Title: The Rule of Three
Author: Eric Walters
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Pages: Hardcover; 405
Release Date: January 21, 2014
Content Screening: Violence
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy more realistic fiction, and well-written characters
Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon / BookLikes
One shocking afternoon, computers around the globe shut down in a viral catastrophe. At sixteen-year-old Adam Daley’s high school, the problem first seems to be a typical electrical outage, until students discover that cell phones are down, municipal utilities are failing, and a few computer-free cars like Adam’s are the only vehicles that function. Driving home, Adam encounters a storm tide of anger and fear as the region becomes paralyzed. Soon—as resources dwindle, crises mount, and chaos descends—he will see his suburban neighborhood band together for protection. And Adam will understand that having a police captain for a mother and a retired government spy living next door are not just the facts of his life but the keys to his survival, in The Rule of Three by Eric Walters.
Wow, what a book. The Rule of Three doesn't feature zombies. It doesn't have a huge decimating explosion that sets off the end of the world. What it does have, is a realistic vibe to it. What happens when everything you take for granted is suddenly gone? Cars no longer work, cell phones are dead, and there's no way to know if any help is coming. What happens to society? This is what Eric Walters uncovers in The Rule of Three, and it's both amazing and terrifying.
It's a little hard to describe the pacing of this book. While it doesn't exactly pick up pace at any particular time, it has this slow burn feel to it throughout the whole book. There's never really a huge climax. Lots of small ones, yes. Lots of little things to keep you reading on and wondering what will happen next, but nothing explosive. It's an interesting read for that very reason. I'm used to books being either slow, and then picking up or vice versa. This was bit of an anomaly to me, but one that held my attention.
In terms of characters, Adam and his neighbors have the ability to be anyone. They might be the people down the street from you. The babysitter at the end of the block. I loved the realism here. I watched in fascination as normally happy, easy-going people were reduced to shambles. As society as we know it so very quickly fell apart. Adam's story is scary because it is one that could, and most likely would, actually happen. It makes it that much harder to put down.
In fact, I predict that this very fact is going to be a deal breaker for some readers. The Rule of Three does have a few things about it (such as Herb) that are more fictional, but still possible. However the majority of this book is very grounded in reality. It's a look at what we are all capable of when survival mode sets in. So, if you've been eyeing this book, know that I recommend it! I can only hope there's more around the bend.