The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is so many things that I didn't expect when I first opened it, and all of them are amazing.
I'll admit that when I first cracked open this book and read the first few pages, I was distinctly reminded of the Hunger Games. It was almost enough to make me set the book aside, since I don't particularly like reading books that are too strongly like others that are very popular in any one genre. This book happily surprised me, though, which is why I mention this here - if I'm making this comparison I'm sure that I'm not the only one, and I wouldn't want anyone to turn their backs on this book needlessly!
This book is both lyrical and painful in the way that good dystopians are, and surprised me in more than one instance. Our heroine is a Princess and a 'Child Of Peace' - or more succinctly, a hostage of peace. The threat of war is an axe-blade that forever hovers above her neck, for if her family chooses war, then she will die. She's not the only one, either - she and her friends are all in the same predicament, their lives balancing on the whims of man. They all feel that burden, and this book is an exploration of how it feels to live like that as a teenager, and the choices that she makes - because that's what makes us who we are, in the end.
There will be things that readers will think are obvious as they start into this book, and they will be wrong. There will be events that they are sure are certain, and they will most likely be wrong about those, too. That is what I loved about this book, along with the lyricism and the emotion that is conveyed in the writing, that drew me in and kept me wrapped up in this book until I finished the last page.
If there is one complaint that I have it's that the history isn't quite conveyed as well as I would have liked. There is still a lot to be learned at the end of this first book (yes, it's a series), and that's something that I hope is delved into a lot more in the next book, because dammit, I'm curious!!
But overall, nnngh. That is my reaction to this book. The romance, the themes, the plot - just fascinating and lovely, and definitely worth the read.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
View all my reviews