**Notice** Due to transfering back from a godaddy hosted wordpress blog back to blogger, reviews published before june 2017 don`t all have a pretty layout with book cover and infos. Our apologies.

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

THE SCORPION RULES might seem like your generic Young Adult dystopian novel but I was pleasantly surprise. It is original and very well written. The world building is exceptional and while it might be a little far fetched, it's based on a real world problem that could, in theory, happen. Global warming is a reality in this book, and the world is drying up. Drinking water is becoming rarer. Four hundred years in the past, people started wars over water, and so, an artificial intelligence being took it upon himself to end all wars by blowing up cities around the world in order to control the world populations. The AI knew blowing up cities wouldn't work in the long term, so he decided to take world leaders' children hostage to help them keep the peace. And so began Talis's rule.

As a Child of Peace, Greta has been prepared to die for her country. If she can survive past her her 18th birthday, she'll be free, but until then she's a hostage for the Pan Polar Confederacy, what used to be Canada. As the Crown Princess of the Confederacy and the Duchess of Halifax, she doesn't get special treatment. Like all the other Children of Peace, she has been raised humbly on how to survive off the land. Since she was five, she has lived in one of the many Preceptor schools with other world leaders' children. What happens the weeks following the arrival of a new hostage, Elián, will forever change Greta's life. Greta's attracted to this new boy. As a 16 year old teenager, she is confused over the feelings she has for him. He's trouble, alway saying and doing the wrong things, which he gets punished for time and time again. I think she's simply awed by someone who is willing to break the rules despite the obvious repercussions. However, he's definitely trouble because Elián represents the possibility of death. Their two countries are on the brink of war, and if war is declared, they're both dead.

The slow world building is necessary to understand the chilling situation these characters are in. And while it was necessary to understand their daily lives, I kind of didn't want to know about goat breeding. But again, it was necessary to understand that these children are taught how to live off the land, and the goats are kind of important in the long run. I would have appreciated a little bit more background information about many of the characters. Greta spends her days with her cohort but not much is known about these characters beyond the fact that their parents are world leaders.

I applaud the author's audacity to include LGBTQ relationships in this YA novel. I feel like it kind of came out of nowhere, especially since I thought the attraction between Greta and Elián was obvious. I thought the author might expand this relationship, seeing how their two countries are enemies. However, Greta develops (or realizes she has) strong romantic feelings for her female roommate. I totally didn't see that coming, and I think Greta didn't either. Still, I applaud the author for trying for a different kind of romantic triangle.

Although I don't like Greta's final decision towards the end of the book, I understand why she did it. The whole concept of artificial intelligence and copying one's thoughts and psyche in order achieve a sort of immortality isn't something new, but the way it's described in this book is quite original.

THE SCORPION RULES was a thought provoking, science and technology based book that I highly recommend. It might not be as action packed as other dystopian books on the market, but this book should not be overlooked. Just because the female protagonist isn't taught self-defence doesn't mean she can't be a strong leader. Greta, while a bit naive, is a clever and respected girl who might have what it takes to help control world peace. I really enjoyed reading her story and can't wait to find out what happens next.

stephsig moon

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

Follow Tynga on: Facebook | Twitter

2 People left their mark' :

  1. This sounds intriguing. I'm all for incuding LGBTQ relationships, but if it comes out of nowhere, then I wonder if the author included it just for the sake of including it. However, still willing to give this one a try. I don't mind slow world building, and the premise sounds interesting.