Book Reviews

Skitter by Ezekiel Boone Book Review

skitterrev

  • Skitter.
  • Ezekiel Boone.
  • 352 pages.
  • Fiction / Horror / Post-apocalyptic / Spidocalyspe.
  • My Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

31116029animated-spider-gif-13

Book Blurb:

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 Gruyer, 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.


Book Review:

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Skitter is the sequel to The Hatching, you can find my review for the first book below:

The Hatching was the first wave of spiders, when the shit hit the fan, and Skitter is the calm before the storm, for the most part it is the waiting for the return of the spiders, there’s sightings and a few random encounters to move the story along, different types of spiders to The Hatching also appear. But after the first wave died out, Skitter is predominantly the clean up after the devastation, the trying to get on with life, the figuring out where the spiders came from, how to fight them and prepare, there’s some tough decisions to be made and drastic action undertaken, and finally the debating over how to actually stop the spiders once they do return, resuming their march towards world domination, all hail our mighty and benevolent arachnid overlords!

There’s a lot of characters involved in Skitter, you get the returning ones who made it out of The Hatching alive, and some new ones also thrown into the mix. Just like in the first book some of these new characters stick around, but others after brief appearances end up as fodder, as spider food. To paraphrase Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N’ Roses: “You know where you are? You’re in the spidocalypse, baby, You’re gonna die”.

incy1

In my review of The Hatching I mentioned the lack of strong characterisation amongst Boone’s cast, again with Skitter you get a few cardboard cutout types with no actual development, just a bit of back story here and there. But some of the new ones are also fleshed out, and it will be interesting to see what happens with them in the next book. Likewise with the returning characters, as this is the second book that you’ve now spent time with them in, you find that you’ve developed a growing affinity towards them, rooting for them, and while not necessarily caring about them like you would characters in some deeper books, you want them to pull through, to be OK.

Whilst he has quite a simple and easy writing style, the story and the pacing both flow well, and Boone nevertheless knows how to spin (get it, spiders spin a web) a damn good, fun and enjoyable yarn that is written in a rollicking manner.

Even with such a large cast Boone does a great job of never confusing you, we flit from character to character and from location to location through chapter to chapter, and it’s surprisingly easy to keep track of who’s who, and what role they have to play.

My favourite characters would have to be Aonghas, his vietnamese fiancΓ© Thuy and Aonghas’s Grandfather Padraig, stranded on the remote Caidh Island in the outer hebrides, away from the threat of the spiders (hopefully), they represent a more sedate plot line and whilst reading Skitter it’s a pleasure each time we visit them.

After not really connecting with them in The Hatching I also found myself to be a fan of Shotgun, his husband Fred, Gordo, his wife Amy and their dog Claymore, the eclectic mix of survivalists located in Desperation, also finding that the way their story tied into the main fight against the spiders was neatly done. However, if Claymore ends up as spider grub we’ll be having words Boone, I’m telling you now, leave the dog alone!

After the waiting, and what feels like ominous background music playing for most of the book, the sirens start blaring during the last fifty pages, as the second coming of the spiders is unleashed to full effect, those last pages are one holy shit moment of the world on the brink of going to hell, leaving us with various cliffhanger conclusions for the separate story arcs, locations and questions still to be answered in the next book.

incy2

I can’t be the only one who’s read and finished Skitter, and is eager to find out what the fuck is in the giant glowing egg sacs that are found in various locations? Don’t get smart readers and say spiders, I’m the sarcastic one on this blog! πŸ™‚ But are they huge big ass hairy motherfuckers? Will Shelob make an appearance? Could they be arachnid hybrids? Maybe a Spiderpig? Spiders crossed with a Xenomorph? Or even spidermen and spiderwomen? Damn it Boone, I want to know what sick and twisted monstrosity will emerge!

Just like with The Hatching I read Skitter in a short time, well under three days, it kept pulling me back in to find out what was happening. It’s akin to an action movie, one where you sit there watching, engrossed, with time flying by in bouts of action and a series of explosions, only it’s in book form and it’s the pages that keep turning. One of the things to love about the series is the simplicity of the premise, long dormant ravenous ancient spiders awaken, setting about feasting on human flesh, but why have they chosen now to awaken? And more importantly can they be stopped? It’s simple and because of that it works really well.

Skitter is fast paced but lacks the frenetic action and plague of spiders that frequented The Hatching, and as such it doesn’t quite reach the height of its predecessor, it’s still a damn entertaining read.

That’s not to say that Skitter isn’t a good book, it really is. It’s simply a different type of beast, or should that be arachnid to the first book, forgoing the masses of marauding and rampaging spiders that devour human flesh, laying waste to the world, replacing them with the aftermath of The Hatching, the waiting for the what happens next and the inevitable return of the spiders. The additional deeper story telling elements work well, and I found Skitter to be a quality continuation of the story started in The Hatching.

You definitely need to have read The Hatching first to get the most out of Skitter, if you haven’t you’d be missing out on the events before, and it’s also a very entertaining book that’s lots of fun. So do yourself a favour and pick them both up, at times we all need a break from reading deep and meaningful tomes of elaborate stories and rich culture, let Boone be that break and allow him to take you on his fulfilled wild ride into the spidocalypse.

To end, I’ll reiterate what I wrote in my review for The Hatching, this series needs to be made into either a film or a TV show, make it happen!

Recommended.

spider

Pre-order Skitter (UK 27th April. US 2nd May).

Amazon UK  /  Amazon US  /  The Book Depository


giphy (7)

Follow The Tattooed Book Geek on:

TwitterGoodreads, Blog Facebook, Personal Facebook.

Advertisements

42 thoughts on “Skitter by Ezekiel Boone Book Review

  1. I am mortally scared of spiders. The review is so tempting but I think I will pass. 😦 Even your killer review can’t cure me of arachnophobia.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OK… since you already know of my undying ‘love’ for spiders… I won’t moan about it anymore… those bloody gifs make my skin crawl…

    Your review was bang on, though… I know I haven’t read it but as a revieweryou did a great job at promoting the book and the series. So first of all, well done on the Guns n’ Roses mention- that was brilliant and left me with an earworm for the night… your rhymes are brilliant and I love that you’re not holding back on the emotions- shit did hit the fan, eh? πŸ˜€
    And then I LOLed big time- Spiderpig? I was just singing that tune couple of night ago πŸ˜€ Spiderpig, Spiderpig, does whatever a Spiderpig does… Love it, so trippy!

    Awesome review, Drew! And you know what? The book and series actually sound like something I’d want to read but I think I’ll end up with bloody skin in the end after a major scratching session πŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The series is such good fun and so entertaining. I know the Spider issue and people won’t read it because of that but……if you take it as what it is, just damn good fun, I’d definitely say if you see a copy cheap anywhere to give The Hatching a go, you might get crawling skin but you’ll have fun to.

      Lol, most people don’t like the Spider gifs, I think they are awesome.lolπŸ˜‚πŸ•·οΈπŸ•ΈοΈ

      Lol, gotta include spiderpig in there and yeah, Guns N’Roses, I guess I was on form with that reference.πŸ˜€

      Hhmmm…..holding back on the emotions, do you mean emotions or swearing?!πŸ˜‚

      Being honest I swear in life, it’s probably, well, definitely the lesser of my two evils compared to the comments I make!πŸ˜‚ But, why not swear in my reviews, other people do in there’s and it’s nice to feel free to write what I want.

      I think that’s also one of the reasons I like these books so much, when you read lots of fantasy, it’s serious with loads of important characters, goings on, etc and then you have to review and you feel like you should review to fit the tone of the book. Whereas with these, the books are fun and the review can be fun to, just kick back and let it go!πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That first spider gif caught me off guard!
    Awesome review! Although I have to be honest I say I might give this series a miss πŸ˜› Deathly afraid of spiders, so much so I get night terrors involving them! I imagine these books wouldn’t help πŸ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, I love those gifs, especially the bottom one walking across the screen, it freaks people out.πŸ˜‚

      While the books are awesome fun and thoroughly entertaining, if you’re deathly afraid of spiders it’s definitely not a series for you, especially the first book which is far worse on the Spider count.πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, definitely a great read, really need to read the first book (The Hatching) first though, see the spiders in all their rampaging glory. Just such good fun and so entertaining, not sure if it’s supposed to be serious or fun.lol I found it fun and so good.πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Damn it! I found myself scrolling up and down trying to avoid those gifs! There should gif-control on this post! #illegal. I don’t like the sound of cardboard characters. I have the first book right beside me, waiting to hatch its monstrosities. While just the idea of encountering crazy spider-related events keeps me hesitant, the idea that there are so many characters and some of them aren’t so developed makes me feel 50-50 about the book. But your review of its sequel still manages to stir my curiosity. Like shit… Spiderpigs? Spidermen and spiderwomen? This series sounds crazy. Crazy enough to make me want to check it out. Great review man. Wait till I find out whatever phobia you got. I’ll make ya pay. I tell ya. You will pay, Drew!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Spiderpig is from The Simpsons and spidermen and spiderwoman were just me being me.lol Neither are in the book, I was just musing on what was likely to be in the giant glowing egg sacs, gotta be something huge and cool…..I’m hoping.πŸ˜‚

      Yeah, I get your point, I’m a massive fantasy fan and usually hate cardboard characters with no depth, but they work well for this type of book, it’s just fun and entertaining, doesn’t need the indepth characterisation and emotional attachment you get with other books, for me it’s a refreshing change compared to the serious fantasy.

      Lol, I don’t usually use gifs in reviews but these two books just scream for them to be used, makes it a bit more fun, and of course, some people don’t like spiders which makes the gifs even better.πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahahah your musing still sound hella fun though. I would’ve went with Spiderzilla or flying spiders… Dude… flying spider is insta-end-of-the-world.

        I think I have a good idea now of what kind of story it is. I guess we could see it like a popcorn flick that you just don’t go to theaters to watch with your brain turned up to 120% and ready to indulge complex characters and insane storylines. Sort of like watching these Fast and Furious movies nowadays. πŸ˜€ Definitely going to pull my copy of The Hatching out of my shelves when my brain will need something fun to check out.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Damn it, I never thought of Spiderzilla, that’s awesome!

        Yeah, exactly! You have it to perfection, a popcorn film, I mentioned in my The Hatching review it could be either a serious film or fun film, after all, the book is classed as a thriller, but yeah, for me it’s a fun book and would definitely be a fun popcorn film, something to switch off and watch/read that doesn’t require your brain or to much thought, so yeah, a fast and the furious type movie.πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The Hatching is awesome, it’s such a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable read, it’s just good dumb fast paced fun.

      I think that’s one of the reasons why I like it so much, fantasy is often serious, complex and deep with characters you grow to care about, The Hatching is the opposite and due to that it’s just such a refreshing change to read something like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I remember originally discovering The Hatchling on GR during a giveaway and thinking it would be fun and then seeing your review and several others confirm. So I am super pleased to see that it continues to entertain in the sequel. These will definitely be staying on the TBR. Great review Drew πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Gaaaahhhhh. I knew it was risky reading this review. I was doing ok until that last GIF of the spiders coming out of that dude’s mouth. ((shivers)) Like I mentioned on your review for The Hatching, I requested an ARC before I knew it was about spiders. Spiders freak me the fuck out big time. BUT I will read The Hatching damn it! I may have to take a sedative, but it will get done lol Sorry this book didn’t live up to the first book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It didn’t live up to the first but was still good, just different, but did its job of making me eager for the final book in the trilogy.πŸ˜€

      Lol, yeah, that gif is a bit over the top, fun though, had to be positioned nicely at the end, lurking as a last surprise!πŸ˜€πŸ•·οΈπŸ•ΈοΈ

      Lol, you might need a sedative but just don’t take the books seriously, just good dumb fun.πŸ˜€

      You swore in the comment, you wrote the “f” word, for shame, for shame! πŸ˜‚

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s