In the future, the UN has brought back an ancient way to keep the peace. The children of world leaders are held hostage—if a war begins, they pay with their lives.
Greta is the Crown Princess of the Pan Polar Confederacy, a superpower formed of modern-day Canada. She is also a Child of Peace, a hostage held by the de facto ruler of the world, the great Artificial Intelligence, Talis. The hostages are Talis’s strategy to keep the peace: if her country enters a war, Greta dies.
The system has worked for centuries. Parents don’t want to see their children murdered.
Greta will be free if she can make it to her eighteenth birthday. Until then she is prepared to die with dignity, if necessary. But everything changes when Elian arrives at the Precepture. He’s a hostage from a new American alliance, and he defies the machines that control every part of their lives—and is severely punished for it. Greta is furious that Elian has disrupted their quiet, structured world. But slowly, his rebellion opens her eyes to the brutality of the rules they live under, and to the subtle resistance of her companions. And Greta discovers her own quiet power.
Then Elian’s country declares war on Greta’s and invades the prefecture, taking the hostages hostage. Now the great Talis is furious, and coming himself to mete out punishment. Which surely means that Greta and Elian will be killed…unless Greta can think of a way to save them.
I feel like this book had the potential to be fantastically written, but in the execution it fell a bit short of the expectations that I had for it,
The book has a really interesting premise: in order to keep the peace between nations and thwart wars, the UN takes a child hostage from the leader of every country. If a country does end up declaring war on another, their child (or grandchild, etc.) is killed. It is thought that this will deter countries from ever starting wars. And for the most part it works.
But then there are those who believe that the needs of their country are greater than the value of the life of their hostage, and declare war anyway. This never ends up working out for the country, and their hostage is killed, but hopefully the country at least got something out of their declaration of war. If not, it was all for nothing.
While this had the promise of being a good bit of plot, the characters and the ways their stories unfolded did nothing for me. I felt lost throughout a lot of the story and was constantly having to pay close attention to detail so as to not get too confused.
Overall, the book was okay. Nothing too special, but it did entertain me, which I suppose is the main purpose after all. I give the book 3.5/5 stars.
You can purchase The Scorpion Rules by clicking the image of the book above.