Series: Prisoners of Peace #1
Published by Margaret K McElderry Books on September 22, 2015
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Source: Amazon Vine, NetGalley
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.
From the summary, THE SCORPION RULES sounds like the kind of book I’d love. The children of the world’s leaders are held hostage by the AI who took over the United Nations. If a country starts a war, that country’s hostage is killed. It’s a reasonably effective way of keeping the peace and keep everyone from destroying what’s left of the world.
Great premise. But as happens all too often in YA, the execution of THE SCORPION RULES is poor. I can’t remember the last time I read a book that was more boring. The only reason I finished this excruciatingly slow book? I was too lazy to get off my behind and pick a new book. That’s not a good reason, folks.
What happens in the book? A lot of taking care of goats and gardening chores. A lot of students double talking in code, because they don’t want to risk being overheard. A lot more taking care of goats and farm chores. A lot of history lessons. A lot of Greta… , I can’t really remember what Greta did, and that’s my point. THE SCORPION RULES was so slow, so boring, and so full of unimportant stuff that I glossed over 99% of it while reading, which is something I rarely do.
For example, the other hostages told Greta that she had the power at the school, that she was the one they followed. But WHY? I have no idea. If I was a kid at the Precepture school, there’s no way I’d have followed Greta or wanted anything to do with her. I was way more interested in Xie, Greta’s roommate and best friend. Xie actually had a personality.
I know I haven’t talked about what happens in THE SCORPION RULES, but honestly, I just didn’t care. The author didn’t make me care about the story or the world or the characters. When Greta finally figured out that the new hostage, Elián, was being tortured, I thought, “Good! At last something’s happening to someone.” But I wasn’t sympathetic towards him or Greta. The book was overwhelmingly dull.
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