I’ve never been scared of spiders. Check that, before reading Ezekiel Boone’s The Hatching I wasn’t scared of spiders – now I’m absolutely terrified of them. Trust me, you will be too.
In fact, someone should just notify Webster’s right now–because the definition of “arachnophobia” should absolutely be changed to: “the state of perpetual paranoia and fear of spiders after reading Ezekiel Boone’s novel The Hatching.”
The book opens with a guide named Miguel leading a group of Americans through the jungle just outside Manu National Park in Peru. Bill Henderson, the billionaire owner of Henderson Tech – a wealthy Minnesota based company – was the headliner of the group. Along with him was his trusty bodyguard and three beautiful women, each of whom was nearly thirty years his junior.
The group of Americans voiced their frustration to Miggie (which is what they took to calling Miguel, even though he clearly stated his name several times) over the lack of sightseeing. They were in this godforsaken jungle to see some animals, and so far it had been one big letdown. What Miggie – er, Miguel -didn’t tell them is that he had an odd feeling something wasn’t right. Usually the jungle was filled with noise, but today it was silent. Eerily silent, and it bothered the veteran guide to his core.
Pausing again so Henderson could relieve himself just off the path, hidden behind some thick jungle brush, the rest of the group finally heard a noise. Miguel couldn’t quite place it though, as it was unlike anything he’d ever heard before. Then he saw something.
A man came running towards them, screaming. Just behind him was what appeared to be a flowing black mass of water. The man coming in their direction fell, then disappeared as the water washed over him. As the flowing mass of blackness moved closer to them, Miguel realized it wasn’t water. In fact, it wasn’t a liquid of any kind. It was something far, far worse.
Back in America, FBI Agent Mike Rich received a call from the director of the FBI, a man he’d never spoken to or met before. He was informed that a plane carrying Bill Henderson just crashed near a school in Minnesota. Mike was the closest agent the FBI had to the crash site, and he was instructed to go investigate things immediately. There was concern that this could have been an act of terrorism, especially when considering the fact that Henderson was the president’s largest financial donor.
Mike took control of the scene and began his investigation by having a look at the wreckage. Nothing appeared out of the ordinary until a streak of light cast over Henderson’s face showed what appeared to be a twitching movement. Was his face moving? Mike wondered. No, Henderson’s face wasn’t moving, something inside of Henderson’s face was moving – and it wasn’t just twitching, it was trying to get out from beneath the dead man’s flesh.
While all of this is going on in Minnesota, two more strange things occurred around the globe. An earthquake engineering center in Kanpur, India began detecting earthquake-like activity. Meaning the ground was shaking, but there was no earthquake present. None. Then, China “accidentally” dropped a nuke on themselves, the blast registering in a remote and desolate area of land.
In Washington, D.C., a professor named Melanie Guyer received a FedEx package from a man working on an archaeology dig in Nazca, Peru. Specifically, he was working at the site of the Nazca Lines.
The Nazca Lines are a set of massive lines, formed into the shapes of various plants and animals, dug into the desert sands. One of them even looks like a spider. The FedEx package contained a ten-thousand-year-old wooden box that was found at the site, marked by a large wooden stake. Inside of the box was an egg sac, thought to have been fossilized or petrified forever long ago.
Soon the egg sac began to hatch inside Guyer’s laboratory. What came out was something the spider expert had never seen before. It was a new species, or perhaps more accurately a very old species, of aggressive flesh-eating spiders. And to make this horror story worse, they’re capable of breeding at a stunningly rapid rate.
Something has prompted this dormant ancient, unknown species of spiders to start hatching. No longer confined to their eggs, these terrifying creatures want out. Millions of people’s worst nightmare is playing out in real-time, they’re coming. Can anyone stop them?
The Hatching is a hair-raising thriller that reads like the lovechild of Independence Day and World War Z, but is creepier than than both. If you aren’t afraid of spiders yet, you will be!
Why I loved it
As many books as I read, never before has a story made me paranoid. Typically I stick to spy-thrillers and tales of espionage, but I’ve never freaked out and thought a car was tailing me or something like that. This book, though, truly freaked me out!
The story is really good, though it does jump around a little bit and start slower than I expected. I’m not knocking the book or the author, as I think the pacing was necessary for character development. After all, if you don’t connect with the characters, why would anyone care if they get eaten by giant spiders?
The first night I read this I went to bed unafraid. I’m not entirely sure when the fear set in, but I saw a spider in the shower the next morning and let out a very non-masculine yelp. It also just so happened that I read a certain scene about a spider burrowing deep inside a man’s sinus cavities as I battled a vicious cold. I couldn’t bring myself to look in the Kleenex after blowing my nose–you know, just in case.
In all seriousness, this book is fun and entertaining. I had a blast reading it, but if it’s ever made into a movie, I will definitely be skipping it. Don’t judge me, I’m just man enough to admit when I’m too scared to watch something!
Why you should read it
Every once in a while something comes along that everyone will be talking about. This will be one of those books! Do yourself a favor and grab a copy so you can partake in the water cooler conversations at work.
If you like apocalyptic-type survival stories, this book is definitely for you! The Hatching is a terrific debut novel from Ezekiel Boone that has all the makings of a potential best-selling franchise moving forward.
Author: Ezekiel Boone
Pages: 320 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Release Date: July 5, 2016 (Pre-order now!)