Pros: Nice creepy thriller
Cons: Not visceral enough for horror
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Ezekiel Boone’s The Hatching: A Novel (The Hatching Trilogy) introduces us to a mass hatching of an ancient variety of spider. Whole tides of carnivorous spiders overwhelm people and eat them. One scientist, Melanie Guyer, has a bunch of hatching eggs carefully contained in her lab, where she compares them to swarms of cicadas hatching at regular intervals years apart. Her ex-husband, Manny, is a close advisor to the president, and he comes to her for help as the country (and the world) goes crazy.
I like this book as a thriller, but a title like “The Hatching” makes me think more toward the horrific end of the thriller genre. Instead while I found this to be a good thriller, the horror end wasn’t quite as well-done. Giant masses of spiders quickly overwhelming people isn’t as visceral and horrifying (at least to me) as a close encounter with one or a few, when we’re talking books rather than movies. Even when we get down to the one-or-two scenes, most of them don’t dive deep into the description. It all kind of rolls past with the rest of the narrative.
There are a lot of characters in this book, and I haven’t yet figured out how all of them play into the plot (the author intends this to be a trilogy, so some of them are presumably setup for later events). The characters have a decent amount of depth. For instance, it’s nice to see a US president depicted in more private moments. I’m also rather fond of the spider expert, Melanie. I don’t like her all that much as a person, but I like her as a character. She’s brash, kind of vulgar, and very straightforward, which is not how most professors or researchers are depicted!
The pacing is decent. There are areas where it’s obvious what’s going next. However, when I got to the end of the book I was disappointed that there wasn’t already a sequel out because I genuinely wanted to know what happened next.
Book provided free by publisher for review
Expected publication date: July 5, 2016