Series: The Rule of Three (bk. 1) Or a Standalone?
Genera(s): Apocalyptic Dystopian Sci-fi
Subjects: blackouts, survival, thriller, pilots
Setting: A suburban neighborhood called Eden Mills
POV/Tense: 1st person POV, past tense: Adam
Age/Grade Level: Teen
Length: 405 pgs.
List Price: $17.99
Publisher: Macmillan: FSG
Summary/ product description: “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”
My Review: The Rule of Three is an interesting and thrilling dystopian book. Adam is at school when suddenly everything digitally electronic stops working. Laptops, cell phones, cars. His car is old and doesn’t have any computers in it, so it still works. His dad is a pilot and he’s at O’Hare when it happens. I never found out where the story is set, but he keeps saying that his dad is a thousand miles away, so most like somewhere near the east cost.
When Adam gets home, he sees his neighbor Herb, who’s about 70. Herb decides to give out water bottles to the people who had to walk home. Herb becomes a major character in the story. Adam may be the narrator, but Herb’s like the second main character. He becomes a mentor for Adam. Since his father isn’t there, Herb becomes the grandfather figure that teaches Adam about leader ship and community and how to survive. Herb was a diplomat and was stationed at embassies in foreign countries. He knows about how people behave in a crisis and he’s a great negotiator.
One this that I found refreshing about this book was that it was dystopian, but it seemed more realistic in that communities didn’t completely fall apart. People still wanted to be neighborly and contribute. They could get water and food in return. Looting will still be an issue because many people panic and worry only about themselves and their families and don’t want to help their neighbors. Adam’s mom is a police officer and she and a few other officers and civilians do a neighborhood watch to prevent looters.
I really enjoyed that Adam was training to be a pilot and he had an Ultra-light plane. You don’t see a lot of planes used in dystopian book. Most people have to travel on foot. Adam gets to fly around in the small plane he and his father built. It works because it has no computers or digital components. It runs on gasoline. He takes Herb up in it to check out what’s going on outside of their neighborhood. I never read a book about a pilot, so I found it pretty unique.
There was a bit of romance between Adam and Lori, but it seemed unnecessary. There was more tension and action and a lot of survival stuff. It’s a book that would definitely appeal to teenage guys like my brother. There are guns, planes and explosions. I liked a few of the side characters. Todd, Adam’s friend, was a comic relief kind of guy. He made me laugh. I liked Herb a lot too because he taught Adam so much. I think I learned a lot in this book actually.
For the most part this book made me think of the TV show Revolution, because the blackout. I recommend this book if you liked: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick, the Ashfall series, Life As We Knew It/The Last Survivors series. Any dystopian book with survival really.
Cover Art Review: Interesting cover. It is very dystopian, so it’s perfect for the book. Has a plane on it since the main character was training to be a pilot. This will definitely attract young teen guys.