The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Received: In Trade
The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
Description: 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?
Review: Ok, unpopular opinion: I didn’t really like this book that much. I’ll give it one thing, this book draws you in. It has a really interesting premise and I couldn’t help but give it a shot. But unfortunately there’s a lot wrong with it. I was incredibly bored throughout the first half or so of the book. The characters are pretty dull, the setting was generic, and I just didn’t really care a whole lot.
For one, the characters are really dull. I couldn’t connect with a single one of them. Greta is fine, I guess, but that’s the only thing I can really say about her. She has very little personality, alot like the old time disney princesses. There’s a sort of love triangle, except it’s not really a love triangle. I did like how one of the options was a girl, and I really enjoyed their relationship, however brief it was. And that’s the thing, it was really brief. What’s the point of it?
Then there’s Talis. I really liked the crazy AI at first. But here’s the thing: it gets really old really fast. I know he’s supposed to be all sassy but he’s so childish that you may find that it overwhelms any enjoyment you may get from it. True, he gets some really good lines once in a while but for the most part Talis is an exercise in trying too hard.
The setting bores me to death. Wars over water have been done to death in dystopians and man am I tired of it. I can go read Mindy McGinnis for that! The countries are so fluid and governments come and go so fast its a wonder any of them have any authority. It doesn’t really make sense.
I will say that the plot is engaging enough to keep me reading. Though I thought of putting it down several times, I still was interested enough to find out hat happened next. The question is will I bother reading the next one? Honestly? I don’t know. Part of me wants to know what happens next. The last 1/4th was like reading a different book, and if the whole book was like that I’d be giving it more than 3 nuts. But I’m not convinced a sequel will continue with the trend of that last bit rather than the boredom of the first 3 quarters. I think we’ll have to wait and see, but I won’t be holding my breath. It’s not for me.
What do you guys think? Share in the comments.