce. If all reproduction is controlled by the government, except in regards to released Shadows, how are there enough Westie babies to replenish the working class, which the Corp desperately needs? Details like that are those that get lost when the POV is limited.
Aside from that, BREEDER is a fast-paced read with nail-biting plot developments. It’s perfect for fans of THE HANDMAID’S TALE and THE GIVER.