This book was labelled as a thriller, but for me it just wasn’t that thrilling. Seed is a cult and by definition that’s pretty creepy, but everyone just seems so happy there! They seem to have plenty to eat and they’re not being worked like slaves or anything and they all just seem so ... content. Obviously, because it’s a cult, the head honcho, Papa S, makes all the women be his sex slaves, but they all seem to be thrilled at the prospect and get really jealous of each other when they’re not chosen to be his Companion. As the story progresses, some less-awesome aspects of Seed are brought to light, but because the story is told through Pearl’s narrative and she’s really sold on Seed, all the bad aspect just kind of get explained away.
I liked the idea of Seed, the whole way that the cult was organised around a Nature-based belief system as opposed to a traditional religion. I thought that was quite imaginative and cool and I thought the author explored the possibilities there really well.
The pace of the book is quite slow, but actually that matches Seed itself. Life goes quite slowly, same old thing, day in, day out and the arrival of Linda, Ellis and Sophie is the cause of much excitement and comment. By contrast, the last couple of chapters of the book have massive amounts of action in and I’d have liked that to be spun out a bit because the ending felt a bit rushed and confused.
I was really keen on the romantic elements to begin with - there seemed to be some really good chemistry between Pearl and Ellis and Ellis had all the makings of a decent Book Boyfriend, but about halfway through he is involved in an accident and after that the romance just fizzles out.
I did like Pearl as an MC, and I thought she was very sweet and had obviously been quite damaged by her upbringing in the cult, but ultimately I found her naivety a little bit wearing. She really didn’t question anything, and I know she was living in a cult, but she did seem deliberately blinkered. In comparison, Kate seemed like a much more interesting character and I would have like to hear more of her story. She actively questioned life at Seed and secretly met up with a boy from the Outside, and she was being forced into a relationship with Papa S and Kindred John, which was pretty grim. By contrast, Pearl was never subjected to becoming Papa S’s Companion (for Companion, read Underage Mistress), so her situation didn’t seem as threatening.
All in all, Seed was quite an interesting book, but I think more could have been made of the whole Creep Factor. We’re left with a bit of a cliffhanger and a few unanswered questions and I understand the author is writing a sequel to be released next year.