Eight Legged Freaks
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.