I was given a free review copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
A world battered by climate shift and war turns to an ancient method of keeping peace: the exchange of hostages. The Children of Peace – sons and daughters of kings and presidents and generals – are raised together in small, isolated schools called Preceptures. There, they learn history and political theory, and are taught to gracefully accept what may well be their fate: to die if their countries declare war.
Greta Gustafsen Stuart, Duchess of Halifax and Crown Princess of the Pan-Polar Confederation, is the pride of the North American Prefecture. Learned and disciplined, Greta is proud of her role in keeping the global peace, even though, with her country controlling two-thirds of the world’s most war-worthy resource — water — she has little chance of reaching adulthood alive.
Enter Elián Palnik, the Prefecture’s newest hostage and biggest problem. Greta’s world begins to tilt the moment she sees Elián dragged into the school in chains. The Prefecture’s insidious surveillance, its small punishments and rewards, can make no dent in Elián, who is not interested in dignity and tradition, and doesn’t even accept the right of the UN to keep hostages.
What will happen to Elián and Greta as their two nations inch closer to war?
The Scorpion Rules has been receiving some buzz this year, and as such seems to be a highly anticipated release for this year. Unfortunately this book fell flat for me.
There is very little in this book that stands out. And after the first 30 pages I even wondered if I would be able to finish this book. This changed when Elian was properly added to the cast of characters. He changed the dynamics a little. But even he wasn’t enough to keep this book from feeling flat. Especially the ending felt like it dragged on. The peak had already happened in the plot, yet we got another 40 pages that was suppose to move me, but overall it did nothing for me.
There seems to be a lot of information giving about the world for instance, and yet I can’t help but feel as if I am barely just skimming the surface of this world. Unfortunately the bits that we learned did not make me very curious about the world. I wonder if this is meant as a standalone or if there will be a sequel.
The execution of the concept was a reason why I wanted to read this book. Reading the synopsis about the children being taken as hostages to keep their parents from war I wondered how the author was going to make this work. To make it believable. Though again we got a lot of hints and some information, I feel like I need a lot more deepening out in the background of this, together with the creator of it, Talis. It feels like I am still missing some pieces.
As for the characters, Greta had her moments where she showed strength. Where she stood up for herself and others. But other than that I could not connect with her. Her being bombarded to leader over the others from the start of the book felt odd. It seemed only to be because her country was a power house. If it would have build up throughout the book it would have made more sense.
Other than that Elian could have been very interesting, but he wasn’t deepened out enough. The same for Talis. Though they were enjoyable additions to the book, they remained one dimensional. Again, the relationship between Talis and Abbot could have been great if it had been more deepened out. The other characters didn’t stand out at all and were very flat.
Of course there was also a love triangle surrounding Greta. One thing I liked about this was that she admitted she had no idea about her own sexuality at the start of the book. It also wasn’t two boys that were the love interests but a boy and a girl. The execution however left a lot to be desired. There was a lot of random kissing. One of them was build up, the other came out of nowhere. Also I felt that the person that she seemed to have chosen at the end she didn’t have that much chemistry with as she did with the person she didn’t end up choosing.