Review: The Hatching – Ezekiel Boone

The Hatching: A Novel An astonishingly inventive and terrifying debut novel about the emergence of an ancient species, dormant for over a thousand years, and now on the march.

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.

Boy oh boy, do I hate spiders. I’ve had really bad experiences with them (think getting bit, getting a staph infection, and then getting put on antibiotics for a week). This book was pretty much guaranteed to freak me out, but I wanted to give it a shot anyway because I’ve never read a book about man-eating spiders before. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

This book isn’t really a horror novel. It’s more of an adventure story. It reminded me a lot of the movies where aliens or zombies or parasites attack and a bunch of different groups of people have to band together to solve the crisis. This book is written a lot like a movie and it cuts between different characters who are all dealing with the aftermath of the spiders.

Since the book is written in the style of a movie, the writing is entertaining, but a little simplistic. It’s not poetic or riveting, and there’s a little bit of a disconnect between the reader and all of the characters due to the writing style. Sometimes, it’s hard to get invested in the characters because as soon as we start to read about them, the story skips to a new group of people. Overall, the format of the novel is a plus for the book and I really liked it. It’s interesting to see how each group of people is impacted by the spiders and I know all of the people are going to come together in a rewarding way.

There were both good and bad parts about this novel’s characters. In a lot of ways, this book is really progressive. There’s a female president of the United States and one of the people responsible for figuring out the origins of the spiders is a female entomologist. There are also people of colour in positions of power, and a gay couple that I feel is going to play an important role in the future.

However, the women are mostly portrayed as adulterers or cougars, which I find irritating. Almost all of the characters are divorced and of course, the main male FBI officer has a complex relationship with his ex-wife, her new husband, and his daughter. This book does fall into the trap of a lot of cliches that occur in adventure movies. It’s not necessarily a bad thing and it didn’t bother me while I was reading the book, but it could be troublesome for other people.

I actually really enjoyed the plot of the novel. There are some gruesome and disturbing scenes relating to the spiders, but not nearly as bad as some other horror novels I’ve read. I always found myself really eager to continue reading because I wanted to know the story behind the spiders and what was going to happen next.

This novel is the start to a trilogy, and it was a really intriguing first novel because it managed to tease a lot for further books while still having a satisfying conclusion. It’s a hard balance to have. The Hatching is the perfect blend of intrigue, suspense, and horror.

Ezekiel Boone has written a really strong start to a series. I’m so eager to read the second book!

I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This has not affected my review in any way.

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