Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books for providing an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: 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.
I hate spiders. No, I seriously, seriously HATE spiders! So, why you may ask, would I choose to read a book about killer flesh-eating arachnids? Um, I’m pleading temporary insanity. So, The Hatching has been a much-hyped book for the last several months, and I’m happy to say that for the most part it delivers.
The premise is that there’s these ancient man-eating spiders that for some reason are now hatching all over the world. There’s no explanation that’s ever provided as to why they’re appearing now, but it doesn’t really matter. What’s important is that no where is safe. Not China, the jungles of Peru, the Middle East, nor even LA! These buggers travel in shipping containers, planes, and in some truly disgusting cases, people’s bodies! Ewwww!
To make matters worse, they can even become airborne thanks to the super-strong spider silk they shoot from their bodies.
Nothing can stop this munching menace, not even nukes! In the midst of all the carnage though, there’s some wonderfully humorous passages thanks to a group of survivalists living out in the California desert. They’ve prepared for everything including a zombie apocalypse, but they didn’t see this coming! Except for the survivalists, the other characters are pretty much the standard type you see in horror movies and books: The politicians, the military, the earnest FBI agent the brilliant scientist, etc. None of them really stand out but that’s okay because it’s the spiders that are the stars here!
The ending makes it clear that these critters have an endgame, and that the bloody attacks detailed in this book are just the beginning. Despite some wooden characters and a few plot holes, I really enjoyed The Hatching and appreciated that it never pretends to be something it’s not. It’s just a scary, creepy fun tale that will leave you with the heebie-jeebies and have you searching your house for eight-legged critters.
The sequel Skitter is due out next year and I’m quite looking forward to it. I recommend this to any fan of “nature running amok” stories, who doesn’t mind graphically gruesome scenes. Since I’ve sadistically tormented you all with creepy-crawly gifs, I’m going to leave you with this lovely picture. Never say I don’t care about y’all!