Tuesday, 11 July 2017

It is not what you think ...

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 an 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.  A virulent ancient species of spiders, long dormant, is now very much awake.  But this is only the beginning of our end ...

Who doesn't love a scary story about our favourite scary thing, spiders, which happened, in this case, to be carnivorous!  I know this premise ma y sound ridiculous but this author makes it work.  The right amount of initial tension reals the reader in and then the story explodes in more ways than one.

Initially there were a lot of elements that were seemingly unrelated, and strangely confusing, with a large cast of characters.  However once the various stories linked up, and the characters substantially reduced, the reader is taken on a rip roaring ride.

There were parts of the book that got a bit long winded and bogged down by technical details but otherwise this is a rather unique scary story.  The writing is what saw me through the down times together with the interesting characters and their various Points of View (‘POV’).

The characters are realistic and relateable and cover a diverse section of society from the US President to experts and the FBI.  The reactions of the ‘common people’ were often times stupid and mistake laden.  In one instance a main character did not pay nearly enough attention to the area in question.  The writing also begs the question ‘how would you react in this situation?’

I can appreciate that the wide range of characters involved in this novel enhances the scope of the problem but there seems to be a few too many main characters and it is just not possible to really get under their skin.  It is this reader’s hope that more of their characters will be revealed in later books (the story was too open ended for this to be a stand-alone novel).

There seems to be an emergence of spider related phenomena throughout the world and this ancient species appears not just to be hatching here or there but everywhere (that emphasises the scope of the problem).  What could come across as implausible is not as the author keeps us grounded not merely on the human reaction side but also on the natural side – these emerging ancient spiders have a long life cycle (which is extremely plausible – consider the corpse plant that flowers once every 100 years).

Somehow a zombie apocalypse seems a bit too far-fetched, yet a spider apocalypse seams all too real and relateable.

The story was left open ended and it is this reader’s fervent hope that there will be a sequel as there were a load of unanswered questions.

The Hatching is this author's debut novel and this reader looks forward to seeing not only how this series, but also how this writer develops n the future.  If you want a fairly realistic horror story that has just the right amount of tension and makes your skin creep, by an author who can stand shoulder to shoulder with Dean Koontz, Michael Crichton or even Stephen King then do yourself a favour and read this one, you can't go far wrong.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

I also rated this on Amazon (4 stars) and Goodreads (4 stars).

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