Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Rule of Three by Eric Walters

The Rule of Three by Eric Walters      
Release Date – January 21, 2014
Publisher Website – Razorbill/Penguin Canada
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 416 pages
My Rating - 3/5
**received in exchange for an honest review from the publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
One afternoon, every single machine in sixteen-year-old Adam’s high school computer lab stops working. Outside, cars won’t start, phones are down, and a blackout is widespread. Soon Adam will discover that the problem has paralyzed not just his town but the whole country and beyond. As resources dwindle, crises mount, and chaos descends, he will see that his suburban neighborhood must band together for protection.

Violence will erupt and Adam will understand that having a police captain for a mother and a retired government agent living next door are not just the facts of his life but the keys
to his survival.
Horror novel rarely scare me, especially ones anchored in the paranormal. I've always figured there were real life horrors that were terrifying enough. Eric Walters takes a plausible scenario and easily turns it into the stuff nightmares are made out of in The Rule of Three.

The tension in this novel is palpable. You feel it tightening in your chest. This world that Eric Walters has created is all to vivid, and that only adds to the tension. The choices, and consequences play out the tension reaches excruciating levels. It's one of the most well done aspects of the novel, and the author uses the potential for unease to his full advantage. Everything from the landscape, characters, and action serve to continue not only the plot, but the increasing terror.

Adam will be instantly relateable for a lot of young male readers. An authentic voice, mixed with a unassuming, resourceful personality make him a perfect protagonist. The inclusion of his aviator hobby allowed for the plot to unravel nicely, and yet feel realistic. Adam isn't a character who is doing things beyond his means. At the end of it all, he is still just a teenager. He just one who wants to help, and has useful skills.

The mysterious Herb was fascinating. Someone who is a little paranoid, and extremely observant. He is a take charge type, and is instrumental in not only the story, but how it unravels. The friendship that builds between Herb and Adam was one of my favourite parts of the book. They rely on each other, and Adam learns a lot from him. It felt like Herb was a pseudo father while Adam's is away. Unraveling the mystery of Herb was almost as thrilling as the novel itself, and while he does keep his secrets, I was satisfied with what we do learn.

The novel mainly revolves around male characters. There are a few female characters, but I felt they were underused. Adam's mother is a police caption, and was shown to be quite intelligent and capable. I just wished we would have see her skills used more. Adam's crush, Lori, is one of the few people who have farming skills, and that is something that never is really explored. In fact it's mentioned that she may like to teach some of the younger kids.

There are plenty of survival tips and tricks woven throughout the novel. This makes some of it read a little bit like a how-to-guide. These parts lagged a bit for me, but otherwise it provides some interesting things to mull over. I, personally, was terrified at unprepared I would be for something like this, and how quickly things could escalate. It felt jarring, and that made it all the more realistic.

This novel will definitely appeal to many readers, but I do see it perhaps having a special place with young male readers. Adam will be instantly relateable for a lot of that particular audience. An authentic voice, mixed with a unassuming, resourceful personality make him a perfect protagonist.

A novel that felt terrifyingly real, and provided as many chills as it did survival tips. A page turning read right up to the frightening ending. It will have you running out to stock pile your own survival kit as soon as you close the last page.

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