If you’re not already terrified of spiders, you will be…
Starting about a week after the events that took place in last year’s The Hatching, Ezekiel Boone’s latest novel picks up right where the last one left off–with humanity still at war with dangerous, flesh-eating spiders.
The world is still in shock after the sudden and devastating return of killer spiders that were found in Peru near the Nazca Lines. Melanie Gruyer, a no-nonsense professor, was the recipient of a FedEx package that contained the 10,000-year-old egg sac that hatched in her laboratory. Since then, tens of millions of people have died around the globe while the spiders continue to multiply at an alarming rate.
For a brief moment, humanity appears to have won the battle, though the war is still ongoing. But while a large number of the spiders are dead, or at least no longer hostile, the victory is short-lived.
Humans initially thought that the spiders backing off was a sign of retreat. Instead, they soon discover that it’s actually a fall-back tactic by the killer crawlers to protect their newly laid egg sacs. Professor Gruyer (who is viewed as “the most important woman in the world right now” by the president) and her team, who relocated from their American university to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, desperately search for a way to destroy the spiders before the sacs hatch.
Meanwhile, out in California, few survivors are left, and those who are still alive are subjected to quarantine. Elsewhere, China is half destroyed, and in Japan a huge truck-size egg sac is found.
The newfound mammoth sac is not only bigger, but it also glows, making it unlike any of the others turning up all over the world.
While professor Gruyer races to solve the mystery of what’s growing in Japan–and how to destroy the other sacs all over the world–the narrative shifts between her efforts, the adventures of two survivalists who wonder in search for ways to create a spider-killing weapon, and FBI agent Mike Rich’s struggle to protect his family.
Boone rounds out the ensemble cast with American President Stephanie Pilgrim, who is forced to make some unbelievably tough decisions. The added political element adds a really entertaining dynamic to the already exciting plot, but it also makes the less-than-likely scenario seem more authentic and less cartoonish.
If there’s a negative worth pointing out, it’s that there’s not much character development. To be fair, though, that’s not really necessary for a story about humans on the run from flesh-eating spiders. Still, Boone’s characters are fun, even without much backstory or depth to them, and are easy to cheer on in their fight for survival.
Swap out the zombies for spiders and you’ve got Ezekiel Boone’s The Walking Dead-like, highly-entertaining apocalyptic series. While the plot revolves around creepy-crawlers, the story moves at gazelle-like speeds, and Boone pushes the pacing to max level with short chapters as he jumps around between numerous engaging characters.
Building on the success of The Hatching, Ezekiel Boone’s Skitter is scary-good fun that sets the stage for at least one more epic showdown between mankind and the terrifying eight-legged beasts hellbent on destroying them. If you’re not already reading this series, it’s time to start!
Author: Ezekiel Boone
Series: The Hatching #2
Pages: 352 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Release Date: May 2, 2017 (Order Now!)