Friday 12 May 2017

ReadItDaddy's YA Chapter Book of the Week - Week Ending 12th May 2017 - "Skitter" by Ezekiel Boone (Gollancz)

This one's definitely not for kids - but if you're a young adult who doesn't mind spending the entire time reading this fantastic thrill ride itching themselves to death, then read on for our YA Chapter Book of the Week - "Skitter" by Ezekiel Boone.
As a kid, I remember all too vividly nabbing a copy of a friend's James Herbert book (The Rats) to read during a particularly boring school trip.

If there was an age rating on books back then, it would probably have only fuelled the desire to read something that was clearly not meant for a book-wormy 12 year old - and though The Rats has passed into pulp history and on an even balance been praised or criticised equally, it was an extremely powerful piece of work.

I got a similar vibe from Ezekiel Boone's first spidery novel "The Hatching" a couple of years ago, a book that for all intents and purposes really shouldn't have fetched up on a children's book blogger's pile of shame but one that kept me gripped nonetheless.

"The Hatching" kicked off the cataclysmic worldwide events surrounding a mass outbreak of armoured spiders. Vicious, deadly and unstoppable, the spiders were finally contained - at least that's what the world thought...

In "Skitter" we learn the consequences of carelessness and assumption as the spiders make their return.

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 (crikey, you'd hate to see the state of the world if things were looking down, right?)

Unbeknownst to Melanie, in Japan, a giant, truck-sized, glowing egg sack is discovered, 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 weapon to defeat the spiders. But even if they succeed it may be too late, because President Stephanie Pilgrim has been forced to enact the plan of last resort: The Spanish Protocol (which has nothing to do with making an omelette out of that giant egg, alas).

Once again mankind discovers that for all our big brains and technology, we are at the mercy of sheer opposing numbers as the spiders are once again on the move - and this time the odds are definitely stacked in their favour.

Ezekiel Boone's writing is as tense and action packed as ever, the story playing out like a cross between World War Z and Arachnophobia.

Fabulous stuff but yes, strictly for older readers who are well into their teens (or jumpy adults like me who suffer near-heart-attacks every time they spot a tomato stalk in the veg tray in the fridge!)

"Skitter" by Ezekiel Boone is out now, published by Gollancz.