by Ezekiel Boone
Series: The Hatching #2
Published by: Simon and Schuster
Tens of millions of people around the world are dead. Half of China is a nuclear wasteland. Mysterious flesh-eating spiders are marching through Los Angeles, Oslo, Delhi, Rio de Janeiro, and countless other cities. According to scientist Melanie Gruyer, however, the spider situation seems to be looking up. Yet in Japan, a giant, truck-sized, glowing egg sack gives a shocking preview of what is to come, even as survivors in Los Angeles panic and break the quarantine zone. Out in the desert, survivalists Gordo and Shotgun are trying to invent a spider super weapon, but it’s not clear if it’s too late, because President Stephanie Pilgrim has been forced to enact the plan of last resort: The Spanish Protocol. America, you are on your own.
Last year I shared my fear of spiders and my review of THE HATCHING book one in the Hatching trilogy. SKITTER by Ezekiel Boone is the second novel, and once again he takes us around the world as the second wave of spiders gets ready to emerged. Creepy and realistic this apocalyptic tale will leave you screaming.
The first wave of spiders mysteriously died but not before killing millions and leaving cocoons all over the world. While scientist scramble to determine what will happen next leaders from around the world, as well as individuals cut off from society, are devising plans to save civilization. Spiders are freakin’ scary, and Boone’s spiders brought to life all of my darkest fears.
While SKITTER wasn’t as fast-paced as its predecessor the HATCHING, it did a stellar job with the apocalyptic aspects of this tale. Some countries nuked entire areas, and here in the US, some military officials wanted to nuke LA and surrounding areas. It was intense.
There are key characters we follow; the President of the United States, Stephanie Pilgrim, her chief of staff, Guyer, and leading spider expert Dr. Melanie Guyer. We also get perspectives from Agent Mike Rich who has been on the ground since the first outbreak. I found myself more attached to these characters in SKITTER. The secondary characters like Shotgun, his husband Fred, Gordo, his wife Amy and their dog Claymore are survivalists located in Desperation. I laughed as boredom gave way to ingenuity. Some of my favorite chapters are from those featuring Aonghas, his Vietnamese fiancé Thuy and Aonghas’s grandfather Padraig They are stranded on a remote island in the Outer Hebrides. While far removed from the spiders they do make an interesting discovery. Their thread provided a breather from the pulse-pounding terror that was unfolding.
While I loved the chills, thrills and action scenes with spiders what I found truly fascinating was how government officials handled things. Some ideas were irrational, perhaps driven by fear and others almost succeeded. President Pilgrim goes head to head with her advisors before they enact The Spanish Protocol. You’ll have to read the novel to find out what that entails.
Boone gives us perspectives from individuals, like the Preacher, and those of people just trying to get home. By sharing different points of view in each chapter, he gives us a panoramic view of this apocalyptic disaster from how quickly it spreads to our reactions.
The mystery of these spiders and the way in which they act and evolve sent shivers down my spine. We fear them for a reason, people!! So many brave individuals that crawled into caves touched cocoons and shared what they found all brought the horror to life while raising the suspense level. The synopsis shares that in Japan, a giant, truck-sized, glowing egg sack is found and let me tell you…WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!
OMG! Boone knows how to terrify his readers from the horrific descriptions to the build up of what is to come. With every discovery our characters make and each decision something new unfolds. While SKITTER suffered a little from second book syndrome, it did leave me screaming for book three.
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