Confession: I sometimes like to read scary books and to be scared. Reading scary books, even creating the scenes as written in my head are a lot less scary than some of those movies out there (like the Paranormal Activity series) when my head is not in control of what I am seeing. I have read some great horror, but oftentimes it is hard to find new books by my favorite authors—so I have to branch out. This is what happened with Brood.
I saw the book at my local bookstore and was creeped out by the cover, then I kept going back to the hardcover. I decided to wait on the hardcover for this book, but it spent only a few weeks on my wishlist before I picked it up for my ereader.
Cynthia fights for two years—and is FINALLY awarded custody/adoption of her twin niece and nephew, Alice and Adam. She relocates them into the house that they grew up in, a beautiful old building in NYC, but noises and an otherwordly feeling make Cynthia recall her late sister and brother in law. They went to a doctor overseas to help them conceive the twins twelve years ago, and descended into madness two years ago before their deaths. They took in pets of all shapes and sizes (and species) and proceeded to use them as snacks. As their children, it is only a matter of time before Alice and Adam begin to shift—can the love of their new ‘mother’ help these kids resist nature’s cruelest and most gruesome trick? Or will they, too, succumb to the same ferality that claimed their parent’s lives?
I really enjoyed the style and concept of Novak’s novel, I had no idea it was a sequel, and I think that added to the mysterious elements of the story. I WILL be checking out the previous novel. While there were some really strong pieces of human and nonhuman behavior in Brood, I felt the ending needed to be stronger. He left it open for another book, definitely, but I felt like it was an ending that was just written and considered twenty pages before the book ended (much like I found a few of Dan Brown’s books).
Cynthia really grows for me during the novel. She’s so focused on providing the kids with a good life—and she’s doing a noble thing. She was in recovery, and surely took on a lot of stress even for someone really well adjusted. I also grew to like the character of Adam—he really became well characterized throughout the novel.
Alice was the character I felt was most expendable. I wanted something to happen to her, and it wasn’t necessarily good. She’s manipulative and just awful.
Overall, I felt that despite the weaknesses, Chase Novak’s Brood was a good book—and I am REALLY glad I got it electronically, because it would not be a book I would want taking up real estate on my physical bookshelves. Brood is available from your favorite retailer in hardback, audio and ebook formats today.