If you want to get all science-y about it, our innate fear of creepy-crawlies, heights, tornadoes, the dark, scary lions, and just about everything else we could possibly be afraid of comes from our ancestors. Having a fear of things that could potentially kill us was (and probably still is) sensible: If you lived longer, you passed your genes on, and blah-di-blah, now you rule the world with offspring.
What’s more interesting (to me at least) is what makes us want to be scared, to search out that adrenaline rush, to crave that moment of spine-tingling, eye-widening fear, to revel in jump scares, to read horror books, watch scary movies, and, in the month of October—so close, guys—even go to haunted houses for a real in-the-flesh scare. (There’s a pretty good book that explores all this, The Science of Fear, I recommend it if you are interested in the subject.)
But why do we do that to ourselves? Why not just revel in our safe, modern world? And it’s not like there aren’t plenty of things to be afraid of nowadays. Plane crashes, cybercrime, terrorism, guns, hacking, trolling, all these things that the modern world and technology have brought upon us.
And it’s not like everyone is waiting around looking for some wacko to chase them with a chainsaw, either. Some people HATE horror movies and won’t even drive past a graveyard let alone enter a Halloween store.
There is something to be said for feeling too secure though or too bored. I find horror—probably the most polarizing of all the genres—a true form of release. Everything is laid bare and true strength emerges. People are reborn, they grow into their true selves, or they don’t make it. Shit gets real.
I don’t think there’s any other genre that goes quite as deep or as hard into the human psyche and in a day and age when so many of us spend all day quietly sitting at computers funneling energy into amorphous jobs where we might not even really see the product of our work, where is our outlet?
We need to let it go. And I say, give horror a try.
The Hatching is a brilliant, cinematic mashup of old horror meets new horror. And the first thing you must know is that it doesn’t end here. This book is the first of at least two (although I have my suspicions about a trilogy, because who doesn’t love a good trilogy) with the second book being titled Skitter, coming in May 2017.
The basic plot skips around all over the world with a large cast of characters including a Steve Jobs type on vacation in Peru, an FBI agent who comes out to investigate a strange plane crash, the President of the United States, an entomological researcher, a crime fiction writer in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, a pair of survivalists who’ve gone underground in Desperation, California, and more, if you can believe it.
The plot progresses quickly as strange swarms are spotted all over the globe, swarms of some sort of ancient, predatory insect that no one can quite identify. Anyone who has been close enough to identify this insect has not been heard from again, if you catch my drift.
That old horror that our ancestors instilled in us, that fear of things that have too many legs and skulk in corners and are potentially venomous is definitely alive and kicking here, and if you think it’s old hat because you’ve seen Arachnophobia, think again. That was nothing compared to this global phenomenon.
With this giant cast of characters—halfway through the book, new characters are still being introduced for the first time—this book goes all over the world to show how people are dealing with this crisis. And spreading it around.
That’s where the new horror kicks in—with our globalization and modernization, we make it much easier for these things to move across the globe and find new victims. Boone almost goes out of his way to show the reader how our modern world only works against us: videos of this black, consuming blob terrorize the world but don’t really give any new information. Nations that aren’t willing to share information impede and even spread along the infectious wave.
If I learned anything from this book, it’s that the only thing that will save you is isolation.
Boone is ruthless to his characters, leaving no room for error and creating an apocalyptic spread that I would honestly love to see as a movie or miniseries.
The second book should be a direct continuation, but it will be more like a post-apocalyptic book, or the second wave of the apocalypse, while this one shows the world as we know it descending into chaos and agony.
A few of the characters in this book were solely set up to take center stage in the next book, so we’ll see where the story takes them in about 7 months!
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Find out more about the author, Ezekiel Boone
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Find out more about the publisher, Simon & Schuster
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Associate editor, amateur photdographer, bibliophile, and occasional sleuth.