Saturday, October 3, 2015

Book Review - The Scorpion Rules

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow 

Series: Prisoners of Peace
Published September 22, 2015 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopia, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Fiction 
Pages: 384
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Review by Tina


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
This seems like a September book less known. I haven't seen many reviews. It was on my radar when I read the A.I. takes control of Earth and rule the World. I had strong hopes but the writing hm I'm hesitant to give a strong 3 or 4 stars. 

"Once upon a time, humans were killing each other so fast that total extinction was looking possible, and it was my job to stop them. Talis’ first rule of stopping wars: make it personal . And that, my dear children— that is where you come in."


The firstborn child (ages 5-18) of royal families are sent to Preceptures (schools) as royal hostages. Some arrive as young as 5 years old and are raised under the AI rule until 18 when they can return back to their families. They learn respect, subservience, knowledge to rule kingdoms but learn nothing of throwing revolts. Their teachers are walking monitor screen robots that were once human but downloaded into AI bodies. Despite having the best education, the children are living hostages and as hostages, many of the children perish before reaching 18. 


It took a new human hostage for a tight knit group of six to notice how enslaved they were. 


The overall story line is compelling, that's a 4. The process, however, that's a 3.


I find it unnecessary for some of the scenes to be overly-descriptive, especially describing emotions, the pages are heavily verbose. Now, the general direction of the story, I'm not sure where it's headed. It doesn't seem likely we will see rebellion in the future; the AI have the humans wrapped around their fingers. It is possible the AI want to achieve godhood. Will the next volume continue with the omnipresent power theme or delve into the creation and workings of the AI?

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