The world is a quite different place and the realisation that there is some co-ordination to the vast deadly swarms of arachnids raises the difficult question of what the US government should do about them. Do they carry out a "cleansing" mass erradication using "tactical nukes" that will ineviatably take as many lives as it saves? Or do they trust in Professor Guyer's plan to find and kill the queen, on the chance that the Professors research is accurate?
It's probably worth mentioning that you really need to read the Hatching and Skitter before reading this finale of the series. There are some big events going on in those books which I will try and avoid mentioning but seriously, read them first. Zero Day follows the same alternating thrid-person perspective however there a less of these perspective's to choose from. A few of these also don't really contribute to the story - although they do add some colour and describe how people may react in such an apocalyptic scenario. For much of the book, the focus is firmly placed on the President and the decisions she must make. Given this focus the pace is pretty fast and less distracted than the previous two books.
The story is entertaining with an underlying threat of further spidergeddon and different sorts of threats from parts of the US government. These threats don't really amount to anything though. There isn't much of a death count and for the most part the spiders are just in the background, promising menace that doesn't go anywhere. As such there isn't any build up of suspense and little to really thrill. The ending, when we get there, happens too fast and too easy. The threat of a fractured government also doesn't really amount to much, just a bit of sabre rattling and some small double-crossing but nothing major.
I can't help feeling disappointed with Zero Day, the previous two books build up a lot of promise that this finale doesn't really deliver on. A weak ending to an otherwise impressive series.
Written on Monday 16th April 2018 by Antony Jones.
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