Wednesday, March 01, 2017

The Hatching - Ezekiel Boone

Sent to me by the Publisher in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 09/02/17

Publisher: Gollancz

ISBN:  978-1473215184

Format: Paperback, 334pp

Genre: Apocalypse/Horror

Rating: 5/5

Summed up in a word:

First Impressions: I hated spiders before I even picked up The Hatching and now I live in fear of an eight legged apocalypse... so thank you Ezekiel Boone for that... Apart from the phobia inducing graphic imagery, The Hatching was a brilliant novel. It has action, horror, solid development and potential to become an excellent and spine-tingling trilogy. Thank you to Stevie at Gollancz for my review copy. Check out more of what Gollancz has to offer in 2017 at: Orion Books (Gollancz).

Book Synopsis: 
A terrifyingly enjoyable thriller of our world overrun by a flesh-eating ancient menace... The spiders are coming...

The first female president of the United States is summoned to an emergency briefing.

Deep in the jungle of Peru, a black, skittering mass devours an American tourist party whole.

FBI agent Mike Rich investigates a fatal plane crash in Minneapolis and makes a gruesome discovery.

Unusual seismic patterns register in a Indian earthquake lab, confounding the scientists there.

The Chinese government "accidentally" drops a nuclear bomb in an isolated region of its own country.

And all of these events are connected.

As panic begins to sweep the globe, a mysterious package from South America arrives at Melanie Guyer's Washington laboratory. The unusual egg inside begins to crack. Something is spreading...

The world is on the brink of an apocalyptic disaster. An virulent ancient species of spiders, long dormant, is now very much awake. But this is only the beginning of our end.... (Official Gollancz Synopsis)

The Review - A Skin-Crawling, Terrifying, Eight-Legged Apocalypse.
Reading this book was another classic case of checking out the first few pages to see how good the writing style is and if it is worth reading, and just never stopping. I have never considered myself phobic of spiders so I managed to cope with the spider imagery quite well but if you have an aversion to spiders then I recommend passing on this. 

Ezekiel Boone did a spectacular job with this mutli-layered, arachnid apocalypse novel. The plot was well developed across many different characters. The horror levels fluctuated between 'gross' and 'wow... how am I meant to sleep now...' and the potential for a solid trilogy makes me look forward to the next instalment. I loved the chapter format the most. Having snippets from a wide array of smaller story arcs (all connected by one theme) worked well to draw me in. Each character had their own unique perspective on this nightmarish end-of-the-world scenario. I also appreciated the fact that Boone not only had a handful of recurring characters, he also used plenty of one-time accounts to build a world view of the invasion.

The Hatching follows the sudden appearance of a deadly species of spider, at first it is seen as a hoax, an internet trick to pass the time. Soon after the appearance of the spider, it is reported that China has indeed nuked itself. The White House is in discord. Scientists are scrambling to research this new threat and how it functions. The government are quarantining citizens, bringing in troops to hold off the possible human carriers from breaching deeper into the U.S. There is death, chaos, fear and nothing they do seems to engineer salvation from this ever-growing horror.

There are quite a few narratives spread throughout The Hatching. Boone takes the time to give each character depth which was totally worth it. If he has given us an array of one-dimensional characters then this novel would have fallen flat. The characters had a decent amount of depth, but Boone didn't go to far, threading a lot of the characters together to save a bit of time. The Hatching is not a long novel, taking me around three sittings to finish the book. I couldn't decide on my favourite character just yet, but each of them have massive potential to do bigger and better things in the next two instalments.

The Hatching is a true end-of-the-world novel. There is no hope; the threat the world faces is hungry for flesh, can breed faster than any other species of arachnid and can hide in plain sight. I thought that Boone built up the horror perfectly. From seemingly unconnected events, to dissecting the spiders to see what they are truly capable of. Themes like hope are slowly turned into those of defeat. A wide array of atmospheres slowly dissolve into one united feeling of despair. I recommend this to readers who enjoy apocalypse fiction, action, politics and do not fear spiders. The imagery that Boone has crafted here is hair-raising and at times I felt sick to my stomach. Boone's descriptive power is the show stopper here, my skin crawled, I had to stop reading at times and I was amazed at some of the ideas/set pieces Boone managed to guide the plot towards.

Overall I have given this book 5/5 stars because it grabbed my attention and kept me reading until its conclusion. I have been struggling with a few books in my TBR but The Hatching I sailed through no problem. The plot/premise was distinguished, the characters have potential and Boone is a talented writer with the best first name ever.

Pick up a copy of The Hatching here: Gollancz/Amazon UK/Goodreads 

About The Author: Ezekiel Boone was born in Canada but lives in Ithaca, New York, with his wife and children. THE HATCHING is Zeke’s first thriller and the first book in the series, with SKITTER coming in 2017. THE HATCHING series has sold in twelve countries and nine languages, and has been optioned for the screen. When not writing thrillers, Zeke writes acclaimed literary fiction under a different name. Along with a healthy respect for spiders, Zeke has two poorly behaved dogs and enjoys the outdoors. (Official Ezekiel Boone Bio + picture from twitter page) More information @


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