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Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite
Blind obedience to established rules or the power of the freedom to exercise personal choice: those are the principles at odds in Breeder by Casey Hays. In a female-only society in a world after ‘The Fall’ due to war, girls are raised to take on specific duties at the age of 16, regardless of interest or ability. Kate has been declared a breeder, destined to mate with one of the ‘stock’ – men held in cages for the sole purpose of providing offspring. Kate, however, is determined to exercise choice over her body and refuses to perform her duty. Instead of looking at her mate as a ‘dog’, she discovers a person with intelligence, hopes, and dreams of his own. Kate repeatedly goes against the will of the Council Leader and is on the verge of being put to death for her disobedience when a life-altering event changes the course of the destiny she has tried to avoid.
Casey Hays has written an excellent story about a young woman’s strength of character and desire to make decisions based on choice instead of blindly following the role imposed upon her by a ruling council. Breeder celebrates the virtues of self-worth and free will and deals with the empowerment of girls to follow their dreams and live up to their inherent abilities. It is also a cautionary tale as well, since no one can stand completely alone. A relationship based on friendship, trust, and understanding is important for people, both friends and lovers, to be happy and fulfilled.