My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This Youth Dystopia story revolves around the theme of the disintegration of civilization when a global virus hits all computer programs - cell phones, cars with computers, lap tops, planes, the power grid, etc. Quickly, out of the questioning confusion sweeping over the population, a few main characters rise to the top. Adam, a sixteen year old guy whose mom is the Captain of the police precinct and his dad is a Delta pilot, and Herb, a retired, 70ish government "employee" who has been in hot and hostile situations throughout his career. There are other, minor main characters that keep the story moving, such as Todd, Lori, and Brett.
The story narrows down to the neighborhood which becomes a fairly resilient self-contained community. Most of the first half of the book is the building of community within the neighborhood and the growing sense of "belonging". There are moments of adventure and alarm as the neighborhood gels together under the leadership of Adam, his Police Captain mother, and Herb.
But the plot thickens as it becomes clear that there are others out there, some trying to maintain a sense of civilization, and those who are preying on these communities - especially a reserve military unit that has gone rogue! At this point the energy of the book picks up and the decision-making gets fast and furious.
"The Rule of Three" is, generally, a page-turner all the way through. Most of the character development is in pieces and comes out in unfolding scenes and situations. Young teens and older will likely find the book a fun read, and parents who are concerned about their kids being exposed to sexual exploits, teen rebellion, or profanity will find this a safe read. Where the book needs to be touched on in family discussion is the area of ethical decision-making. As I mentioned earlier, it's a "life-boat" scenario - who stays alive, who is forced to move on. On top of this is the important subject of truth - how much truth, when truth is manipulated to motivate, and so forth. Herb is central to the choices made, and how much truth is distributed.
I'm passing on my copy of "The Rule of Three" to my teen boys, 17 and 14. They'll love it!
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