Scorpions: A Novel is a 2016 horror novel written and self-published via CreateSpace by Mike Cook (who also did the cover artwork as "Michael Cook"). Jonathan Landers lives in Laughlin, Nevada. Jonathan only cares about two things, "jamming with his high school friends in a death metal band" (a direct quote) and joyriding on his ATV. After crashing and wandering alone in the desert, he barely manages to make it back to civilization before an earthquake hits. Later, he and his friends find the remains of some kind of animal killed by huge, vicious predators. It seems that quake has unleashed a horde of Scary Scorpions from under the ground, and now the killer arachnids are threatening the "annual biker fest." The boys have to struggle to stop the event before the scorpions crash it, but the money-hungry Mayor Clancy might take some convincing.
See also Scorpion by Michael R. Linaker.
Tropes used in this novel:
- Antagonist Title: It's called Scorpions and the giant arachnids are indeed the villains.
- Attack of the Town Festival: Laughlin is hosting a con for bikers and offroad enthusiasts, which of course the scorpions threaten, and which of course Mayor Clancy refuses to cancel.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Giant scorpions unleashed from underground by an earthquake.
- Cool Old Guy: Jack McGill, a retired boxer who lives in Laughlin.
- Cool Uncle: Jonathan's Uncle Eddy, who rescues him from the desert and persuades his mother to let him keep his ATV.
- Crossing the Desert: After Jonathan overturns his ATV, he has to head across the desert alone to make it back to Laughlin.
- Disappeared Dad: Jonathan's dad ran off on him and his mom when he was very young.
- Earthquakes Cause Fissures: Fissures that unleash hordes of Scary Scorpions!
- Friend to Bugs: Jonathan likes creepy crawlies. At one point, he forgoes squishing a regular-sized scorpion while he's out in the desert. As a younger boy, he burned ants with a magnifying glass, and this act of cruelty has made him feel guilty ever since, so he goes out of his way to be kind to invertebrates.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Jonathan's close friendship with middle-aged retired boxer Jack McGill.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Jack after witnessing a scorpion kill and eat a mountain lion.
- Mayor Pain: Clancy, who insists on the biker festival going forward, giant scorpions or not. In addition, it's suggested he has ties to The Mafia and had landowner Otis McKinney murdered so he could steal his property.
- Scary Scorpions: A whole bunch of them!
- Thirsty Desert: While Crossing the Desert, Jonathan experiences quite a bit of thirst.