My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This one was a bit of a toss up between two and three stars, I decided on three stars in the end because although it’s not brilliant, it did keep me entertained. The Hatching is billed as ‘The Most Intense Thriller Of The Year’ on the cover, which is always a mistake if you’re ever trying to advertise anything to me because it gives part of me high expectations and makes the contrary part of me go “Oh yeah, try me” and as far as The Hatching went, the high expectations were disappointed and the contrary part of me, smug.
The Hatching is an airport style novel about spiders that swarm over everything, eating people alive. It has the typical ‘blockbuster’ structure of lots of short chapters with a large cast of characters, many of which don’t make it past the end of the chapter. I couldn’t help but compare The Hatching to World War Z (my favourite novel in that sort of genre), even though The Hatching has a similar structure to World War Z, I found that whilst I could care for the characters in World War Z, I couldn’t care for The Hatching’s characters, as they didn’t seem as real. There was also, surprisingly, not that much tension, okay, spiders were hatching out everywhere and killing people and there were some tense bits were you knew it was all going to hit the fan any moment but there would have been more tension if the characters just hadn’t been so passive, with events just happening to them. I came to the last 100 pages with the worry about how on earth the story was going to be wrapped up, as other than a bit of science-speak, nothing seemed to be being resolved. I didn’t realise until the end that The Hatching is the first in a series, I am pretty sure I am not going to read the next.