Spiderstalk by D. Nathan Hilliard
Updated: May 3, 2018
SPIDERSTALK is a surprisingly developed novel and not at all what you’re expecting from the cover. The characters are attractive and real, and they change in surprising ways during the story. Initial judgments of good and bad, positive and negative, dangerous and safe, are all turned on their head as the plot delightfully works itself out. Honestly, I really like this book.
You truly don’t expect to find an insightful cultural exploration (or two) within the pages of what looks like a typical “monster” book. SPIDERSTALK turns out to be an intelligent, rewarding revelation of hidden cultures hiding in plain sight within our own world. And yes, in case you’re worried, the novel absolutely does deliver a whole series of very prickly moments for all of us who suffer from arachnophobia.
This is a well written book with good dialogue, both internal and external, along with well drawn (and disturbing) characters. It features a remarkable concept with elements of secret societies, alien cultures, hidden truths, historic oddities and Native American underpinnings, while still pulling off a believable romance to boot. I am so used to being disappointed (or angry, or disgusted) with the majority of Indie novels I download that I was holding my breath for the first third of SPIDERSTALK fearing that it was too good to be true and expecting it to suddenly turn to mush. But it didn’t! Instead, the book just kept getting better. Complex scenes were deftly handled. The unveiling theme kept deepening as the risks continued to climb. The novel actually held up to the end and beyond. Hurrah! Well done Mr. Hilliard!
My only real complaint is the book’s cover art. I suppose it’s not so much a complaint as it is a concern. I want a larger audience for this book and the current cover runs the risk of attracting only monster or creepy spider readers (yeah, I know, I’m one of those second types). I worry, though, that the current imagery is unappealing to a whole host of thoughtful readers who would love the book. Perhaps, instead of just the hanging spider, the cover could show part of a naked shoulder with a spider tattoo, or an actual spider perched on that shoulder beside such a tattoo. I’m trying to imply that the book needs a quick way to alert potential readers that while this story deals in real spiders there’s a whole fascinating world hidden here, and that things are never what they seem.
Just my 2 cents worth. This is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it.
Here's the book's link on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DTEUXOC