The Hatching has already been snapped up for a TV series, which makes a lot of sense after only a few pages of this globe-trotting thriller. It reads like a blockbuster movie/TV show, which is both a good and a
The big pitch is fairly simple (man-eating spider plague goes global), but Boone introduces a large cast of characters dotted around Earth to keep things moving along. It all kicks off with a nicely nasty sequence in Peru, before revealing that these ancient flesh-eating beasties are arriving in terrifying numbers in China and India, and they’re going worldwide.
There’s an admirable level of detail in the descriptions of spider biology and a commitment to giving each character a full back story, but the novel really comes alive in its action sequences. Boone knows when to offer glimpses of something horrible and when to really go for the gut, and those with a fear of arachnids should probably steer clear.
On the other hand, once you get past the spiders there’s definitely a sense of familiarity. The structure recalls Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s excellent The Strain series, and there’s a strong whiff of Independence Day in the convenient triangle of the President, her lover the Chief of Staff, and his ex-wife, the best arachnid expert in the country.
Still, among the slightly standard (and pretty much uniformly attractive) characters (FBI guy with an ex-wife and adorable daughter) there are some interesting standouts, like the doomsday-prepped couple who are actually pretty normal.
But while it may have blockbuster faults, it’s also got blockbuster charms. It’s addictive once you get into it, and Boone knows how to mount the big set-pieces. It makes for a fun summer read, and we’re be interested to see where the story goes next.