the Hatch­ing

Eight Legged Freaks

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews - Saxon Bul­lock

re­leased OUT NOW! 304 pages | Hard­back/ebook Au­thor ezekiel Boone Pub­lisher Gol­lancz

As lurid plot hooks go, “killer spi­ders” alone would be enough to get a ma­jor pro­por­tion of the au­di­ence shiv­er­ing in fear, but new thriller The Hatch­ing doesn’t stop there. The arach­nids in ques­tion aren’t just deadly – they’re also re­lent­less flesh-eat­ing par­a­sites that are soon wreak­ing ma­jor havoc in this lu­di­crously en­ter­tain­ing blend of disas­ter epic and crea­ture-fea­ture B-movie.

The ba­sic con­cept is that an an­cient species of spi­der is wo­ken from a lengthy slum­ber, and quickly spreads across the globe. As Delhi is over­run and China starts drop­ping nu­clear bombs to con­tain the out­break, the spi­der swarms ar­rive on Amer­i­can soil, and it’s up to a small group of dis­parate char­ac­ters to dis­cover some way of fight­ing back.

A sprawl­ing and shame­lessly com­pul­sive ad­ven­ture, this is a pleas­ingly fast-paced read that man­ages to com­bine smoothly crafted prose and sharp de­tails with a se­lec­tion of en­ter­tain­ingly grue­some shocks. The first in a se­ries, The Hatch­ing some­times reads more like a TV pi­lot and could have ben­e­fit­ted from a smaller, more tightly fo­cused cast of char­ac­ters, but it’s also a rol­lick­ing thrill-ride that will leave you hun­ger­ing for the next vol­ume.

Ezekiel Boone is a pseu­do­nym for Alexi Zent­ner, who teaches at New York State’s Bing­ham­ton Univer­sity.

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