The Breed Chronicles by Lanie Jordan
Breed of Innocence – Phase 1 – Book One
Jade was living in a girls’ home run by the lovely Mrs. Gill (aka Fishface). Two cops (Holt and Walden) appear at the home and ask to speak privately with Jade. Jade cannot think of a think she’s done to warrant a visit from the cops, but she’s also sure Mrs. Gill or one of the other girls will be more than happy to blame something on her.
Jade’s mother and brother were murdered when Jade was 14. Almost two years have passed since that time, but the crime is still vivid in her mind. She saw the murderer. It was a demon. Of course, no one believed her, and the crime remains unsolved. Jade sneaks out of the group home to hunt demons on a regular basis.
The men who’ve come to see her work for the Consortium of Genetic Engineering, or CGE, and they want to offer her a job hunting demons. At first, she has a hard time believing they are sincere. After they take her on a small mission and actually capture a demon that is in the process of assaulting a woman, Jade’s hesitancy vanishes. She’s in. She still has to finish her education and train extensively prior to being allowed to actually hunt demons, but she’s good with that, as long as she is able to eventually hunt down the demon that killed her family. She will also be required to give DNA for scientific research.
Almost immediately upon her arrival she makes friends with a handsome young man, Linc Stone, and enemies with a young woman named Felecia. The first phase of Jade’s training is not filled with just routine exercises; her life has never been so simple. Danger lurks.
Breed of Envy – Phase 2 – Book 2 **Contains spoilers about Book 1**
The second book picks up about two months after the end of Book One. Jade has discovered that both her parents not only worked for CGE, they also received the genetic treatments to mix various types of demon DNA with their own DNA. Jade is one of the first known cases of a child born from two such genetically-altered parents. So Jade has a variety of demon DNA in her own genetic makeup.
During the last phase, Jade had been bitten by a vampire. Her demon DNA probably saved her life. Jade was the first human ever to survive a vampire bite.
At the beginning of this phase, Director Greene breaks his normal protocol and speaks with the various training levels together, telling them about the new influx of funding he’s acquired. Jade was not at all relieved to discover the majority of the funds were secured to study her and her DNA and its ability to resist that vampire bite.
Jade’s friendships deepen in this second book, and her relationship with Linc also deepens and becomes something more serious.
Lanie Jordan is an excellent author; sometimes the book has an almost Harry Potter-ish feel to it, at least Book One does, for brief instances, as the descriptions of the students, cliques, and classes are discussed. This is not a bad thing, it is done in an almost teasing manner, lending a comforting feel to the school.
The characters are very well developed, most being multi-faceted. Jade can be an emotional rollercoaster, the kind of person who can be fun and loyal, but also tiring if her moods start swinging. Linc is strong, thoughtful, and an almost perfect friend. Felecia is the most conniving, lowlife enemy one could ever hope to read about.
Jordan portrays these people so well through their interactions, they live and breathe; they become beings the reader can care about or love to care nothing about, as the case may be. The demons are even well developed. They are so vividly and realistically depicted, the reader might expect to find one in their own warehouse district late at night. Thus, the world Jordan has created sparkles with life. It is frightening in its possibilities.
The plot lines remain consistent, while also allowing room for growth (you’ll know what I mean when you read them) across both books. The plot is strong enough to be engrossing and compelling enough to keep readers turning pages. The action is non-stop.
There were a few reading “speed bumps” when words were misused (weary for wary, for instance), but such instances were rare and were probably corrected prior to final printing.
There are very few series I will take the time to actively seek out and follow. This is one of them. I thoroughly enjoyed the Breed Chronicles.
I received a free ARC through LoP via Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.