Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone

Description: 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.


The Hatching is a great horror thriller that will leave you both exhilarated and terrified. It’s part Arachnophobia  and part Independence Day. Movie analogies are apt for this book because the style is very cinematic. Lots of quick cuts from around the world and across the United States. From the jungles of Peru to the rural reaches of China. From Delhi, India to islands in Scotland and across the United States from Washington D.C. to Minneapolis to Los Angeles, Ezekiel Boone takes you on a wild ride that barely gives you time to catch your breath.


Boone introduces a large cast of characters and given the number of characters, he does an excellent job of fleshing them out and humanizing them. There’s not enough time to give each of them a lot of history, but you get to feel like you know the main sets of characters and come to empathize with them.


The real star of The Hatching is the spiders. An ancient species that is waking up and threatening a global apocalypse that the world is not prepared for and may not have a way of stopping. One of the most skillful things that Boone does is in the way he convinces you that this threat is real and that there truly may not be an adequate response to it. That may be the part that is most terrifying. He creates a threat that even if you see it’s coming, even if you know to be watching for it, you may have no way to stop it.


Boone shows great skill in creating high tension situations both behind closed doors and out in open spaces. He has an ease with dialogue that makes his characters instantly relatable. Short chapters interspersed with some longer ones aid in keeping the action and pace in constant acceleration. The tension begins from the first page and while the action ramps up fairly quickly, the scale of the danger being faced rises throughout the book as the action becomes more and more explosive.


The Hatching ends not so much with a resolution as with a pause in the action. There is more story to come and no one is out of the woods yet. Boone has created a blockbuster of a story that will have your fingers burning as you turn the pages. I can’t wait to see where this story goes next! Highly recommended.

I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of this book.