THE SCORPION RULESAuthor: Erin Bow
Series: Prisoners of Peace #1
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
Rating: 3/5 stars
The world is at peace, said the Utterances. And really, if the odd princess has a hard day, is that too much to ask?
Greta is a duchess and crown princess—and a hostage to peace. This is how the game is played: if you want to rule, you must give one of your children as a hostage. Go to war and your hostage dies.
Greta will be free if she can survive until her eighteenth birthday. Until then she lives in the Precepture school with the daughters and sons of the world’s leaders. Like them, she is taught to obey the machines that control their lives. Like them, she is prepared to die with dignity, if she must. But everything changes when a new hostage arrives. Elián is a boy who refuses to play by the rules, a boy who defies everything Greta has ever been taught. And he opens Greta’s eyes to the brutality of the system they live under—and to her own power.
As Greta and Elián watch their nations tip closer to war, Greta becomes a target in a new kind of game. A game that will end up killing them both—unless she can find a way to break all the rules.
This one started off really strong. The first 35% of the book had me hooked: I wanted to see what would happen to Greta and the rest of the Children of Peace with war on the brink. But it sort of went downhill from there. Once we learned that Greta would become an AI, it was pretty obvious that everything in this book was leading to that moment and nothing else that happened really mattered.
I understand that we need to know Greta's character so that the next book will make sense (I'm assuming there is a next book) but this one felt so much like the lead up to something that never actually happened. I think it could have been cut down and pushed together with whatever will happen in the next book rather than being it's own book. I think there was too much time spent on things that could have been explained and done in a shorter period of time.
I thought the AI was unique and interesting in this one as opposed to some other books that feature AI that I have recently read. I really liked that the AI was half human and created from humans because it made for a much more interesting read. However, I can see the "humanity" side of the AI being played to and I don't know how much I really want that. I think it is interesting to see humans being ruthless when they have the opportunity to be.
It wasn't as though this one was a bad book, it just wasn't a great book. It felt too much like a first book in a series rather than a story with it's own plot arc because it was obviously setting up so much more in the future rather than giving us stuff in the present. I thought the Children of Peace would have had a much bigger role in this rather than just being there to show that Greta was the leader and ruler of them -- and that she was capable of being the new AI.
But it is still an interesting read and I did like that Greta fell in love with a girl, although I thought maybe she was asexual at the beginning, but being maybe bisexual was chill too.