Though both novella's are given a number within the Breeders Series they can actually be read at any point during the whole series.
Title: Plan B
Series: A Breeders Story 2.5
Author: Katie French
Genre: Sci-Fi, Dystopian
Release Date: 15th January 2015
BLURB from Goodreads
When Nolan is selected as one of few candidates lucky enough to work in the Breeders' hospital, he thinks all his troubles are over. Now he can afford precious medicine to save his ailing father. He’s heard of the Breeders’ cruelty, of their inhuman experiments, but he’s sure they’re all lies. Then he stumbles into the Plan B room and learns how truly awful the Breeders can be.
This story was originally published in Through a Tangled Wood, an anthology. A companion story to The Breeders, this novelette (approximately 40 pages or 12,000 words) introduces two new characters living in the Breeders' universe. It can be read at any point in The Breeders series
I have to admit, I really do enjoy this series, so was genuinely looking forward to reading this one. the only thing that really bothered me was I was reading it out of order, after having just read The Benders which is Bk#3.
I purchased this novella from Amazon UK, for around 99p which I personally think is roundabout the right price for a novella. The cover of this book features an old rotting truck that looks as if it has broken down in the desert.
Would this cover make me pick this up from a book store shelf? Yes, as the cover really screams "post apocalyptic/dystopian" and of course having read more of this series I would certainly be picking it up to learn what the novella is about.
The main characters in this novella are Nolan a young man who unusually (in this societies present state is hardly ever heard of) is still living with his ailing father. The illness Nolan's father is suffering from is "wet lung" which is basically a death sentence for the sufferer. Nolan's father is in fact only 42 years old, but thanks to the hard lives people now live he looks nearer to 62 years old! Nolan thinks, if only he can get a decent, stable job, he will be able to afford better food for both himself and his father and perhaps with the extra money he could maybe buy medicine for his father too. The other idea Nolan has that if he gets a job working for the Breeders at their hospital, maybe they will know and give him a cure for his father. This is why Nolan and his father are standing in line waiting to be allowed into the courtyard of the Breeders hospital.
One one hand Nolan is praying and wishing to be chosen to work here but on the other hand he is petrified by the thought of working for the Breeders. Nolan has heard many horror stories about the Breeders from "they eat babies" to "they suck the marrow outta the bones" etc etc. The hospital is a symbol of prosperity, possible comfort and yet also a symbol to be afraid of.
A woman appears in the courtyard which is an highly unusual sight. Free women are extremely rare, in fact for the majority of the males gathered in the courtyard this woman in front of them is the only one they have ever seen! This woman has a guard with a gun, to each side of her, presumably for protection, but this is no weak, fragile woman. The woman is wearing red high heeled shoes, and is dressed in a blood red suit and matching finger nails too. The woman's auburn hair is severely slicked back and fastened with a clip in the shape of the Breeders Logo, the very same one all breeder girls and women are tattooed with. The woman's eyes are ice cold blue and are already calculating the scene and people around her. The woman announces there are just three vacancies available, she orders the crowd to line up in an orderly fashion, and kind of like little sheep, they follow her orders. It is almost an hour after the interview process begins that Nolan is in front of the powerful woman he now knows as Dr Vandewater. Two of the job vacancies have been filled. Two men have been given a golden ticket each, meaning there is only one golden ticket left. Nolan sort of gets through the interview in a muddled dazed state and is a mixture of surprised and shocked when he is given the third and final golden ticket! Though Nolan is grateful for the ticket he cannot stop himself asking Why him? Dr Vandewater answers him by saying she likes an "employee that has something to lose". In other words Dr Vandewater has already worked out that Nolan's father is his weakness.
It's whilst working as a cleaner in the hospital facility that Nolan discovers the room that houses the girls and women on Plan B. Can he learn to ignore the fact these girls/women are humans and turn a blind eye as his supervisor seems to have done with no trouble? Sadly Nolan discovers that his supervisor, Samuel is in fact smoking himself to his own death with devils spine in an attempt to forget what he has seen happening in the hospital he now also works in. Whilst all this is going on at work, Nolan is still feeling the pressure to save enough money/slips to purchase a possible cure for his father, who's health is rapidly deteriorating even more.
Nolan wants to keep his father alive, prevent Samuel from smoking himself to death with devils spine and finally help the Plan B room girl he seems to have fallen in love with. Sadly Nolan soon learns he cannot get everything or fix everything in his life and his surroundings. Nolan ends up on the run from the Breeders like many of the characters are doing in this fantastic series, when he goes along with Samuel's plan and selfless actions.
This novella really takes you through a whole range of emotions, from pride about the relationship Nolan has with his father and the love they share, that is strong despite the wilderness they are now having to fight to survive in. Then there's the complex character of Samuel, who initially seems to be hard heated at the plight of the those in the Plan B room, he seems brusque with Nolan until he learns Nolan has seen inside the Plan B room. Samuel then tries to distract and reason with Nolan that there is nothing to be done. Though later it is a plan formed by Samuel that sets not just Nolan on his way to the possibility of freedom and a new life. The negative emotions you go through are the shock, horror, repulsion and disgust at what the Breeders and Dr Vandewater are up to in their hospital facility.
Did I enjoy this novella? Yes, I loved it. The relationships between Nolan and his father and then Nolan's working relationship and then friendship with Samuel. I think we also get a brief but revealing look at Dr Vandewater and how she is ready to exploit anyone's weakness whatever it may be to make sure she keeps her employees in line and makes them do whatever she dictates them to do.
Would I recommend the novella? It's a must read if you have read the novels in this series!
Would I want to read more of this series? Oh yes! definitely!
Would I want to read other titles by this Author? I would always check out anything written by Katie French.
|These Breeder Series novella's make me want to read more and more of this series. Just when you think the series can't get any better Katie French makes it even better! With characters you love to love, characters you don't want to let go of, and characters you seriously love to hate too!|