Publication Date: Available Now from Gollanz
Source: Review Copy
A local guide is leading wealthy tourists through a forest in Peru when a strange, black, skittering mass engulfs him and most of the party. FBI Agent Mike Rich is on a routine stakeout in Minneapolis when he’s suddenly called by the director himself to investigate a mysterious plane crash. A scientist studying earthquakes in India registers an unprecedented pattern in local seismic readings. The US president, her defence and national security advisers and her chief of staff are dumped into crisis mode when China “accidentally” drops a nuclear bomb on a desolate region of its own country. As such unsettling occurrences mount, the president’s old friend (and her chief of staff’s ex-wife), spider expert Melanie Guyer, receives a box at her lab at American University that contains an ancient egg unearthed at a South American dig.
So begins The Hatching, the hair-raising saga of a single week in which an ancient, frighteningly predatory species of spider re-emerges in force. When the unusual egg in Melanie Guyer’s lab begins to vibrate and crack, she finds herself at the epicentre of this apocalyptic natural disaster. Working closely with her ex-husband and his very powerful boss, she has to find some way to stem the brutal tide of man-eating arachnids.
This book was completely horrifically brilliant.
If you’ve just read the above blurb you will know not to read this if you are irrationally afraid of Spiders.
Actually to be honest I wasnt irrationally afraid of spiders BEFORE I read this book but now I’m flaming terrified. My 8 year old will now be responsible for removing to the outside anything even remotely resembling a spider. Gone are the days in which I happily scooped them up and popped them out the window. Im just saying. Oh don’t worry he’s a little scientist in the making, he’ll be charmed. And hopefully not randomly consumed….
This is one of the best horror books I’ve read for a long long time – mainly because it feels oh so very very real. There are many fascinating characters, a healthy dose of scientific speculation and some hugely scary set pieces that will have you shivering from the edge of your seat. The writing is totally immersive and there are many layers to the tale each of them equally compelling.
I loved Steph (the president, yes she’s a woman and that is not as unlikely as it once was as we all know) – as POTUS having to accept some far fetched theories and take them on board super fast if she’s going to deal with this crisis. I liked her pragamatic and capable personality. Then there is Mike, dealing with some divorce fallout, thrown into the middle of an untenable situation and having to deal with the strangest and most surreal of circumstances. Surrounding these two are many many more, all in different places, all facing down an unknown future in their own way, so this is not only a banging horror story (with SPIDERS did I mention that bit?) but also has a strong, character driven heart. I’ll let you meet the rest of them for yourself but the author has a very keen eye for clever characterful plotting that just absorbs you into their world.
It was all set over the course of a very small period of time. There is no long drawn out “what where when” the what is creepy crawling all over you from very early in the narrative, the where and the when are here and now and it is fast paced and incredibly addictive. Intelligent and thought provoking too, scarily intense and yes I imagine it will haunt some dreams. Not MINE of course I’m far too sensible for that. **glances around nervously**
Also the ending….
But I’ll leave that there…
Loved it. LOVED it. Its really quite a good example of evil genius writing skill.
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