I stepped WAY outside of my comfort zone with this one…
Author: Ezekiel Boone
Genre: Horror • Thriller
Publisher: Atria Books (July 5, 2016)
Deep in the jungle of Peru, where so much remains unknown, a black, skittering mass devours an American tourist whole. Thousands of miles away, an FBI agent investigates a fatal plane crash in Minneapolis and makes a gruesome discovery. Unusual seismic patterns register in a Kanpur, India earthquake lab, confounding the scientists there. During the same week, the Chinese government “accidentally” drops a nuclear bomb in an isolated region of its own country. As these incidents begin to sweep the globe, a mysterious package from South America arrives at a Washington, D.C. laboratory. Something wants out.
The world is on the brink of an apocalyptic disaster. An ancient species, long dormant, is now very much awake.
The Hatching turned out to be my own personal version of hell. Lesson learned! Never hit the NetGalley request button on a book with a vague description without doing some research. To be fair, I’m not sure what I was expecting when there is a spider web on the cover… In case you are as oblivious as I was, spoiler alert: this book is about killer spiders. I tend to avoid books that have to do with things I am terrified of, like man-eating spiders, so why did I give this one a go even after I discovered it was about spiders? I wanted to see if I could conquer my fears and read it. I am proud to report that I was able to make it through this one, although it gave me a serious case of the “willies.”
Let’s talk about the horror/thriller elements. This book was terrifying for someone who is scared to death of spiders. Would The Hatching disturb someone that doesn’t have arachnophobia? I’m not sure, but it sure worked for me. This book felt more thriller than horror. Despite the fact that this book terrified me, I must admit it was very readable – I just had to know what was going to happen next. What is it about apocalyptic books that make them so compelling? I think it’s the fact that these types of books bring up scenarios that make us think about what we would do if we found ourselves in a similar situation.
*Side note: If I was in this situation, I would be curled up in the fetal position weeping. In case anyone was curious*
I feel like this book would translate well to film… but I also feel like it would be a fine line and could easily become a corny movie if put into the wrong hands… In the right hands, I think this story would do well as a film. Actually, for some reason this book gave me Independence Day vibes, so if you are a fan of that movie, you may also enjoy this book.
If I had no idea who the author was before reading this, I could have told you it was written by a man. This book definitely feels like a book that would appeal to the “man’s man.” This is not a criticism of the book, just that you should not expect flowery writing. I would describe this book as being a little rough around the edges. It has foul language and is crude at times, which doesn’t bother me, but if you are easily offended this probably isn’t going to be your cup of tea.
The Hatching is one of those books that gives you a large number of characters, and switches perspectives often. While I understand why the author chose to tell this story by introducing us to multiple characters, it was almost too much. I would have preferred for the story to have been told through 3-4 main POVs, and leave the others off. We were introduced to a new character every chapter up until the 30% mark before we cycled back around to some of the past characters. I think only focusing on 3-4 main characters would have helped me form a connection to at least one of the characters. The way The Hatching presented so many characters really made it tough to really get to know them in depth or really root for them.
I loved that Boone featured so many female characters in positions of power in this story: the president, a marine squad leader, a leading scientist in the field of spiders… HOWEVER his portrayal of these women was a tad on the derogatory side. Just an FYI Boone, not all females are sex starved. The president was having an affair with her chief of staff. The biologist was sleeping with one of her students. I can’t remember for sure, but I think the marine squad leader had something casual going with one of her team members? Regardless, I didn’t feel it was necessary to throw the female characters’ sex lives into the book when it really wasn’t pertinent to the plot. I think Boone brought up one male character’s sex life, which was the seismologist’s assistant who basically harassed her with inappropriate details of his sex life… again unnecessary to the plot. Had Boone taken out these pointless details, it would have had not effected the story at all and made the story a little less “cheap” feeling.
Overall, The Hatching was a very readable & thrilling book. The final page ends on a big cliff hanger that will leave readers wanting more. Despite the fact I didn’t love this one, I’d consider continuing on with the series to see what happens next…
Ezekiel Boone was born in Canada but lives in Ithaca, New York, with his wife and children. The internationally bestselling THE HATCHING series (THE HATCHING, SKITTER, and ZERO DAY) has sold in twelve countries and nine languages, and has been optioned for the screen. THE MANSION, Ezekiel Boone’s fourth novel, is out October 2018. When not writing thrillers, Zeke writes acclaimed literary fiction under the name Alexi Zentner. Along with a healthy respect for spiders, Zeke has two poorly behaved dogs and enjoys the outdoors.
Have you read this book? If so, what did you think?
Do you ever read books way outside your comfort zone? Why, or why not?
Are you scared of spiders? If not, then WHY NOT?!? Having 8 legs is just not natural…