Receiving this book via the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program meant reading the first two books in the series. This is definitely a trilogy that I likely would not have read were it not for winning the giveaway. Honestly, I entered it on a whim, and when I won, I started wondering what I had gotten myself into because this is a horror series about cannibalistic spiders and I’m an arachnophobe. What was I thinking?! So it was with a deep breath that I sat down with “The Hatching”. However, I was surprised! I not only enjoyed it, but I haven’t even had any nightmares! Ezekiel Boone does a good job of crafting a frightening apocalyptic-scale scenario with enough detail to be convincing but without turning to splatter-gore. There is a scientific and political approach to the problem by the main characters, and although there is a large cast of characters and many geographical locations, the story does not become bogged down or difficult to follow. The characters themselves are relatable, representing multiple viewpoints, and some of the issues which arise with the spider invasion parallel current political and social concerns.
Book 2, “Skitter”, achieved that often challenging feat of living up to the fast pace and intrigue of its predecessor, maintaining and continuing the storyline and the actions of the various characters. The ending hinted at an approaching denouement, as the main players and overarching narrative coalesced, but still with plenty of anticipation. This set the stage for the trilogy’s finale, “Zero Day.” What became even more evident in this climax was that beyond the horror of the spiders themselves was the collapse of civilization in the face of a threat that couldn’t be foreseen, one that tore away at the infrastructure and humanity of society. Sometimes the danger lies within ourselves as much as or even more so than in the outside force, and this perception of human nature undergirds the narrative and propels this series above many others in the horror genre. If you’re looking for a story that will make you think while also causing your spine to tingle—just make sure that’s not a spider crawling up your back—give The Hatching series a go!