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Book Review: Hatch by Kenneth Oppel

Book Review: Hatch by Kenneth Oppel - By Felicia

This is the second book in the Bloom trilogy. If you haven’t read the first book yet, check it out here. The third book will be released May 2021.

This amazing novel, “Hatch”, by Kenneth Oppel, tells the story of three kids: Anaya, Petra, and Seth. After the invasion of the black grass in the previous book, there are two new species: a type of mosquito and a type of bird. The kids are immune to it, but no one else is, and it’s up to them to save the day.

“Hatch” starts off with eggs raining from the sky, just like the previous book. Moments later, little birds and mosquitoes start hatching from them. Uh-oh… The second wave is underway. Anyway, soon enough, their special abilities are discovered. Colonel Pearson, one of Dr. Weber’s associates, handcuffs Anaya, Petra and Seth and puts them in a jail cell. The colonel does some scans, and Colonel Pearson’s associate, Dr. Ritter, tells them that there are radio transmitters in their brains. Because of that, they are being detained as threats to national and international security. Soon, they are shipped to someplace in North America for “military training”. There, Petra meets another “swimmer” who has a tail and is molting, named Darren. Seth meets another “flyer” named Esta, who has metallic feathers of all colors of the rainbow. Anaya meets another “runner” who is named Charles, who has very muscular legs and is very hairy. After they were all finished introducing each other and talking, the swimmers do training: Petra is tested for acid resistance and can resist hydrochloric acid, Seth has to rip open a punching bag with his feathers and can do it in one try, and Anaya runs on the treadmill 32 miles per hour. Wow! Because of Anaya’s amazing speed, Dr. Ritter asks to see her. He then tells her that she has the strongest signal. Without her permission, he does an MRI scan on her. During the scan, Anaya “sees” a cryptogen: she smells the smell of soil after a heavy rain, a flicker of amber light just like a beacon, and she hears one word: “Help”. As soon as the scan was over, Anaya rushed to tell Petra and Seth. Together, they try to practice telepathy, like Anaya did with the cryptogen, who she nicknamed “Terra”. For Anaya’s second MRI scan, Terra shows her the cryptogens’ planet. There are 3 different species: the runners, the swimmers, and the flyers. There was a war, where the flyers attacked everyone else, and the swimmers and the runners were the flyers’ slaves. Devastated and shocked, Anaya told the whole group about the situation. After that, everyone at camp goes to a party hosted by Dr. Ritter. In the middle of the party, he tells the kids that they will be receiving surgery to remove their alien/cryptogen features. Apparently not all of them wanted their features removed, so there ended up being a heated argument about being a volunteer or not. Anyway, after that, Darren and Seth fight in the gym room. Then, Darren collapses on the floor as soon as a guard walks in. Seth gets in trouble for what Esta does: she used a “sound bomb” to hurt Darren. For this, Dr. Ritter tells him that there will be a “surgery”. After many hours, Anaya and Petra start to get worried about Seth, so everyone decides to run away and rescue him. In no time, they find Seth on a hospital bed, with Dr. Ritter putting a knife at his throat. Using their cryptogen weapons, they stun and kill the guards and Dr. Ritter. Then, they go down the elevator to ground level. Once they are outside, an airplane lands with Dr. Weber and Colonel Pearson to rescue everyone. But Seth and a few others get left behind: a “regrettable but unavoidable risk”, Colonel Pearson says. On the plane, Anaya falls asleep and she sees Terra, who asks her for help. When they arrive at home, Dr. Weber does some more tests on everyone, and she finds out that their blood is poisonous to the cryptogens. She uses this to find a poison. However, before the poison is ready, Anaya’s mom gets bitten by one of the venomous cryptogen mosquitoes. When Anaya falls asleep, she asks Terra for help and Terra gives her a molecule to make a formula for the venom’s cure. This molecule actually heals Anaya’s mom fully, making everyone think that Terra is on the humans’ side. Then, Terra tells Anaya that she is coming in three days, at noon. But when Terra arrives, they discover… this whole “help” thing was a trap.

I rate this amazing book 5/5 stars for two main reasons. One, this book is filled with suspense, just like its predecessor. I love how much action was packed into here. There was so much action that this book review took me one week to write, one hour a day. Two, it’s a science fiction book, which I know I always say, but it is. And science fiction books are always the ones that I love.

Thank you for reading!

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