Last week I read and reviewed Ezekiel Boone’s The Hatching. The book stole my breath. Reading it made me feel like a football player at the bottom of a pile, fighting for air, and not to let go of the ball . . . and losing at both! A few days ago I started reading the sequel to The Hatching.
Skitter picks up where The Hatching left off. The billions and billions of spiders hell bent on taking over the world have died off. The scientists involved in the research are as convinced as everyone else that this is a good thing. They have new ideas about what the spiders might be up to; how their game plan has been laid out.
There is also the initial question, still unanswered. The first found spider sac on the Nazca Line had to have been 10,000 years old. It almost seemed petrified, like a fossil. Once discovered, unburied, removed from an almost ritualistic-like setting the sac hatched. Why? Were the spiders like Cicadas and returned every 10 millenia?
There is a lot of set-up in Skitter. The first two-thirds of the book, while still gripping, and taut, deals more with the behind the scenes. Boone has groups of active characters across the globe either working toward a solution, or simply trying to survive. Some are developing weapons especially meant for killing swarms of spiders at one time. Others are still studying the sacs, and trying to determine the whys of the spider return. While some believe there is a reason why all of the spiders act almost as if one.
And then, the last third of the book, the spiders are back. New hatchings. A different breed. The venemon from their bites is exactly what nightmares are made of. It paralyses prey while a silk web is spun around the still-alive people. Those left in government have beyond-difficult decisions to make. Japan had already dropped a nuclear bomb on half of its people in an attempt to stop the spiders. A proposition is made. The Spanish Protocol. The idea is to split the U.S. from one united country into a millions of small civilizations. The way to do it is by destroying all bridges and main roads. But will the ends justify the means?
Again, I have thoroughly enjoyed Boone’s storytelling. Skitter was fast, and gripping. And from what I understand, a third book is on the way. There had to have been a third book in the works. Skitter leaves readers hanging. So much left unanswered. So many balls left in the air. The suspense is constantly building, and I imagine the climax (potentially in the third book) will be nothing shy of complete destruction! I can’t wait!
Author of the Severed Empire series,
and the Vaccination Trilogy