Monday, September 21, 2015

Book Review: The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publish Date: September 22nd, 2004
ISBN: 9781481442718
Pages: 384
Series: Prisoners of Peace, #1
Source: From publisher for honest review

Goodreads Synopsis:

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?

My Review:

I really wanted to love this novel. The premise sounds so intriguing and different and exciting. I've also had the pleasure of meeting Erin Bow at our local "The Word on the Street" festival where she read an excerpt of Plain Kate aloud. She's such a lovely lady, and on top of that, the other day she stopped by where I work although I wasn't able to talk to her, knowing that she was there shopping and knowing that her book was on my bedside table to read made me feel like I needed to devour this book and love every minute of it. Unfortunately, if I'm being honest, which I am when I write these reviews, there was something off in The Scorpion Rules, and I didn't love it as much as I was hoping.
The Scorpion Rules started off promising with an introduction of the scenery, plot and characters - both the humans and the AI's - but it didn't expand or go any deeper for me. The characters lacked depth and emotion. I think that is the main concern with this for me was the lack of character depth, and connection with other characters and with me.
The story is there though. The idea of it is really neat as I said but I don't feel like it reached the level I was looking for. According to Goodreads, the average rating of The Scorpion Rules is 3.54 / 5 stars, so that is good to know, because it honestly kills me that I can't personally give this book by a fantastic local author a raving review.

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