Ezekiel Boone (who also writes mainstream fiction under the name Alexi Zentner) published his debut horror novel last July. The Hatching, the tale of an Earth overrun by spiders, was called Arachnophobia meets 2012, and Publishers Weekly praised it as “An apocalyptic extravaganza of doom and heroism… addictive.”
The sequel Skitter arrived in hardcover from Atria/Emily Bestler Books last month. What can you expect in the second volume of a spider apocalypse saga? Let’s say that things don’t look good for mankind, and leave it at that. Spider apocalypse. Yeee…. I get the jitters just thinking about it.
First, there was the black swarm that swallowed a man whole, the suspicious seismic irregularities in India that confounded scientists, the nuclear bomb China dropped on its own territory without any explanation. Then, scientist Melanie Guyer’s lab received a package containing a mysterious egg sac; little did Dr. Guyer know that, almost overnight, Earth would be consumed by previously dormant spiders that suddenly wanted out.
Now, tens of millions of people around the world are dead. Half of China is a nuclear wasteland. Mysterious flesh-eating spiders are marching through Los Angeles, Oslo, Delhi, Rio de Janeiro, and countless other cities. According to Dr. Guyer, the crisis may soon be over.
But in Japan, a giant, glowing egg sac gives a shocking preview of what is to come, even as survivors in Los Angeles panic and break the quarantine zone. Out in the desert, survivalists Gordo and Shotgun are trying to invent a weapon to fight back, but it may be too late, because President Stephanie Pilgrim has been forced to enact the plan of last resort.
America, you are on your own.
We covered The Hatching here last year. Skitter was published by Emily Bestler Books on May 2, 2017. It is $26 in hardcover, and $7.99 for the digital edition.