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. – Goodreads
Skitter is the continuation of the story began in The Hatching. This is not a series that arachnophobes should read, as it’s pretty much your worst nightmare come to life. A spider species that has been dormant since at least before recorded history emerges. The ‘swarm’ is a destructive force much like cicadas in that they lay waste to everything in their path. And just when humanity thought it might be over, they began to realize that they were wrong. And now it’s time to figure out what’s going on. Before it’s too late.
The Hatching was a fantastic book. You were able to dive right into it and lose yourself in the action. By the time it was done you were determined to become buddies with an exterminator but you’d definitely enjoyed yourself. Skitter, unfortunately, is nowhere near as interesting or fun as the first book was. It falls flat on a few important points. Namely, it isn’t capable of standing alone. If you haven’t read the first book, you are going to be pretty lost as to what’s been going on. Even if you have read it, you aren’t going to be able to fall right into the story again. Ezekiel Boone doesn’t do a great job of giving enough of a retrospective in the beginning.
I remembered the basics – “Swarms of spiders, lots of death, hatching from inside people, then the fallback and egg sacks” – but that was it. I couldn’t remember much about the characters going into the second book, so I had to get reacquainted with them. Nor did I remember some of the smaller key events and locations. So, Skitter got off to a bit of a stuttering start. That was just the first issue, and the smaller of the two.
My main problem with Skitter is that it’s filler. Yes, some stuff happens, but the entire book basically takes place between cleanup from the first wave, and the start of the second wave.This series would work best as a duology. Even though one or two big things happen, nothing that happens in it is anything that couldn’t have been addressed at the end of the first book, or the beginning of the second one. Trying to make it into a trilogy has seriously hampered it’s impact. I loved The Hatching, and was really looking forward to reading Skitter. Ezekiel Boone got the series off to such a strong start that I’ve been anticipating this book for months. But it is, unfortunately, a rather mediocre read.
However, it had it’s positive points. I liked most of the characters (even if there are a bit too many). They’re very believable and none of them are perfect. Mike, especially, was one that you wanted to root for. I want to say Leshaun, too, but honestly he was a bit character that only had a few lines. Kind of wish he’d featured more. The doctor, Melanie, also feels very real. Even though some of the characters are obviously involved for comic relief, you can’t help but appreciate and connect with them.
Also, the decisions that were made in Skitter make sense. That’s a big one. You can actually see things going down the way that they do. You might not agree with what happens, but you can see it.
I do have to say that there was one passage that I loved. It’s very relevant to what is going on in America right now.
“I think a lot of people are really scared right now. Not every person makes good choices, and sometimes, when people are scared, there are people who try to take advantage of that fear.” – Ezekiel Boone, Skitter
Overall, I just can’t recommend Skitter. Sorry to all the fans of it out there. When I was reading reviews on Goodreads after I finished, I thought “Did we read the same book? I’m not sure we read the same book.” Such was the difference in beliefs as to the contents. I honestly feel like people will probably be able to read the first book and then just skip to the third whenever it comes out. The middle is a bit of a nonentity. Still, the first book was awesome, so go read it in preparations for the third book!