Book Review: Breeding Season by Jason Howl

Title: Breeding Season

Author: Jason Howl

Publisher: Jason Howl

Publication Date: August 31, 2019

Genres: Horror

Shelves: Female-fronted

As we continue to become more digital, more plugged into the world around us, the simple horror of an isolated hotel or cabin, with an inevitable catastrophe cutting the inhabitants off from civilization, becomes that much more terrifying.

Jason Howl adds to that primal fear by layering on familiar tensions between lovers, fractured relationships between friends, and dark secrets between family members. With the full moon looming overhead, we’re ready for a disaster before the characters even step foot inside the cabin door.

Beyond that familiarity, what Breeding Season does really well is mess with the clichéd gender roles and expectations. From the start, having been teased with a glimpse of the coming confrontation between wolves and humans, we’re led to expect the big, brave men to be slaughtered, fed upon and discarded, leaving the helpless women to be sexually ravaged.

Instead, we have men have gone mad, turning on one another, hiding in the cellar, women taking charge of their defences, and wolves that aren’t there to breed, but to be bred.

This is a story that is brutal and angry and passionate, all at the same time. There’s fire and blood and barbed wire. Much of the story is marked by the gore of torn limbs and chewed flesh . . . but then it gets disturbingly weird, with (literally) animalistic acts of ravishment.

Rating: ♀ ♀ ♀ ♀

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