Thursday, January 23, 2014
Review: The Rule of Three
The Rule of Three by Eric Walters is the story about what happens after civilization breaks down. Adam is in school one day when the power goes out. Just a power outage, right? Well, no. It turns out that anything relying on computers is out of commission- cell phones, government services, even vehicles. The only cars than run are those without computers. It soon becomes clear that the power is not coming back on anytime soon- and the fight for survival begins.
This book made me think about what would truly happen if something like this were to occur. Is it likely? No, but something on a smaller but still catastrophic scale is certainly possible, and this makes the book so thought provoking. Anyone who has ever wondered what would happen if the power went out- and stayed out- will find this book fascinating. Would society break down? How long would it take? And what could be done to survive? Adam has two advantages- his mother is a police chief, and his next door neighbor is a retired spy. The two of them organize the neighborhood and begin to build defenses and gather resources. The results are mostly believable and, again, thought provoking.
The neighborhood soon becomes a fortress of sorts, as they gather what they can and protect themselves from marauders. They face thorny questions, such as whether to admit other families who are in need, given that they only have finite resources- food, water, fuel. Where do you draw the line? This was the most interesting part of the book for me as it makes you what you would do in that situation.
There is a romance in the story. Lori lives on a nearby farm and Adam has had his eye on her for a while, but has been afraid to ask her out. They are brought together when Lori's family is brought into the neighborhood for their protection. The romance is cute and innocent, although I would have preferred to see Lori play a little more role in the story. The story itself kept my interest, although it did drag just a little in the middle. I kept waiting for the conflict that I knew was coming- but it never really arrived until the very end, and that was a bit disappointing. The bulk of the story is basically preparation, and while it was fairly realistic I could have used a little more action.
My biggest issue with the book is the abrupt ending. I mean, really abrupt. I waited until the very end for the action to really pick up- it does, but then there is no aftermath at all. Is there a sequel in the works? I don't know, I would be interested in reading it if there is one, but this could easily be a standalone too and that's fine. A better ending is needed though, in my opinion. Way too abrupt. Otherwise it's a fine read and it got me thinking. Solid but unspectacular.
One shocking afternoon, computers around the globe shut down in a viral catastrophe. At sixteen-year-old Adam Daley’s high school, the problem first seems to be a typical electrical outage, until students discover that cell phones are down, municipal utilities are failing, and a few computer-free cars like Adam’s are the only vehicles that function. Driving home, Adam encounters a storm tide of anger and fear as the region becomes paralyzed. Soon—as resources dwindle, crises mount, and chaos descends—he will see his suburban neighborhood band together for protection. And Adam will understand that having a police captain for a mother and a retired government spy living next door are not just the facts of his life but the keys to his survival, in The Rule of Three by Eric Walters.