Series: Prisoners of Peace
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on September 22, 2015
Genres: Dystopia, Romantic, Young Adult
Sexual Content: Kissing
Reviewed by: Kate
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.
So I'm a bit biased, as I tend to love books with robots and artificial intelligence, but THE SCORPION RULES was spectacular. Full of intrigue, plot twists, drama and robots, it felt intense from beginning to end, keeping me on the edge of my seat as I breathlessly rushed to finish it.
While THE SCORPION RULES wasn't perfect, by any means, it had quite a few elements that I loved. One thing I really loved was the unexpected romance between Greta and one of the other characters. Bow didn't take the easy route there, and I really appreciated what she did. Greta was a wonderful teenage heroine, almost sure of herself, but not quite. Growing up the way she did was rough, and that was shown in her character. She was simultaneously wise beyond her years and very young and innocent seeming.
Those things said, a few of the more graphic scenes were a little much for me. Greta basically being on TV while about to be tortured was very Hunger Games-esque, but very disturbing at the same time. The way the students in the school were shocked by robots when they misbehaved was also a little difficult for me to swallow. However, those are my opinions and somebody with a stronger stomach may handle those scenes just fine.
While I would honestly enjoy THE SCORPION RULES as a stand-alone, I can see how it can easily be a series, but I'm very curious as to where Bow is going to take it. Based on the events at the end of the book, it could go in many directions. I will be very interested to read book two when it comes out.
Check out the audiobook excerpt of THE SCORPION RULES from Audible!Series Titles:
- The Scorpion Rules
- For another book about robots/AI in a futuristic society, try Genesis by Bernard Beckett.
- For another book by this author, try Plain Kate or Sorrow's Knot by Erin Bow.