Wednesday 3 December 2014

Book Review - Spiders

Author: Tom Hoyle
Genres: Mystery, Thriller | Childrens, Young Adult
Release Date: 6th November 2014
Publishers: MacMillan
Source: Review Copy - MacMillan
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
Adam may have survived once, but a cult still has him in its sights.
This time he may not escape with his life..

Abbie's dad is an undercover agent, tasked with exposing dangerous cults. He's normally able to maintain his distance, but this time Abbie's worried he's in too deep.

Megan was sure she and Adam were safe, but now he's gone missing on a school ski trip in Scotland and she's the only one who can help him..

The web is closing in around them.. Will they make it out alive?

The following review may contain spoilers concerning earlier books written by the same author.
If you have not read these previous works, please proceed with caution.

You guys, if it wasn't for the fact I got this book for the purpose of reviewing it, I'd say I have no words for it - it was exactly what I needed when I read it, it was the almost perfect story for the night before Halloween and it honestly cemented my love for Tom Hoyle's work entirely. Thirteen was one hell of a ride and was nothing like I'd read before, and Spiders followed that suit, with a thrilling plot, fantastic characters and an extra shiver inducing factor that really took this book to the next level, it was superb.

Spiders was very alike Thirteen in that it covered the same feature, that of a cult, crazy weird manic cult, looking to get hold of Adam to, in this case, encourage a good fortune and take them to a promised land, yet it felt so much darker, so much more tense and so much more intriguing. Instead of there being a definite level of action like Thirteen, there was much more plot, many more twists and so much more, I'll say horror, but I am a bit of a wuss. Not that there wasn't any action, no, believe you me, there was plenty of action here to entertain even the most bored of readers, no, what Spiders did that Thirteen didn't do as well was linked every aspect beautifully; the characters interacted and were much more involved than previously, even more characters being introduced and the relations between them was fantastic, the actual depth and darkness involved in the plot was so much bigger and better than before, and the overall feel to Spiders was creepier, scarier and dare I say, freakier, but in the most wonderful of ways. Spiders was in so many ways so very wrong in such brilliant ways, making me shiver, making my skin tingle and sending goosebumps up my neck, there wasn't a moment were this book didn't have me going 'OH MY GOD!'

I do have to feel for Adam, the poor boy gets no rest and from the looks of the ending to Spiders, it appears there won't be any rest in the future which is good for me and bad for Adam.. As if one cult trying to kill him wasn't enough, he only went and found himself in the same predicament as before, yet this time, due to his experiences and his development, his actions and his general character felt a lot more realistic and his himself felt a lot more real in Spiders. While he'd only aged a year, he felt and sounded so much more mature than he was, but he was definitely still very much a teenage boy, exploring his puberty, exploring the natural waves of being a teenager, all the while, escaping what can only be classed as stark raving bonkers people. His connection and relationship with Megan was just as good in Spiders - Hoyle had explored their connection in more of a romantic light in this novel and while Megan wasn't as involved as she had been previously, I couldn't help but enjoy and adore Adam and Megan's moments together, and Asa's overall enjoyment of them being a couple. Adam and Abbie, well, they were a whole different ball game; their trust in one another, considering the predicament was absolutely astonishing, they're quick level of understanding and loyalty was amazing and Abbie herself was such a wonderful character to meet and I enjoyed getting to know and exploring her charcater more through Hoyle's writing. I only wish I knew more about her life after the events of Spiders, I'd definitely like for her and Adam to meet again, as with her strength, her power and her passion, her independence and leadership and Adam's general logic, quick thinking and dedication to other people, they make a very good team and have a very good, well created friendship.

Hoyle's talent however lies within his storytelling and his descriptions. There's no denying, these books are for a younger than I am audience but Hoyles level of writing is so fantastic, anyone in the target audience reading his novels is in for a treat. His skills at crafting not just simple and well imagined scenes, but also the horrors that lie in the corner, the fear that hangs in the air and the lack of trust that flows between the characters and their background companions is absolutely fantastic, it's almost too good. The writing is simple and flows so well, but Spiders had this air of eerie and tense feelings, he explored peoples fears so much more than I had expected, had me questioning my own fears and created so many shiver inducing moments that literally had me snuggled into my bedding, it's really too good for words. Hoyle's work in this genre is so good, I'd put it on a level with Blakes Anna Dressed in Blood and Antigoddess, and I love her work with the horror and the gruesome; the darkness Hoyle creates in his novels is really that good and the creep and horror factor is something you need to read for yourself to understand.

I really don't think I could have enjoyed Spiders anymore than I did, and the only thing that lets it down is that I skipped a few small paragraphs and didn't feel as though I'd missed anything but this is a very minor issue, almost ignorable, but I've gotten pickity in my reviews and ratings and if it doesn't feel perfect, it isn't. Don't be wary though, Spiders and it's prequel Thirteen may sound a little young and a little daring, but even the most scared of readers, such as I, will enjoy Hoyle's work, and I seriously cannot recommend it enough. Spiders was as almost perfect as almost perfect gets and I advise everyone give this novel a go, other than maybe people scared of spiders, those scenes are really that good.


  1. Great review! I confess I've never been one for horror, unless it's the classics like Frankenstein or Dracula, but this review made me want to try it. I have rather an unreasoning fear when it comes to spiders, so maybe I won't try this book!

    1. I have to say, I'm not a spider fan, but I think it's written so it's scary, but not fearsome, it might be worth it, at least, I think it's worth the shot, the intriguingness is so so worth it for sure!

  2. I've been wanting to read Spiders. I didn't read your review as I don't read them before mine is published, but I'm encouraged by your rating!

    1. Oh it's definitely a good read, hope you loved it too!

  3. OHhhh I WANT TO READ THIS. I love horrible things although I absolutely ugh no no no HATE spiders. I'm terrified of them. Snakes are evil but spiders are horrible little creatures that totally can get into any corner and devour your soul >.> *ahem* Are there actual crawl-on-the-ground spiders in here?
    I still want to read it though. Awesome description = I am sold. XD

    1. Errr, these a really big spider in this book.. pretty big.. pretty.. pretty big, human child big, BUT IT'S NOT REAL. *cough* Cait, these books are PERFECT for you, humour, fast pace, great characters you can get behind, if there's ever books to read in your life, it's Tom Hoyles, get on them before I buy them for you!

  4. I've read books about cults before but this one sounds really dark and sinister. I always think MG books that everyone can enjoy signify a sign of the author's talent. Great review Amanda, glad to hear you enjoyed it!

    1. I do think for a MG book this is to die for, it's so great! Thank you Jeann! :)

  5. I normally don't do scary books or ones that mess with you head, yes I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to it. But I'm glad that you ended up loving this book Amanda, I'm always up for books that have you at the edge of your seat! Fab review as always! :)

    1. Edge of seat this was indeed! Thank you Jasprit :)


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