Tuesday, September 8, 2015

REVIEW: The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

The Scorpion Rules
A world battered by climate shift and war turns to an ancient method of keeping peace: the exchange of hostages. The Children of Peace - sons and daughters of kings and presidents and generals - are raised together in small, isolated schools called Preceptures. There, they learn history and political theory, and are taught to gracefully accept what may well be their fate: to die if their countries declare war.

Greta Gustafsen Stuart, Duchess of Halifax and Crown Princess of the Pan-Polar Confederation, is the pride of the North American Precepture. Learned and disciplined, Greta is proud of her role in keeping the global peace, even though, with her country controlling two-thirds of the world’s most war-worthy resource — water — she has little chance of reaching adulthood alive.

Enter Elián Palnik, the Precepture’s newest hostage and biggest problem. Greta’s world begins to tilt the moment she sees Elián dragged into the school in chains. The Precepture’s insidious surveillance, its small punishments and rewards, can make no dent in Elián, who is not interested in dignity and tradition, and doesn’t even accept the right of the UN to keep hostages.

What will happen to Elián and Greta as their two nations inch closer to war? 

I received this book via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review

I really don't what I think about this book. I like it, but I also don't like and I honestly cannot figure out why I like/dislike it at points. This was an interesting read, though, and it is very unique book.

This book takes place hundreds of years in the future. After a huge war and an AI that 'helped' end it (by blowing things up, of course), the Children of the Peace. The Children of the Peace are the children of all the world leaders and they are taken as hostages. They are cared, taught, and live in a decent environment, but once their country goes to war, the child is killed. Greta is one of these children and has been, essentially, raised there. She doesn't expect to live to adulthood. Then, a new boy joins them. The boy is dragged in chains and constantly fights with the superiors (AIs). When Greta and the boy's nations come closer to war, will the two just let their deaths come?

I feel like this book cannot possibly be summed up in a minuscule paragraph, especially without spoilers. This book is very uneventful and I found myself, by the end, questioning how in the world did the story go from that to this? Not that that's a bad thing, I actually found the idea behind this book very interesting. I've seen many dystopian reads involving war, but none really involved a "solution" and certainly none such as this. I was also able to be surprised at every turn because I wasn't quite sure where this book was going next. My only issue would be that sometimes things weren't really explained as well and I did feel like the world-building needed some work. I was especially bothered by instances where Greta would casually mention something as if it were obvious (there are points when she actually uses the word obvious) and I', just staring blankly at the page think "No, it's not obvious. PLEASE EXPLAIN!"

As for character, I honestly didn't really like Greta. She's not a bad person, I don't hate her, but she's just dull. She kind of bored me and I really couldn't connect with her. In fact, many of the characters just felt one dimensional to me. The only one I actually found interesting was Talis, who's the evil AI that basically rules the world. You know, the usual.

Lastly, the romance was incredibly weird and confusing. There was a really weird love triangle in this book. It's a bisexual love triangle, which isn't what bothered me, but what bothered me is that I couldn't even tell if it was a love triangle. Greta kisses both of them, but I never got enough feeling to tell what was going on and even if she loved both of them. Also, when the relationship(s) go on throughout the book I'm still confused and it never really feels developed.

Overall, I'm very mixed about this book. I love the idea and I think the book is very unique and unusual, but many aspects of the book just didn't feel very well developed. I did enjoy this book and I do think you should pick this up if you're curious, but it's not a favorite of mine. However, if Erin Bow were to write anything book, I will probably give it a try.

I hereby give this book
3.5 Stars
Meaning: I liked it, but it wasn't quite amazing.

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