The Hatching: A Novel (The Hatching Series)
Atria/Emily Bestler Books
An astonishingly inventive and terrifying debut novel about the emergence of an ancient species, dormant for over the thousand years, and now on the march.
Deep in the jungle of Peru, where so much remains unknown, a black, skittering mass devours an American tourist whole. Thousands of miles away, an FBI agent investigates a fatal plane crash in Minneapolis and makes a gruesome discovery. Unusual seismic patterns register in a Kanpur, India earthquake lab, confounding the scientists there. During the same week, the Chinese government “accidentally” drops a nuclear bomb in an isolated region of its own country. As these incidents begin to sweep the globe, a mysterious package from South America arrives at a Washington, D.C. laboratory. Something wants out.
The world is on the brink of an apocalyptic disaster. An ancient species, long dormant, is now very much awake.
Due to the global scope of the narrative, the first half of The Hatching feels slightly disjointed. I began to wonder if certain characters would appear later in the story or if they were of the one-and-done variety. Early longer chapters contribute to this sense of disconnection. But the latter half of the novel picks up steam with shorter chapters and a much faster pace, bringing all the plot threads together into a cohesive web. (See what I did there?) The Hatching plays out like an international monster movie thriller and I can easily imagine this story on the big screen. The Hatching delivers an enjoyable and creepy ride. [Warning to the intensely arachnophobic: Avoid at all costs.] Be aware though, that the story is not complete and ends on a cliffhanger of sorts — a pause in the unfolding horror rather than a true cliffhanger. I’m not sure when the next installment in “The Hatching Series” comes out, but consider it a chance to catch your breath. [4 out of 5 Stars]