She was not afraid of spiders. There was no reason to be afraid of spiders.
My brother is one of the biggest fans of horror movies and novels I know. He devours stuff that would give most people nightmares, but even though Ezekiel Boone’s debut horror novel The Hatching is one of the freshest, most engrossing entries to the genre that I’ve come across in years, my brother refuses to read it. Because in The Hatching, Ezekiel Boone imagines an global apocalypse not borne by the usual suspects of zombies, bio-engineered plagues, or nuclear war but by the rebirth of ancient species of spiders. And my brother has severe arachnophobia.
Thanks to Ezekiel Boone a lot of other people soon will, too. He opens his novel with a South American tour guide literally eaten alive by what appears to be a black river but is actually a swarm of carnivorous creepy crawlies. Further incidents start to take place everywhere from Minneapolis to China, to New Delhi, to Scotland, to L.A and the end of times may be upon us with eight legs. As you read on in growing horror and dread you find yourself periodically checking to make sure nothing’s crept up on your shoulder.
Boone amply keeps the tension rising with his main characters, FBI agent Mike Rich, spider expert Melanie Guyer, President Stephanie Pilgrim and her chief of staff and lover Manny (who happens to be Melanie’s ex-husband.) In most novels of this genre, the disaster is compounded by human stupidity and while we have some of that here as well, Boone’s brilliance lies in showing numerous authority figures responding appropriately to the threat – but even so it might not be enough given what they’re facing. And the worst part is that The Hatching is only the beginning of the series! The Skittering is due out in 2017!
I for one can’t wait.