I picked up The Hatching (Book 1 of the Hatching Series by Ezekiel Boone) about a year ago, on a whim. I believe, although I could be remembering incorrectly, that I saw a snippet of a review singing its praises, and it was on sale, so I bought the Kindle edition and gave it a read. While it won’t find the way into my favorite books of all time, it was an enjoyable enough read that I ended up buying the second book and then waiting for the third.
The story hooked me, in spite of my mild arachnophobia.
Oh, did I not mention the book is full of spiders? Yes, this book is full of spiders. Terrible spiders of the Apocalypse! The story starts with the discovery of an ancient spider egg-sac at the Nazca Spider Line in Peru, and the eight-legged action starts soon after. There’s science, betrayal, evolution, adaptation, gruesome deaths, acts of heroism, and hard choices at every turn. Here’s a more “official” synopsis of Book One:
“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.”
The writing is solid, and there are some very compelling pseudo-scientific ideas from the realm of arachnology.
Unfortunately I felt like my interest and excitement went down with each book. By the third I was not as captivated as I had been for book one, and the ending felt rushed and sudden. It was a bit jarring to have three novels worth of exploration, research, character development, and questions that suddenly resolve at the last possible second when the Key to Everything(tm) is discovered just before the inevitable tragedy.
One other minor complaint is that there were several characters and story-lines that never really went anywhere. I don’t feel that every minor character in a book needs to be a key player in the story resolution, but some side characters that were built up and explored throughout the books just kind of faded away into the background after the finale.
I would rate the series 3.5/5 (or, 7/10 if you prefer). If you like the idea of interesting characters surviving and researching their way through the Spiderpocalypse, I would suggest looking for a sale or deal on the books. If not, then you might be safe to pass this one by.