Friday, September 10, 2010

Just Read: Breeding Ground

I really enjoyed this story, not only because it was well written, but because, frankly it scared the shit out of me. I am seriously, seriously terrified of spiders and this story gave me nightmares for three days, and I think that it was because of the sensory images that Pinborough used. Some of the descriptions that really got me included the words milky, slick, and wet.
• “A moving mass of suckers, peering through from a smooth pearlescent coating that would no doubt work like a foreskin, pulling back to allow those greed mouths access to whatever they sought.” – Page 167

Now, the beginning reminded me of Rosemary’s Baby, even though I knew that the devil wasn’t growing inside her…but the fact that Chloe and Matt were so happy, and as her pregnancy progressed she noticed awkward changes… I couldn’t help but to draw connections (especially when the doctor said that there was nothing was wrong. I also thought that Pinborough had a good progression towards Chloe changing; I particularly liked the part where she said that she hadn’t eaten anything in a week and was still gaining weight. That made the transformation seem more intense than I originally thought it was. However, the doctor did kind of piss me off, but I guess there needed to be something to def. put up the red flag, but his role just seemed strange…like perhaps he was the one that had something to do with it in the first place. I did, however, frown on the part where Chloe was eating unpackaged meat. It just seemed lame to me, because I remember reading it in vampire novels when I was 12, and it just seems like the easy route to take when someone is morphing into another creature. Personally, I would rather her just go out and kill something, rather than read a scene where she just woofs down raw meat.

• Agh, then there was that scene where Matt finds that guy in the cafĂ©, and he described the widow as cocooning the man from the inside out! I wanted to puke; in fact I’m sure I gagged.

As a writing strategy, the inclusion of the Katie, Jane, and Rebecca was a smart move because it immediately introduced conflict. But I think that the men were really the focus of the story, and I honestly didn’t even think that the title would have anything to do with the men being the ones to carry and deliver the creatures in the end. I really don’t think that I was too fond of Matt though to be honest. I didn’t like the way that he seemed to play the women sexually, and I have to wonder why he didn’t seem to ever be in any peril. Especially at the end, I have to wonder how Rebecca being pregnant didn’t seem to raise any flags; didn’t he think that there might be a very strong possibility that it could be a creature in side of her?

I did think that Nigel deserved his poetic justice in the end. I was very shocked that he threw Emma at the creature in order to save himself…talk about selfish. But I really hated him from the very beginning so my opinion of him only proved right in the end. And seriously what was up with that suit? And why did he hate the dog so much?

In the end, my favorite part was easily when John drank Rebecca’s blood…and it didn’t even affect him. Hello possible future vampire ;)

Some of the questions that I do have about this story are the following:
1. How did the town become a ghost town/apocalypse so fast?
2. What is going to happen to Matt and Rebecca?
3. Why weren’t they attacked when they left?

4. Were the creatures telepathic? And what was the purpose of the repetition of Pleaseee help meee?
5. How did things end up switching from the women to the men?
6. And most importantly…what happens next????


  1. Ok, let's try this again lol.
    Maybe spiders just don't scare me, but I really found the Widows to be lacking that extra creep factor. I liked the general make-up of the monsters and thought she had done interesting things with their abilities, but I really wanted to know more about them and see them do more.
    Feeding Ground is the other Widows novel, though it's not a sequel to this book, because the novel takes place at the same time as this one, only in London. From what I can tell from the reviews, you don't get much more information on the Widows than in this book. Maybe she'll write another novel that tells us more.
    The telepathy thing seems to hint at some kind of hive mind, which usually has either a mother brain or some kind of central piece that controls the others, which would be cool to see.

  2. In "Feeding Ground," what comes next is it's revealed how the spiders communicate. It also shows what happens when those spiders are born of crack-whores. I don't know...My wife and daughters are terrified of spiders, but I'm not. I thought they were kind of cool, but not terrifying to me. I did, however, giggle over the idea of people who are afraid of spiders freaking out over seeing one.

  3. You make an excellent point about writing strategy here. The inclusion of Kate, Jane, and Rebecca was really smart of Pinborough, and it made me think about how best to introduce my own characters in conflicting manners.