An out of practice reader discussing the books I get around to reading.
Figured I'd just go for it and finish it. I'm not going to be able to get to sleep until my sister goes to school anyway. She plays her music way to loud. I am very tired though so this won't be the most in depth review.
The Hatching is about the spider apocalypse. Sounds awesome, right? An ancient species of man-eating spiders - you guessed it - hatches and star terrorizing the world. The US government does their best to protect their citizens, a sexually frustrated scientist tries to unlock the secret behind the spiders, and doomsday preppers were right after all.
In all honestly, its hard to summarize the plot because to me there didn't seem to be much of one. It was more like a basic thread running through a course of events. This is the first book in a series and it's pretty clear the only reason this one exists is to set up the world for the next one. By the end of the book, it didn't feel like much had happened.
I was pretty disappointed with this one. I had seen some good reviews on here, some great reviews from the media, and the premise alone just sounded amazing. And the first one hundred pages of the book were REALLY good. Like, I loved the first one hundred pages. There was great tension in them, the mystery behind the spiders and where they came from. There were also some great moments of horror, like when you realize it isn't just a bug bite the Chinese guy received and when the spiders start pulling an Alien and burst out of people. Really, the set up is great and one of the more original horror concepts I've encountered lately. And when Boone writes well, he writes AMAZING.
The problem was, Boone didn't seem to trust his own writing. There were some great moments of suspense, such as when the guy in India opens the door and all the spider husks fall out and he just brushes it off even though you know something terrible is going to happen (I thought it was the spiders were molting and were now horrifyingly huge, which in my humble opinion would have been better). And then he ruins it with this weird, overly dramatic exposition like, "But something evil was lurking. An evil evil. A growing evil evil that...lurks"(my words, not his, copyright). It completely killed the beautiful, beautiful tension and terror he created. With the husks scene I literally went "Oh shit" in terror and then went, "Really?" in frustration.
Another issue I had was the constantly shifting narrative. It seemed like Boone wanted this book to be the next World War Z. The book played out very similarly, what with us seeing different perspectives globally of how this crisis played out. Problem is, he didn't pull it off. He tried to do the WWZ thing but he also tried to have it be a traditional, character based story, if that makes sense. The story lacked a strong core and so, while fun at first, the shifting narratives soon got boring for me. They were great at first, but after a point it just became rambling. If he really wanted to go with this layout, he should have condensed his whole series into one book because in the end it got dull pretty fast.
There are other issues I have with the book - characters that seem more stereotypical than anything, a lack of a narrative arc, REALLY unsatisfying ending - but I think the biggest disappointment for me is this book easily could have been a five star book. If Boone had trusted his writing, had stuck to a solid narrative - either World War Z or traditional narrative but not both - and made the character a little more believable, this book would have easily been one of the scariest I've every read. Like, it could have been The Mist level for me (I still get uneasy when it's foggy), since it combines zombie apocalypse-like issues with creepy crawlies which is my worst nightmare. Instead, it ends up playing out more like one of those cheesy movies on Syfy they show on Saturday nights. Entertaining, sure. But not quality media. To quote Adele, "We could have had it aaaaaaaallllll."
Final rating: 3 out of 5 stars. It's okay. Wouldn't spend money on it. Would rather watch Sharknado.