Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Tremain's Book Corner: "The Three" by: Sarah Lotz

The Three (The Three #1)
Author: Sarah Lotz
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 3 Stars

Book Summary: The world is stunned when four commuter planes crash within hours of each other on different continents.  Facing global panic, officials are under pressure to find the causes.  With terrorist attacks and environmental factors ruled out, there doesn't appear to be a correlation between the crashes, except that in three of the four air disasters a child survivor is found in the wreckage.

Dubbed "The Three" by the international press, t4he children all exhibit disturbing behavioral problems, presumably caused by the horror they lived through and the unrelenting press attention.  This attention becomes more than just intrusive when a rapture cult led by a charismatic evangelical minister insists that the survivors are three of the four harbingers of the apocalypse.  The Three are forced to go into hiding, but as the children's behavior becomes increasingly disturbing, even their guardians begin to question their miraculous survival...

Personal Review: Oh how I really wanted to love this book.  Based on the synopsis, it sound very promising.  Three kids who survived a plane crash who show mysterious issues and a cult views them as the harbingers of the apocalypse?  Sign me up.  Fast forward to a third of the way through the book, it just wasn't doing it for me.

Where did it go wrong?  Well, there were too many characters without enough time provided to develop them all on their own.  You have the child survivors, the apocalypse cult-like leader/preacher, the narrator, and a host of other characters.  There was no time to give them all the development they needed, and I don't like that.  I need at least one protagonist that I can get behind, and I wasn't finding it here.  This made the novel much longer than it had to be.

The plot did start off strong enough, but depreciated slowly along the way, and I did find myself being able to skip pages at a time without even missing what was going on.  By the time I reached the end, although the ending was a bit vague, some answers to the mystery were answered, and it might just be enough to make me want to read the sequel in hopes that as a trilogy it will begin to pick up steam.

Most of the interesting parts of the novel will occur in the first couple chapters as you get speculations on what happened from new articles, twitter feeds, interviews, and IM transcripts, but once you get past that, it starts to drag badly.  I did manage to finish it, but mainly because I "knew" it was going to lead somewhere, but the payoff just wasn't what I expected.  Was it terrorists, aliens, the four horsemen of the apocalypse?  Who knows, but let's hope the next book answers some of those questions...and fast.

So while I think it's somewhat worth a read, I can't recommend it until I know where the series is going.  The rest of the trilogy might be so strong that it will make the first book better due to association, but for now, it's not at the top of my must recommend list.  But I could be very wrong, and if you want to try it out for yourself, look out for a copy at your Abilene Public Library.

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