by Erin Bow
Series: Prisoners of Peace
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (September 22, 2015)
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In the future, the UN has brought back an ancient way to keep the peace. The children of world leaders are held hostage—if a war begins, they pay with their lives.To minimize the risk of war, each ruler must send a son or a daughter to join the Children of Peace. These children are kept safe in a isolated school as long as the world is at peace. If war is declared, the children that represent the countries in the conflict are killed. As you can see, this book sounds somewhat interesting. In reality, The Scorpion Rules is so dull that I'm actually shocked that I finished the entire thing. I thought that struggling through it might be worth it at the end, but I was wrong.
Greta is the Crown Princess of the Pan Polar Confederacy, a superpower formed of modern-day Canada. She is also a Child of Peace, a hostage held by the de facto ruler of the world, the great Artificial Intelligence, Talis. The hostages are Talis’s strategy to keep the peace: if her country enters a war, Greta dies.
The system has worked for centuries. Parents don’t want to see their children murdered.
Greta will be free if she can make it to her eighteenth birthday. Until then she is prepared to die with dignity, if necessary. But everything changes when Elian arrives at the Precepture. He’s a hostage from a new American alliance, and he defies the machines that control every part of their lives—and is severely punished for it. Greta is furious that Elian has disrupted their quiet, structured world. But slowly, his rebellion opens her eyes to the brutality of the rules they live under, and to the subtle resistance of her companions. And Greta discovers her own quiet power.
Then Elian’s country declares war on Greta’s and invades the prefecture, taking the hostages hostage. Now the great Talis is furious, and coming himself to mete out punishment. Which surely means that Greta and Elian will be killed...unless Greta can think of a way to save them.
This was torture, from start to finish. I'm not exaggerating. The world building had a let-me-dump-all-this-information-and-maybe-it'll-make-sense vibe to it. Every aspect of this future world was heavy and boring instead of fascinating and brilliant. The idea is cool but I can't say the same about the final product. I just didn't care about any of it. I didn't connect with the characters or the story so I practically wasted a couple of hours of my life on something that left me completely disappointed.
There's a love triangle in this book and, even though I loathe them, it had a ton of potential...but it doesn't matter because the execution was terrible. The main character (a girl named Greta) is attracted to a boy and a girl. This could've been a highlight since not a lot of dystopians deal with this kind of love triangle but everything about it was so awkward and unnatural. The relationships moved too fast and didn't make a lot of sense. The love in this book is the kind of love that grows overnight and feels forced rather than natural. I'm not entirely sure if the love triangle served a purpose or, like everything else in this novel, it was just there for no good reason at all.
Basically, take the boring plot, add the terrible love triangle and the fact that the characters are all flat and unlikable and you get one of the worst books I've read this year. I can't get back the time I spent reading this but I hope some of you make a better choice and either give up while you're ahead or choose a better book to begin with.