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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Horror (2018)
In the thrilling, nerve-wracking finale of Ezekiel Boone’s “hair-raising” (Parade) Hatching series, the United States goes to war against the queen spiders that threaten to overtake the human race forever.

The world is on the brink of apocalypse. Zero Day has come.

The only thing more terrifying than millions of spiders is the realization that those spiders work as one. But among the government, there is dissent: do we try to kill all of the spiders, or do we gamble on Professor Guyer’s theory that we need to kill only the queens?

For President Stephanie Pilgrim, it’s an easy answer. She’s gone as far as she can—more than two dozen American cities hit with tactical nukes, the country torn asunder—and the only answer is to believe in Professor Guyer. Unfortunately, Ben Broussard and the military men who follow him don’t agree, and Pilgrim, Guyer, and the loyal members of the government have to flee, leaving the question: what’s more dangerous, the spiders or ourselves?

315 pages, Hardcover

First published February 27, 2018

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About the author

Ezekiel Boone

11 books627 followers
I live in upstate New York with my wife and kids. Whenever I travel and say I'm from New York, people think I mean NYC, but we live about three hours north of New York City. Our house is five minutes outside of a university town. We're far enough out of town that, at night, it's dark.
Darker than that.
Dark enough that, if you're not careful, you might fall off the small cliff at the edge of my property. If you're lucky, the water will be up enough to break your fall. If you're not lucky, please sign a waiver before you come to visit.
I've got two unruly dogs who are mostly friendly. Well, that's not true. The part about them being unruly is true, but one of them is the most friendly dog you've ever met, and the other dog ... isn't. They are good writing partners, though they spend a lot of their day curled up in front of the wood burning stove and ignoring me. Unless I'm making lunch. They pay attention to me then.
The Ezekiel Boone website is www.ezekielboone.com, but I've also got a nifty website for THE HATCHING at www.TheHatchingBook.com. It has a cool map and some other bells and whistles.
You can also follow me on Facebook or follow me on Instagram if you are so inclined and like the idea of occasionally seeing photos of my dogs.
If you've read this far, I should mention that THE HATCHING is Ezekiel Boone's first book, but it's not actually *my* first book. I also write under the name Alexi Zentner. Alexi Zentner's books are pretty different from Ezekiel Boone's.

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5 stars
462 (19%)
4 stars
947 (39%)
3 stars
782 (32%)
2 stars
184 (7%)
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28 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 401 reviews
Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
April 17, 2019
oooh, goodreads choice awards semifinalist for best horror 2018! what will happen?

It was almost completely dark out, which confused Melanie for a moment. It was an airport. It should have been lit up. But then she caught a glimpse of a skittering dark mass and the baseball-size bodies held aloft by eight legs, and she realized that of course it made sense that the airport was dark. There was nobody left to turn the lights on.

this is the third book in a trilogy about what happens after millions of carnivorous spiders hatch and skitter all across the globe. they’re just doing what spiders do, eating, laying eggs, spinning webs, but they are doing it on a monstrous scale, and their food and breeding grounds are … peeeeeeooplllllle.

if you’ve read the synopsis for this volume, you’re all caught up on what’s happened in the first two books, but you’re missing out on all the spice of detail, so go read the books, dum-dum!

this series is structured in alternating 3rd person POVs, and as the books go on, the number of these POVs diminishes because giant spiders do not care if they eat someone who is meant to be providing a window into a particular branch of the phenomenon. they do not care at all. and so characters get eaten or web-wrapped for future munchies or for wifey-queen back home, or have eggs laid in ‘em, or fall victim to the human-perpetuated violence that naturally follows the end of the freaking world. and yet, if i had to make a complaint (and i don’t, but i will), it’s that there are maybe too many characters. and even though that list is further whittled down in this third book, there doesn’t always seem to be much for a recurring character to do. there are a couple of storylines that were more functional in the first or second book, but are now just a bit of thumb-twiddling. i mean, don’t get me wrong - i love mike and leshaun more than any other characters in this book, but they are not strong contributors to the narrative here, although i suppose it would be even less satisfying to not have any closure to their story. and i would have laughed less while reading it if they weren’t there. but if someone can tell me why the aonghas/thuy/padruig scotland storyline was in any of the books, i will give you a dollar.

still, this third part really brings it, particularly in the president’s storyline. so many tough choices and … differing opinions. if shonda rhimes changes her mind and decides to do an eighth season of scandal, i hope it is with an adaptation of this book. i wanna see mellie and olivia pope handle this shit.

all in all, a satisfying end to the trilogy, although i'd be perfectly willing to read MOAR giant spiders, if moar giant spiders wanted to come 'round.

okay, and while searching for awesome spider GIFs, i found these:

attached to this story, which is equal parts genius and horrible accident waiting to happen.



i am starting my october spookybooks festival a few hours early.

do not be alarmed.



i am so excited for more.

come to my blog!
Profile Image for Jaidee.
605 reviews1,205 followers
August 31, 2023
4.5 "satisfying,scintillating,spidergrossness" stars !!

2019 Honorable Mention Read

Mr. Boone completed his trilogy in a completely interesting, satisfying and logical way. No cheap conveniences, no rushing, characters that were consistent and human. I cannot write much more as I do not want to give any spoilers such as whether we humans survive the SPIDERCALYPSE !!


Instead I will tell you three exciting things I discovered:

1. Mr. Boone has one more horror novel The Mansion that I have added to my shortlist.
2. This series has been optioned and would make an amazing television series !
3. Mr. Boone is actually Mr. Alexi Zentner, a literary author originally from Canada. I have also shortlisted to read his book The Lobster Kings.

I found this series to be a remarkable pulp fiction achievement.
Profile Image for Justin Tate.
Author 7 books968 followers
March 7, 2018
When this was good, it was REALLY good. When it was boring, it was REALLY boring. That can be said for the whole trilogy. Of the 1,000 or so pages between all three books, one can easily imagine a single abridged novel around 400 pages that would be superb, edge-of-your-seat entertainment the whole way through.

As it is, I look back--particularly in book 2--and wonder why the hell I had to read about meaningless characters over and over. Some one-off characters worked. The astronaut who opens this book, for example. I appreciate that the author never kills off soulless bodies, but others kept coming up again and again and again and ended up never serving any purpose.

Overall, though, this is still a trilogy well worth reading. When the plot halts to a snooze, Boone's writing remains excellent and he gives us characters who jump off the page--even if many should be jumping off the page of a dull literary novel and not a spider apocalypse.

PS: I am obsessed with President Pilgrim and want to vote for her.
Profile Image for Char.
1,681 reviews1,555 followers
February 19, 2018

ZERO DAY was a fun wrap up to the trilogy that started with THE HATCHING.

The narrative is still following all the same people, people who are now facing the fallout from a few nuclear strikes across the U.S., and the previous ones which occurred in various places around the world. The spiders are still continuing to mutate and evolve with the most dangerous of them all appearing in this book.

I enjoyed following the characters around on each of their missions and adventures. What I did not like was the following, (do not click if you don't want to know):

Additionally, I wanted more spider action. In the previous two books, there was lots of it. They were your usual quick chapter Creature Features with lots of spiders overcoming people, animals, etc... In this book there is little of that, other than during the denouement, which was disappointing.

As a whole, this series was a ton of fun! Even though I found this entry to be slightly wanting, the trilogy itself was a blast, with a couple of real twists that I enjoyed. And, I have to admit that at times, reading it made me itchy!

If Creature Features are your thing, then I highly recommend you check out this trilogy! I just recommend you have lots of lights on, so you can immediately spot any insects heading your way.

*Thanks to Atria and to NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books4,102 followers
January 3, 2018
Gotta love that Creature Feature. Or maybe I ought to modify that statement to Creatures Features. It's a spider apocalypse! New generations and smarter beasties are overrunning the world, but what is worse: the problem or the cure?

NUKES. Oh, yeah, baby. Nukes everywhere. The president is continuing to have a pretty bad day. A few others might be, too.

As always, these books are full of middling semi-sympathetic characters all trying to deal with the fallout from all the different kinds of horrors. I was only mildly invested in any of them. Fortunately, I was quite invested in the spiders and read most of the Hazmat scenes rooting for the little critters. :)

Did I have fun? Yeah, I did. Maybe not the best time ever or even within the creature-feature genre, but it was far from the worst way to spend an afternoon. It wraps up the trilogy fairly well, but I still feel a bit cheated. I almost wanted a good twist. Maybe scratch the "almost".

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC!
Profile Image for Laura.
425 reviews1,254 followers
March 8, 2018
This was one hell of a series. People-eating spiders! Yes, that's what this series is about. And, damn, is it terrifying! Each time I picked up another edition of the series, I found my fear of spiders, once again, heightened to a point that it became irrational. That's the power these books have.

As the conclusion of a series that I rated each of the previous novels with a solid four stars, I expected more. I truly expected an explosive finale. I expected tons of deaths especially in a series where there were plenty of death. For those who don't know, this is a series where we had numerous perspectives from all over the world. This was a way to let us see the action as it plays out, no matter where it is occurring. We get a full understanding of the spider invasion from the start. Of course, that also means we see plenty of people die including people whose perspectives we were just reading from. The thing is...in this final book, that doesn't really happen as much. We weren't really going to random perspectives we'd never see again just for the sake of carnage. I actually enjoyed that aspect of the prior books, though.

For a series with so many characters, I was disappointed in the way these perspectives played out in this last book. It seemed like several characters who were viewed as more important were dropped for sake of focusing on President Stephanie Pilgrim & what she decides must happen next. Yes, some of the characters were still around in this plot line, but it was different. And we definitely just completely dropped Aonghas besides two completely random chapters. I got more out of Santiago's and Mike's storylines here, but they still were too far and few between. And just not exciting enough compared to the action we got in the first two books.

I still think Boone has talent. He sure knows how to entertain and write a fast-paced thrill ride. I just wanted more out of the finale of the series. Looking forward to reading Boone's next novel.
January 9, 2019
Audio 5 stars!! Brilliant performance by George Newbern
Story 5 spiderific stars!!

It's over. I survived the spiderpocalypse as did most of my favorite characters in the book. TF!!! The epilogue actually had me tearing up, and I think that's because the author has a bit of a romantic heart. The friendships and relationships that were developed during the spider invasion were actually quite sweet. I also enjoy the dark humor. Hell, I needed it!

Thank you, Miriam, my dearest twin sister (who is also an arachnophobe) for buddy reading this series with me. xoxo
Profile Image for Trish.
2,018 reviews3,436 followers
January 14, 2018
OK, I'm gonna be straight right at the beginning and say that I skimmed a lot of this novel. Honestly, this is the 3rd book in a trilogy and there was almost no spidery action whatsoever, just inner monologues where people had flashbacks and fond memories and stupid things like that.
Let's face it: anyone reading books like this want to read about the damned apocalypse and the monsters and how people are fighting them or get eaten, not how a ripple on a lake reminds an FBI agent of how he met his first wife (while he actually should scramble to get away from that location because of all the fallout from the nuclear bombs)!

In this third novel we still have many different POVs, some new even (and not adding anything to the plot), telling us how the spiders progress in their evolution. We also get some glimpses at what the "queens" are thinking. But although we're right in the middle of a monster apocalypse, the focus suddenly shifts in this book to a coup performed by the head of the Joint Chiefs and how the President is trying to prevent his faction from using all the nuclear weapons and just blasting everyone to oblivion. Because that is what 99% of the military like to do according to this author: kill us all before letting the spiders win, being mindless trigger-finger-happy hillbillies (while at the same time it is repeated time and time again how great the US military is and how efficient - how, if they are this stupid?!).

Seriously, not one person in this entire trilogy was ever really smart. The scientists and Gordo and Shotgun were supposed to appear smart but judging by their actions, I can't agree.

It doesn't help that I wasn't invested at all. I just didn't like ANY character here. I mean, yeah, people are flawed, but there is "flawed" and then there are the ones here. I actually wanted the spiders to win.

And the parts that could have been thrilling (like how Melanie, Amy and Fred got off the hijacked boat after the coup) weren't there! The situation was initiated and then the screen faded to black so to speak until another chapter showed them safe and sound somewhere else, remembering in one or two sentences how they supposedly made it (again, in very unrealistic terms).

So the only thing that kept me going apart from the fact that I basically never DNF a book, was the prospect of the end battle. Thus, you can imagine just how disappointed and angry I was that the action with the spiders didn't start until I had read 80% of the book!
And then, as the icing on the cake, it was all neatly wrapped up in the next 14% so the author had time to end the book by marrying off certain characters and giving us this toothache-inducing sweet ending.
The action was unbelievably short and unrealistic. I'm not talking about the scientific probability of giant spiders but of how there was this build-up over 2.8 books, with the spiders hiding, humans not really knowing what's going on, the spiders spreading all over the globe ... and then it's easy-peasy how they kill them all off, done in a few short sentences peppered with a few sacrificial lambs for good measure. Sorry, not buying it. Knowing your enemy might be half the battle, but not more.

So yeah, this is not for me and the final volume was actually worse than the other two! :(
Profile Image for Tammie.
219 reviews57 followers
March 19, 2018
A fitting end for this trilogy about creepy man eating spiders wreaking havoc on the world. Really enjoyed this series and looking forward to future books by this author. Highly recommend to readers that enjoy sci-fi and horror books.
Profile Image for Steven.
1,089 reviews393 followers
December 15, 2017
Thanks to Netgalley and Atria for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 stars from me!

Seriously, if you are at all interested in movie-speed horror/thriller novels, then stop reading this right now, go to your local bookstore, your local library, Amazon, wherever you need to, and get your hands on The Hatching. Do it. Do it now, so you're prepared when the arachnapocalypse happens.

The final book starts with a few bangs -- some betrayals, attempted coups, crazy deaths, etc -- just like you'd expect if you'd read The Hatching and Skitter. And yes, you get quite a few more character deaths... duh. That's the point of Spidergeddon, isn't it? That some of the hoo-mens are going to kick the bucket. Or get infested with eggs and burst forth with a new swarm of spiders. Or get injected with a paralytic that eats away at your insides until they're mush while being wrapped up in spider-silk and dying a slow horrible death.

Seriously, you're still reading this? You haven't left to go to Barnes & Noble or The Shop Around the Corner or Fox Books to get your copy of the Hatching yet? LEAVE NOW. GO. SHOO.

While the ending is just slightly not as satisfying as *I* might have wanted, overall, it's a very satisfying ending and certainly shows the persistent fighting spirit of the human condition.

Okay, I'm not going to talk anymore because you're not listening to me. You're jingling those keys or whipping out that smartphone because you're hankering to get your copy, right? Well go on then. Don't let me keep you. Hey, what's that crawling up your leg?
Profile Image for Carole (Carole's Random Life).
1,796 reviews485 followers
April 7, 2018
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I had a good time with this book. This is the third book in the Hatching trilogy which really needs to be read in order. This book picks up right after the events of the previous book and the three books really tell just a piece of the overall story. I am really glad that I read the entire trilogy during the past couple of months because I was able to remember details of the story that I would have most likely forgotten if I had read them as they were published. I found this book to be an entertaining page turner.

I really like the way that the story is told. Just like the previous books in the series, the book is told from a large number of point of views. Most of the characters that get a chance to help tell this story have played key roles in the earlier books but there is still the occasional viewpoint from someone new to the story. Some point of views show up quite frequently while others show up only once. This installment seemed to focus on the known characters a bit more with fewer one and gone point of views.

This is the final book in the trilogy so things are pretty dire at the start of the book. This book really focused almost completely on the situation in the United States. Things are not good. There is the spider problem of course but the politics were almost as dangerous. I found the politics and the spiders to be equally entertaining. The scientists and the inventors were working hard to find a solution and it was a whole lot of fun watching them as they made discoveries.

I thought that this was a pretty exciting story. There was enough action to really keep things interesting. I also thought the the evolution of the spiders was very interesting. There were a few moments that I had no idea how things would work out and there were some truly scary moments. I thought that the ending was quite fitting.

I would recommend this series to others. I thought that this was a really well told story with just enough of a creepy factor to keep things very interesting. I will definitely be looking for more of Ezekiel Boone's writing in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Atria/Emily Bestler Books via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I thought that this book was a solid end to the trilogy. It did take me a bit to get into this book but once I did, I didn't want to set the book aside. There were a few unexpected turns and a lot of action. It was nice to get to see all of the characters from the previous installments make an appearance in this book.
Profile Image for Juli.
1,899 reviews490 followers
March 12, 2018
What would happen if the world came under attack....sudden, unexpected and fierce attack. A large percentage of the world's population is dead. Others missing. And still others are unwitting carriers of death. And, the worst part.....there is no way to contain the attack. What would happen?

Ezekiel Boone's The Hatching trilogy plays out this scenario in a particularly creepy crawly way. Spiders. Flesh-eating spiders. The arachnids have lain dormant for thousands of years, just waiting underground for the right time to hatch. Book One, The Hatching, details the gruesome first few weeks after the spiders hatch. The spiders decimate whole cities before dying off, leaving egg sacks in any hidden space. In the middle book, Skitter, the second wave of spiders comes.....new spiders with bright red stripes on their backs. And larger egg sacks -- the size of a truck -- appear around the world. These spiders are different.....they act different, seem to have a different purpose. Something is coming.....something horrible.....but what is it? Can scientists and the military find a way to save what remains of human civilization? Or will the situation fall into mass chaos, violence and....the end?

Zero Day is the final book in this chilling series. I waited months for this book! I'm extremely afraid of spiders after a bad experience with a spider bite as a child. I don't even like lint balls that vaguely resemble spiders...let alone the real thing. For me to love a book series that is all about spiders hatching and destroying the world.....and for me to be incredibly impatient waiting for the ending of the story....well, it has to be well-written and incredible. The Hatching trilogy fits that description. The tale is well-written, suspenseful and truly scary! I really enjoyed this entire series!

Zero Day starts right where Skitter left off.....the world is waiting for what is going to come next. And different factions with disparate ideas on how to stop the spiders are vying for control. Whatever horrors lurk in the large egg sacks are awaking....and they are hungry. In the United States, the military is at odds with the President over what action should be taken to save at least a small part of the country, adding to the danger. Can what is left of the human race survive what's coming?

Great ending to the series! Lots of action, and some surprising twists. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop. Total binge read! I still hate spiders....but I thoroughly enjoyed this book series.

Ezekiel Boone has a new book, The Mansion, coming out in December 2018. This time it's not spiders but a super computer that poses the problem. I'm definitely going to read it!

**I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Atria via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
Profile Image for Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede.
1,937 reviews798 followers
February 27, 2018
Zero Day is the third and final book in The Hatching trilogy and here we finally get to know if mankind will survive the spider invasion or of the word is doomed. This book is less gory than the previous two (yeah that disappointed me since I love being creeped out), but it's one heck of an ending. Fair warning, you really need to read the previous two books before reading this one. In many ways it's just one story split into three books.

As a big horror fan do I love threat against mankind books and spiders are creepy, let's face it. Escpailly ancient spiders that are taking over the world. Here, in the last book must President Stephanie Pilgrim decide what to do next. She has already nuked part of the US, but there are those around her that think that she waited too long and should have used more nuke. And, time is running out, the spiders are soon ready for the next phase of the attack. Could it be that if you kill the queens will the rest of the spiders also perish? Should Pilgrim trust the scientist or the military?

Zero Day is an action-filled book where our heroes face threat not only from the spiders, but from people that are set against them. It's an engrossing and satisfying book with a great ending. I have enjoyed reading this trilogy and I can't wait to see what Ezekiel Boone will write next!

I want to thank Atria for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!
Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
3,009 reviews378 followers
February 12, 2018
4.5 Stars!

The Hatching series has been like an utterly terrifying, utterly fascinating horror show that plays out in a deliciously slow, deliciously tantalizing pace that will leave you jumping at shadows and turning the lights on before entering a room. Not looking for the usual two legged monsters but instead, the kind of the eight leg variety. The kind that bite and borrow and hide in dark places, ready to pounce and fall on you in a moments notice. The kind of nightmares.

The creepy crawlies that leave almost anyone screaming, with their heart trying to frantically gallop right out of their chest. This is a series that is worth every single moment of breathlessness it will leave you not to mention the sleepless nights with the light burning bright on and the covers pulled clear up to your chin.

It has been a terrifying roller coaster of a ride from the very first page of the very first book and didn't let up until the very satisfying end.

Truly a masterpiece of suspense, horror, and terrifying what ifs. This is a series you don't want to miss out on. I've loved every deliciously dark and agonizing page. One that will truly not be forgotten.

*ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,909 reviews852 followers
March 21, 2018
I’ll try and make this as non-spoilery as possible given that this is the third installment in The Hatching series.

The human species is under threat by spiders overrunning most of the earth on a grand scale. Our survival tenuous at best, and dependent on outsmarting the spiders who are fast, coordinated, and deadly. They run on instinct and seem to keep evolving! Just normal everyday spiders scare the hell out of me, so these spiders would give me a heart attack on the spot!

I was on the edge of my seat through most of these books, and rooting for several of the characters introduced through the series! Zero Day was thrilling, fast paced with lots of action, and we get to see the impact of this global attack through the eyes of several characters located all around the world. I loved the overall story arc through the series, and there was even a wee bit of romance! Two I was really hoping would pan out eventually, and I got my wish on both accounts!

I love stories where the survival of the human race is at risk, and the characters involved must fight with everything they have to survive! Zero Day was a superb ending to a thrilling series, and everything I hoped for!

A copy was kindly provided by Atria/Emily Bestler Book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This review is also posted at The Readers Den.
Profile Image for AziaMinor.
471 reviews58 followers
August 5, 2022
HOLY HELL!!! What a book I am telling you. Koodos to Ezekiel Boone for imagining the most terrifying end of the world scenarios possible.

(If this ever comes true you can find me piloting a space shuttle to the moon because I ain't hav'n this shit storm of doomsday)

Everything was happening at light speed with little breaks and I don't think my heart ever slowed down. And what I really liked was the dozens of POV's this was in. From the president to a simple farmhand. You got to experience the apocalyptic event from the eyes of everybody. And nobody was safe. You had no idea who was going to live or die and that made me appreciate it more since anything was possible of happening.

The only reason I gave this a 4 instead of 5 stars is because the ending - while expected - was entirely too cliche. And I can live with that for a story like this.
Profile Image for Mogsy.
2,073 reviews2,634 followers
March 4, 2018
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/03/04/...

Zero Day closes out Ezekiel Boone’s The Hatching trilogy, bringing an end to the spider apocalypse—though it’s anyone’s guess which side will prevail. Since emerging from an ancient egg sac unearthed beneath Peru’s Nazca Lines, these eight-legged menaces have multiplied into the millions, swarming the globe and paralyzing all aspects of life. In the United States, President Stephanie Pilgrim has carried out the unthinkable, targeting dozens of American cities with tactical nukes, but still the threat remains. All it would take is one single spider to get past their guard, and thousands more people would die.

The time has come for a more permanent solution, and humanity’s last chance lies in a theory postulated by Dr. Melanie Guyer who believes all the spiders in the world are linked through their queens. Her hypothesis is simple: kill the queens, and without their leadership, the rest of the swarm should lose their ability to coordinate their movements and die.

However, not everyone close to the President agrees with this plan, claiming that it is too risky. More drastic measures are proposed to destroy all the spiders and not just the queens, creating a rift within the U.S. government. Meanwhile, those around the world who have managed to survive the initial waves of death are continuing to hunker down or fight, doing what they can to prevent the further spread of what has been dubbed the “Hell Spiders”.

I had a fun time with this novel, but I’m also not going to lie; I expected more from a finale. Like the two previous volumes, this final installment is told through a number of different perspectives, showing us how the spider apocalypse is unfolding around the world. That said, most of the main storyline is centered on the American East Coast, where President Pilgrim and her allies face opposition and eventual revolt from dissenters within her own cabinet. As a result, many of the other POVs are greatly diminished, leaving some of the characters with no role in the conflict resolution whatsoever.

Needless to say, I found this disappointing, especially since a few of the characters I’ve come to love were only briefly mentioned or were given perfunctory page time just to remind us that they were still around. In addition, many of the POV transitions felt awkward and ill-timed, almost like the author was struggling to find a balance, and not entirely succeeding. Instead of flowing smoothly, the narrative kept being disrupted or derailed by these frequent POV switches, some of which didn’t even feel all that necessary.

Still, these issues paled beside the one flaw I could not overlook: there simply weren’t enough spiders! This distinct lack of arachnid-fueled action, especially in the first half, was probably my biggest complaint, and unfortunately, not even the ending which saw the spiders return in full force could really make up for it. Recall in my review of Skitter, where I had praised Boone for upping the ante by making things bigger, better, and bloodier. Compared to its predecessor, however, this book felt like a giant step back. Too much of the story was focused on the human vs. human drama, when the attention should have been given to the spiders (which, in my opinion, are the real stars of the show).

For these reasons, I felt Zero Day really missed its mark in terms of offering a satisfying conclusion. Not only did it skimp on the spiders, the plot also failed to bring anything new to the table, falling back on time-worn clichés like the Hive Queen trope and the good old military coup. And yet, for all its faults, the book was a quick read and provided solid entertainment, which is what saved it from a lower rating. All things considered, it’s probably worth finishing the trilogy if you’ve already come this far, because you’ll want to find out how things end. But while I’m not sorry I read Zero Day, it’s just a shame that the series didn’t end as strongly as it started, and I personally felt it was the weakest of the three books.
Profile Image for Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows).
1,570 reviews329 followers
February 28, 2018
If someone had told me I would read a trilogy about killer spiders taking over the world and would be raving about it, I would've told that person they were insane. I hate bugs. All kinds... and especially spiders. They're fascinating creatures, but I like to live as apart from them as I can.

One of the things I love about Boone's writing is how he can bring SO many characters to the table and yet it never gets confusing. I found myself invested in every single one of them. Quite frankly, I hope if anything like this ever WERE to happen, I would hope we had a Shotgun out there to help fight the good fight!

The spiders have come in two waves now and we are the finale. We get taken along through various POVs in all kinds of situations.... the government, a religious fanatic(ish), everyday people, scientists, the military, so on and so forth. What I wanted a little bit more of? THE SPIDERS! We got a lot more from them in books one and two and while I don't relish feeling like things are crawling over me as I'm reading... well, I actually did want MORE of that from this book too! There were definitely a few parts that had me questioning every little thing that moved in my peripheral, but for the most part, the spiders seemed to take a back seat and in a finale, that was a tiny bit disappointing.

And I'll admit the ending did seem a bit anti-climatic after everything from books one and two. HOWEVER, I'm still rating this highly because I was glued to the pages. I needed to know what was going to happen to each and every one of these people. I'm also extremely grateful to those who dedicate their lives to learning about our co-inhabitants on this planet.

In a nutshell, I had an absolute blast with this entire trilogy. Truly, Boone is a fantastic storyteller and I look forward to whatever he has coming our way in the future. And people, even if you're terrified of spiders, take a chance and read this trilogy anyways. Just do it!

Thank you to Atria for this copy in return for my honest review.
Profile Image for Greg.
1,117 reviews1,875 followers
December 13, 2017
In my review for the second book in the trilogy, Skittering, I expressed some fears about how this series would wrap up.

I imagine it’s a lot of fun to come up with awful scenarios for how the world could come to an end / fall into total disarray/chaos, but then I imagine it’s not all that fun to have to figure out how to create a satisfying conclusion to the perfect doomsday scenario.

There are going to be some possible spoilers about the series in what follows. So read on at your own discretion. Actually, if you are very concerned about spoilers in books you are going to read / are currently reading I’d suggest reading the book instead of going through lots of reviews about the book and then getting all bent out of shape when you think that something has been given away. Especially since the a lot of the things people whine about as being spoilers are right on the jacket/back cover copy of the book.

I liked the first book in the series, and I enjoyed the second book as a bridge between the first and last book in the series but I didn’t think it stood up very well on its own.

After reading Zero Day (a title I get, but which doesn’t flow from the other two titles. The other two are both related to spiders. Molting, or something like that might have been better, but I’m just full of nitpicking details) I think that the second book could have been greatly improved upon if the third (I think that’s right) chapter of Zero Day had been made the final chapter of Skittering. Since it’s on the jacket copy this isn’t much of a spoiler. The coup that sends President Pilgrim on the run would have made a great ending for the second book. It has a story arc that was building throughout the second book. I guess I can see how bombs raining down on everyone is a decent wrap-up for book 2, but maybe it was just me, but there was a weird detachment about the idea that half the country just got nuked. It never feels like as big of an event as I’m guessing it would be if the United States just nuked the shit out of it self.

I thought this last book was a lot of fun, though.

I didn’t love the ending, but it made sense. . All and all this was a fun series of books to read. I’m probably being unfair, but in my head I keep thinking of the way things were handled in this book and then comparing it to how much cooler they would have been if Mira Grant had been pulling the strings. But not every dire future situation can be a Mira Grant trilogy.

My only real complaint (I know I sound like I’m complaining a lot, but I do like the book! If you like the idea of swarms of spiders attacking people then this is a book for you!) (actually this is two complaints, opps!) is there should have been more about the spiders! I have no idea how this could have been accomplished, but I would have liked to have gotten more of the history/mythology of the spiders. And more spider attacks!

The other complaint was the epilogue. I didn’t see why all the stories had to be wrapped up so neatly.

Overall, fun series! Thank you Karen for lending me copies of these and not making me have to wait between the second and third books!
Profile Image for Tammy.
523 reviews438 followers
November 7, 2017
I don’t read a lot of horror/sci-fi but I read the two previous books in this trilogy and thought why not find out happens. This is easily a crossover title to YA (another genre that I don’t usually read). It’s a quick read that nicely ends the series and you find out what happens to all of the characters. I can see the syfy channel doing a successful treatment of this as a television series. What gives everyone the heebie jeebies? Creepy, crawling, skittering spiders!
Profile Image for Laura.
1,404 reviews210 followers
February 25, 2019

So this is it. The end of the spiderpocalypse! Or is it? Zero Day is the third and final book in Ezekiel Boone’s creepy-crawly Hatching series. This fun, fast, B-movie monster mash is filled with characters to root for and spiders to run from or SQUASH! There is a lot going on in this final leg of the fight, so hold on or hole up somewhere and enjoy the ride!

Military coups, politics (cuz there is always politics!), nukes, religion, new dangers and old, and of course those pesky little or not so little flesh eating spiders all propel this story along with huge humor. I had a lot of fun here, but…

Yes, there is a “but”. I felt like Boone rushed to the end. Actually it felt more like he leaped over opportunities and events to get to the end. For example, I could have used another action scene with Mike and the Minnesota gang on their trip through the new American landscape. They deserved a bit more action time. That could be me being greedy though. I loved Mike and Leshaun. Boone spun this web with so many voices, but a few of them really grew on me. So I did whisper a soft—“That’s it?” with Mike’s group. And is it me or did Mr. Boone completely drop the Aonghas and Thuy storyline? *shrugs* That said…I still loved the fun and humor here. Some of these characters are still running around in my head along with a few spiders. Ah, the spiders. The spider horror never failed to make me grin and giggle.

“When he opened his eyes, he took it all in at once: tables and chairs overturned, clothing that covered only bones, and perhaps half a dozen people slowly disappearing beneath layers of silk. A young woman, eighteen or nineteen, was staring at him, her eyes unblinking as spiders worked over her, coating her in webbing. Pierre could see a thin stream of tears coming out of her eyes, and although she couldn’t move, that didn’t stop Pierre from reading the terror in her eyes. To be paralyzed like that? To feel the spiders crawling over you, the silk wrapping around your body, to know that you were doomed?”

Doomed! Come see if the human race survives. Read this series!

Highly recommended.

One more of my favorite little lines…

“Realistically, to the Hell Spiders, a human is just like a burrito, a soft wrapper with a tasty filling.”

p.s. Cheers, Manny! I had my first Diet Coke in about 10 years in your honor after finishing this book. You and your damn Diet Coke. Haha…You made it sound so good. :D

Profile Image for The Tattooed Book Geek (Drew). .
296 reviews620 followers
December 13, 2018
As always this review can also be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek: https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress...

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

Zero Day is the third and final book in The Hatching trilogy by Ezekiel Boone. If you haven’t already then I highly recommend that you read the previous two books. It’s an excellent trilogy that is easy to read, immensely enjoyable to lose yourself in and offers you pages of spider induced entertaining chaos. It’s the equivalent of an action/horror film and if you let Boone then he’ll take you on a crazy spider-filled creeptastic ride.

If you’ll indulge me for a moment and allow me to paraphrase Guns N’ Roses “You know where you are? You’re in the spiderpocalypse, baby, You’re gonna die“.

The premise of the trilogy itself is really very simple. A race of ancient spiders is discovered, hatch and are then hell-bent on feeding on humans and destroying the world.

I have to say that The Hatching was for me, the pinnacle of the trilogy. It was frenetic spider infested carnage from the first page to the last and was one thrilling joyride of a book. Since then the next two books have slightly changed in tone and whilst the spiders are, of course, still the focus the story is based more on finding out how to destroy and stop them rather than in the first book where the spiders were unleashed like a biblical plague that ravaged the globe.

The spiders come in three waves, The Hatching was the first wave, Skitter the second and Zero Day is the third and final wave and also the third and final book in the trilogy. Each wave of spiders is different and each book is too and that works well for and compliments the story that Boone is telling.

Chapters are told from the viewpoints of various characters spread across the US and different countries and some are given more priority than others. The primary focus takes place in the US and the aftermath of the nuclear strikes that were sanctioned to try and save some of the country from the spiders and what happens next as they subsequently failed to eradicate the threat and the spiders are still there, running amok. The US is on the brink, any more nuclear blasts and there will be no coming back from the devastation caused. The US will be completely destroyed but still, some politicians want to go down this route and they find it preferable to letting the spiders win. Nuclear strikes have already happened, why stop now, why not finish the spiders off with more?! Obviously, it’s better to destroy your own country with bombs and turn it into a wasteland rather than let the spiders do it, I’m sure that mentality would get lots of election votes!

The scientists know that there is still the third wave of spiders yet to come and that the third wave will bring about the end but will that end be because of the spiders or because of the use of more nuclear weapons? At the same time as the politicians are arguing over whether or not to use more weapons, the scientists are busy experimenting with and researching the arachnids. They are looking for a solution that won’t cause the total annihilation of the world and will finally stop the spiders but will they even get the chance to test out their theory before one way or another time runs out.

This is the main story so it’s no surprise that Boone gives it the most time and page count alternating between the characters and locations across the US who all have a role to play building towards the conclusion and the choices that need to be made.

The main story arc is interesting and keeps you engaged. The chapters are short and punchy and allow you to jump between character and character and location and location always moving the story forward in a timely and quick manner. Most of the characters throughout are likeable, an eclectic mix and you find yourself hoping that they will survive. Some of the politicians and others aren’t but that’s the role Boone has given them and you like who you are supposed to like and dislike those you should.

Likewise, I enjoyed the brief glimpses that we got of some secondary characters and my favourites to visit have been, Aonghas, his wife and his grandfather on a remote Scottish Island. Far removed from the threat of the spiders there was just something captivating about each chapter that featured the trio. Mike, an FBI agent, his agency partner, his daughter, his ex-wife and her her husband in Minnesota and finally, Santiago, the owner of a gas station in Mississippi in the US, with his wife, two children and elderly neighbour (there is a really touching and poignant bit between these characters that really pulls on the heartstrings) and how he deals with and endures the adversity of the spiders. We visit with them all only sporadically during the trilogy but they have been a joy to read about.

For part of Zero Day (just like with Skitter) I found myself yearning for the rampant destruction caused by the spider hordes in The Hatching where just like Hulkamania (it’s Spidermania, whatcha gonna do, when Spidermania run wild on you) they ran wild across the globe.

That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the book, I thoroughly did and I devoured (like the spiders devour human flesh) it in just two days. I’ve lamented the lack of action but it only takes place in the first half of Zero Day where the focus is more on story building and is heavy on the human drama and political side (those politicians sure do like blowing things up, I wonder if the dudes are trying to overcompensate for something) rather than being action-oriented. The pacing, however, is relentless throughout and come the second half it more than makes up for the first, the action ramps up, threads come together, the web is woven and the spiders give you the chills as Boone builds towards the climax and conclusion of his story.

Is Zero Day the perfect ending to the trilogy? Simply put, no it isn’t. There could be more spiders, more tension, the climax could be more climactic and Boone could have been a little more bloodthirsty with the fates of some of his characters but, at the end of the day it’s a thrilling read that nicely ties the story together and it’s a good book. For me, I’m willing to excuse those few niggles and minor grievances as I had such a fun time reading both the book and the entire trilogy.

Zero Day is a roller-coaster of a finale and a creepily fitting way to end The Hatching trilogy.
Profile Image for Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews.
509 reviews53 followers
March 16, 2018
So here we are at the end of the trilogy. One way or another this apocalypse is coming to an end; it’s us or them.

I’ve been going through a bit of a funk with books in a series, or the never-ending series; I’ve grown to fully appreciate the trilogy, there is something to look forward to, the suspense of a great cliffhanger, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. As I was reading Zero Day, I thought that this series would have been an epic book to read straight through, all one thousand-ish pages.

One thing that I loved with Zero Day was the switch from one group of characters to another. Since I picked up The Hatching in 2016, these characters have become part of my life. Boone brought all of them into play in the closing installment in the series, although some had a much more passive role than others.

I kind of divide Zero Day into two parts. A good portion was spent on the political games, this was interesting and all, but to quote Christopher Walken, “I gotta have more spiders, baby!” Once the spiders hit the page, it was on. Boone really knows how to make one of the creepiest creatures on earth even more repugnant.

Zero Day was a great closing to The Hatching Series. I’m curious what creepy-crawly he will terrify me with next.

*I received a copy of the book from the publisher (via NetGalley).

Profile Image for Empress Reece (Hooked on Books).
915 reviews78 followers
May 8, 2018
I was disappointed in this final book. It didn't do anything for me like the first two books. The pace was so slow and nothing exciting happened. I honestly got bored with it. The best part was the last few chapters I thought, up until the ending that is. Their solution for killing the spiders and saving the world was so completely anti-climatic it was utterly ridiculous.

Profile Image for Erin Clemence.
1,110 reviews324 followers
March 10, 2019
Half the world is gone, but the spiders remain…..

In this third and final novel in the “Hatching” series, President Pilgrim has nuked some of America’s largest cities in an attempt to abolish the giant spiders. The army wants to continue bombing, and the scientists, including the ones working directly for the President, want more time to study the arachnids and come up with a detailed plan. With dissension in the ranks and the spiders continuing to take more and more lives, President Pilgrim and her team must come up with a way to destroy them, before her rogue military agents destroy the country.

“Zero Day” continues right where “Skitter” left off, with different groups of spiders delivering specific types of attacks on humans, and groups of survivors trying to destroy them. This novel has the same characters as the previous one did, so it is necessary that this trilogy be read in order.

Boone tells this creepy, crawly story with the same fervour as he did in the previous two novels. Each chapter was told from the standpoint of a different character (even the spiders played a bit of a role here) and, as there were quite a few characters, each chapter was identified so a reader could prepare for the next narrator. The chapters were mostly short as well, which made “Zero Day” even more un-put-downable.

A clever and creative storyline, with the right amount of creepiness (and some nasty spiders) and this novel has everything a reader could ask for. Although the characters are multitudinous (I continued to mix up Manny and Mike, and when another “M”—Melanie--- is re-introduced, I was definitely kept on my toes) I also found them to be charming and honest.

The ending sums up the trilogy nicely, and I was left satisfied. I thoroughly enjoyed this trilogy, not only for its uniqueness but also for its creep factor. As sad as I am that this series is over, I definitely believe that three novels was plenty of time to tell the story, and Boone did so very well.
Profile Image for Jessica.
997 reviews37 followers
March 6, 2018
Big thanks to Atria Books for the advanced ebook copy in exchange for my honest review.

So, if you know me then you'll know that I hate bugs. I have a saying, if it has more than 4 legs, it can't be trusted. Well, this trilogy is probably fueling that fire. ZERO DAY by Ezekiel Boone is the final chapter in The Hatching trilogy about the end of the world due to spiders. NO THANK YOU.

What's more terrifying than millions of spiders? Well, those millions of spiders working as one under their queens. While the government is trying to find a way to avoid the apocalypse they are running out of options. Professor Guyer's theory is one of the few they have to go on - kill only the queens.

With issues within the government and opposing thoughts on how to handle this epidemic, they're forced to leave and try to save themselves. Who is the bigger threat to the world? The spiders or the humans unwilling to work together to save it?

I highly recommend reading books one and two (The Hatching and The Skittering) before reading ZERO DAY. Things will make a lot more sense and you'll remain sufficiently creeped out. No lie, the whole time reading this and even typing this review I have that creepy-crawly feeling and keep swatting at my arms and legs. This is a great suspense series and you'll find yourself immersed in these spiders - not literally, thank god!

I give this one 4/5 stars!
Profile Image for Steve.
962 reviews95 followers
November 19, 2017
I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Solid 4 stars

The writing level is maintained in this third book, as in the first two, and the tension level is somehow maintained at a high level, as well. It's not often a series hits a peak early on and maintains that level of excellence throughout the rest of the volumes.

The plot was well-thought out, albeit with a couple eye-rolling moments, but those didn't really detract from the story, and in fact, probably helped it along.

I don't know if I'll ever read this series again, but I would definitely recommend it!
Profile Image for Laura Rash Wonderchick.
1,306 reviews147 followers
November 6, 2017
I think with every book in this series I’ve said each one was my favorite. But this one definitely is! When you’re reading this horrific story you’re wondering how the hell its going to end in a way that doesn’t seem totally unreal but then we are talking about humongous spiders! Somehow Boone manages to carry it off! I usually don’t think of books into movies (I don’t watch many movies or tv) but this series would be a phenomenal movie!
Thanks so much to Atria for this early copy!
Profile Image for Lena.
1,152 reviews254 followers
March 7, 2019

The third wave is here... with teeth.
The Queens have risen.
The nukes have flown.
The world is ending.

This series has been a lot of fun!
Profile Image for Cathy.
1,668 reviews242 followers
April 5, 2020
I skipped the middle book and went straight from book one to three. Apparently a lot of major cities were nuked in book 2 and spidergeddon is well on its way.

...and they were on an aircraft carrier, and spiders were eating people and nukes were falling, ...

There are a multitude of characters and locations, giving us a look at how they are dealing. I remembered few of them from the first book. Besides Melanie I mostly drew blanks.

The recap is done well, I did not miss the second book and found into the plot easily. I did not care about Bobby Higgs, I could have done without that part of the gazillion story threads. It was a drag.

My problem with the many, many characters and plots—by the time some of them came around again, I couldn‘t remember who they were. Maybe it would have been better to cut out some of the extraneous filler chapters and add more spidey action instead.

The climax was good, but the boss fight was entirely too easy and short. Seriously, after a build-up of three books, that was pretty lame.

Nonetheless, I had fun and was very entertained. It was creepy, when spiders did happen, and I was a little twitchy when I killed the lights last night. The epilogue made me cry (I am easy like that).

I can recommend this trilogy to anybody looking for a fun creature feature. I would go and see the movie. And I will check out what else the author has published.

I received this free e-copy from the publisher/author via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review, thank you! Sorry that it took me so long...
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