Publisher: Epicality Books
Image Source: The Author
Synopsis: THE STORM HAS COME.
The homosexuals, once an ostracized social minority, have taken over the world. They understand the angers of an overpopulated planet, usurped government power, and created a culture of perfectly engineered families. But Grace Jarvis and Dex Wheelock are heterosexuals—part of the government’s highly controlled backup plan for reproduction—and they have a problem.
Grace is pregnant. Dex is the father. It is a crime that has only one consequence: banishment to the Antarctic Sanctuary, an isolated biological reserve where reproductive criminals are allowed to exist in peace, without disrupting the rest of civilization. Yet there are rumors that genocide has already begun and that the homosexuals are finally setting natural breeders on a path to extinction. This leaves Grace and Dex with only two choices: to succumb to the tyrannical regime, or run.
THEY CHOOSE TO RUN.
Review: The Breeders by Matthew J. Beier is a heart wrenching story of love and hope. The author manages to weave an intimate tale of lovers while making a vast foray into controversial social issues and life values. Published in 2012, The Breeders has the potential to become a modern classic. Within its pages lies discovery and realization on an unprecedented level, one that could strongly impact culture and make one think twice about the fundamental values of being human.
As a dystopian thriller, The Breeders takes place in the late twenty-third century. Technology has advanced, if not quite as extremely as one would expect. Society has shifted dramatically and not necessarily for the better. The world has finally recovered from the “Bio Wars,” which almost brought about the total extinction of humanity. The remaining population is considerably smaller and dictated by a highly conservative regime of sexual politics. A world government retains almost absolute control, even placing restrictions on the natural birthing process. Even more shocking is the fact that homosexuality is the new norm. Heterosexuals have become a minority and are in a constant and accelerating state of degradation.
Matthew J. Beier has concocted a tale of masterful proportions. His goal in writing The Breeders was to provide a different perspective to the intense debate over gay marriage. What is generally considered normal in our society has been reversed, only to provide insight for issues our nation is currently undergoing. Beier found inspiration in the 2008 ad campaign for the National Organization for Marriage, which likened gay marriage to “a coming storm.” His vision is to give people the opportunity to “step into the shoes of those they are speaking out against.”
The Breeders has captured the beauty of two individuals trying to find value in a world where their kind must endure the condemnation of society. Solace cannot even be found with friends or family who struggle to hide their blatant disapproval. The mere act of producing a child via unplanned and natural reproduction has become taboo in this backwards world. The protagonists must face their own insecurities if they ever hope to find peace at the end of the road. The storyline was one of those that actually made you stop thinking and feel your way through the novel. Understanding the motives behind Beier’s characters can only be done by stepping into their very shoes and feeling for yourself why they made certain decisions and chose particular paths. The humanity in his words was refreshing, almost reminiscent of Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games. While reading, I felt the pain of Dex Wheelock as he struggled with the fear of taking responsibility for his own child, and I could almost taste the tears of Grace Jarvis when she realized she may never see her beloved father again. This is the kind of book that makes one realize how wonderful and terrible it is to be human. This is the kind of book that bridges the gap between sorrow and joy.
Throughout the novel, readers will began to recognize the plot as an exaggerated reverse-scenario of our own society. In the world of The Breeders, intolerance toward heterosexuals is rampant. In our own world, the exact opposite is occurring. Hate crimes against gays and lesbians happen every day. The LGBT community is constantly under attack for being ‘unnatural’ and ‘sinful.’ This ideology is based on the literal interpretation of scripture, dogma, and an outdated viewpoint of humanity. It’s a simple and sad fact that people are willing to condemn others for falling in love with someone of the same gender. I question any authority that justifies limiting the definition of love. This is a fundamental gift all humans can partake in, one that is all-inclusive. Gender and other worldly characteristics cannot inhibit the pure and relentless power of affection. I am confident that Matthew Beier will share this wisdom with the populace and stand by his dream to help people see that humanity is “only as strong as it is united and as weak as it is divided.”
While reading, I also stepped into the shoes of its author and began to understand the impact his life experiences have had on his integrity. Living in a society where being honest about yourself leads to prejudice and disdain is a carving experience. It whittles out a character like no other. Something truly remarkable about a book is its ability the capture the soul of the author. The Breeders has done this and more. The character of Beier is evident in every sentence: his passion, hope, and even a bit of fear. Matthew Beier is truly an exceptional individual, one who understands the difficulties of living in a largely intolerant society. I sympathize with him and know from what direction he speaks from. To find the willingness to reconcile with those who are opposed to his orientation is a courageous action. I can only hope to channel this courage when facing life difficulties of my own.
Even though The Breeders ended (spoiler alert) on an incredibly dismal note, Beier was able to implement a sense of hope into the reader’s experience. As the protagonists Dex and Grace were deceived by the very people they thought were helping them, the novel begins to show its true spiritual colors. Left to die in the frozen and apparently uninhabited wasteland of Antarctica, the couple with their infant child realize how futile their efforts have been to evade government. Everything the reader hoped for seems to be lost, and one may even end up hating the novel because of it. The author intended to write the end as emotionally honest as possible, which proves his persevering integrity. This was his intention, yet Beier could also not devise the ending to be entirely hopeless. By the fleeting glimpse of a rainbow, Dex departed life with God’s promise that life would go on. The story ended with a sobering and eye opening enlightenment. The empowering and stunning realization of The Breeders is revealed, and readers are instilled with hope that even the “worst of life may merely be a prelude for what is to come.” It was the perfect ending, one that speaks of life’s gift and the great mystery afterwards.
The Breeders is one of the most heartfelt books I have read. There is sincere passion and inspiration between its covers. It’s one of those incredible works of literature everybody should read once in their lifetime, even if they disagree with what the author advocates. It definitely provides an enlightening perspective, and together with refreshing characters, a strong storyline, and superb writing, grants for a truly gripping read. It is my strong desire to see literary works like The Breeders impact society for the better. Intolerance only breeds conflict and creates a rift in our nation. If humanity is to rise above and meet new, more problematic difficulties head-on, we must realize how impeding our petty quarrels truly are. Denying rights for homosexual couples, including marriage, is a mindset that causes harm and threatens to derail any sort of political compromise. Personally, I can say that it hurts. Being unable to express your feelings for someone you love is heartbreaking and depressing. I severely hope that ‘traditional marriage’ advocates will someday understand the pain they inflict upon homosexuals who are otherwise no different from themselves.
There is a bigger picture to life than trying to oppose the suffering we all endure. We can let it tear our hearts and minds apart, but we can also realize that it is a gift in itself: the opportunity to learn from our mistakes, grow because of our hardships, and appreciate the occasional moments of awe that comprise the foundation of spiritual experience. When death finally rolls along, we can depart reveling in the knowledge that life goes on, and what lies ahead is the ultimate mystery. I thank Matthew J. Beier for making this review possible and for unknowingly handing me the answer to a long-standing dilemma. All in all, I recommend this novel to readers who are not afraid to open their eyes. I recommend The Breeders to the ones who need it most: the hopeless, the inhibited, and the downtrodden. For all of those who need to hear it, this book has a message that rings loud and clear: It gets better.
Beier, Matthew J. (2012) The Breeders. United States: Epicality Books