Monday, November 16, 2015

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

Greta has lived as one of the Children of Peace for most of her life.  After years of unending wars, people asked artificial intelligence Talis to bring about peace.  His solution:  make every world leader send his or her own child somewhere to be held hostage.  If a ruler declares war, his or her child is killed.  Having these hostages hasn't stop all aggression but it has made a big difference.  Greta and her classmates have been together for years so their world is unsettled when Elian arrives and refuses to follow the rules of the Precepture.  Knowing that Greta's mother and Elian's grandmother are likely to be warring with each other soon over water rights, the two teens feel that their time is limited but everyone is surprised when Elian's grandmother invades the Precepture to force Greta's mother to do as she wishes.  

I wasn't entirely sure of this book as I began it.  The writing style can be stylized - is that the word I'm looking for? - and abrupt, which made me think I might not be liking it.  But before I knew it, I was unable to put it down and was completely sucked in by the end.  The romance - great and not what we've been conditioned to expect.  In fact, I read a review on Shelfari from someone complaining about the book and how she didn't even finish it because she knew exactly what was going to happen with the romance. I'm sure she would've been surprised had she bothered to keep reading.  The AI and transition to AI were both well-developed.  Lots to think about, lots to entertain, lots to be sad about.