on January 1st 1970
Genres: Horror, Post-apocalyptic, Science Fiction
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 scientist Melanie Guyer, however, the spider situation seems to be looking up. Yet in Japan, a giant, truck-sized, glowing egg sack 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 spider super weapon, but it’s not clear if it’s too late, because President Stephanie Pilgrim has been forced to enact the plan of last resort: The Spanish Protocol. America, you are on your own.
SPOILER ALERT: As this is book 2 in The Hatching series, there will be spoilers for The Hatching throughout this review.
I was addicted to The Hatching, so I went into Skitter with high hopes – and sadly, the book didn’t live up to those at all. Looking at the goodreads reviews, I’m definitely in the minority with my opinion, so you might love it, but I thought it was a classic case of middle book syndrome. The Hatching was great – the problem started seemingly small, and rapidly expanded. We saw what seemed like mostly unrelated characters discover the problem and try to cope with it, revealing their possible connections in the process. It was fast-paced, it was creepy, and it went straight onto my list of instant-favourite-post-apocalyptic books.
And then came Skitter. I don’t even really know where to start reviewing this, except that to say that somehow for a dramatic book, I feel like this was a case of running in place without getting anywhere. I feel like the only purpose of the book was to take the big disaster of book 1, and make it a HUGE CATASTROPHE ready for book 3. Aside from a few fun interactions between characters, I felt like basically everything in this book could have been accomplished just as easily with a time-jump between the first book and the last, cutting this one out altogether. Instead, we had a book that felt mostly like filler, and given how much I loved the first one, it was very disappointing for this one to feel like, to be frank, a bit of a waste of time. I’ll still be picking up book three, but I do feel like perhaps Mr Boone/the publishers felt this had to be a trilogy because that’s what sells, when really it would have been a fantastic duology. On the plus side, it’s a quick read, I just didn’t feel like I got much out of it.