by Ezekiel Boone

  • I read it between Jan 9 & 15, 2018
  • Genre: HORROR

I wish I’d written this ...

... because it made me flinch! I hate spiders!

Back in the 1970s and 80s, scuttling in the bloody wake of Peter Benchley's JAWS, there came a tsunami of novels in which animals, insects and plants turned against us dumbass humans. James Herbert's THE RATS and Guy N. Smith's NIGHT OF THE CRABS were at the head of the rampage, followed by authors who tormented us with the chomping, squirming, stinging and burrowing of ants, bats, worms, dogs, cats, piranhas, killer whales, maggots, slugs, and even rabbits for crying out loud! Rabbits! And yes, of course, there were spiders. Reviving that tradition, but updating it and injecting into it considerable literary merit, Ezekiel Boone delivers in THE HATCHING an absolutely riveting and terrifying story of swarming spiders that threaten to overrun the Earth with ferocious speed. They are unstoppable! One spider is bad enough ... but there are millions of the bastards! In the hands of a less capable author, this could have been rather silly, and the very large cast of characters might have been confusing, but Boone handles it incredibly well. Like it says on the cover, THE HATCHING is "gripping, intense and thrilling." I've been reading a lot of horror novels recently, and this is right up there with the best of them. It was great to discover such a fresh take on what is, essentially, a well-worn subject. I've heard that the next in the series, SKITTER, is less successful—a case of middle-book syndrome—but I've ordered it anyway. This is a trilogy I really need to complete. And yes, swarming spiders ... why the hell didn't I think of that?


The first paragraph

Publisher’s blurb

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.

“An apocalyptic extravaganza of doom and heroism … addictive.”

“This is a fresh take on classic horror, thoroughly enjoyable and guaranteed to leave your skin crawling.”
—Michael Koryta, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD

“Guaranteed to do what Jaws did to millions of people.”

About Mark Hodder

Mark Hodder is the author of the Philip K. Dick Award-winning novel THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF SPRING HEELED JACK and its sequels, and of the first officially sanctioned Sexton Blake novel to have been published in nearly half a century (he created and maintains BLAKIANA: The Sexton Blake Resource). He also writes short stories, flash fiction and vignettes. Find out more on his Patreon page. Mark was born in the UK but currently lives in Valencia, Spain, with his partner and two children.