Book Review: Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

September 23, 2015 Blog, Book Reviews 0

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Scorpion Rules by Erin BowThe Scorpion Rules (Prisoners of Peace, #1) by Erin Bow
Series: Prisoners of Peace #1
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on September 22nd 2015
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Source: NetGalley

A world battered by climate shift and war turns to an ancient method of keeping peace: the exchange of hostages. The Children of Peace - sons and daughters of kings and presidents and generals - are raised together in small, isolated schools called Preceptures. There, they learn history and political theory, and are taught to gracefully accept what may well be their fate: to die if their countries declare war.
Greta Gustafsen Stuart, Duchess of Halifax and Crown Princess of the Pan-Polar Confederation, is the pride of the North American Precepture. Learned and disciplined, Greta is proud of her role in keeping the global peace, even though, with her country controlling two-thirds of the world’s most war-worthy resource — water — she has little chance of reaching adulthood alive.
Enter Elián Palnik, the Precepture’s newest hostage and biggest problem. Greta’s world begins to tilt the moment she sees Elián dragged into the school in chains. The Precepture’s insidious surveillance, its small punishments and rewards, can make no dent in Elián, who is not interested in dignity and tradition, and doesn’t even accept the right of the UN to keep hostages.
What will happen to Elián and Greta as their two nations inch closer to war?


My thoughts

While I had a few hiccups at the beginning, this dystopian was a fantastic read!

If they’d been paying attention the slightest bit of attention they’d have known that AIs have this built-in tendency to take over the world. Did we learn nothing from The Terminator, people? Did we learn noting from HAL?

The first chapter was amazing and had me curious for more. As I read I had more and more questions but then had to dig through some less exciting information. I loved the narrator but the next couple of chapters kind of threw me.

Fortunately for me, I stuck with it. Once Elian is added to the story, the plot really picks up. The characters are amazing but Elian wound up being a step above some of the others. Sadly, he also winds up being SO different that he gets not only himself, but everyone else, into trouble. Even so, I just loved the addition of Elian. He was a wild card that really needed to be added to stir things up.

“What?” said Elian. “No, I don’t consent. Consent to what?”

Greta is a bit two dimensional at first but Elian helps her to think differently than what she’s been taught. This side of her is compelling but dangerous. Their lives are always on the line and one step off of that line, they are tortured.

Xie is also one of my favorites. She keeps herself in line but is different from the others. She walks the tightrope but dares to jump around when she can! Between her and Elian they really shake things up.

The plot of the story was quite interesting. I want to compare this to Hunger Games but really it is its own story. There were a few hiccups where the story was a little slow but only small speed bumps. I was curious what dairy and goats had to do with the story but really the background to the story is what helps to create such a good plot.

The ending was amazing. This is a love story of sorts but definitely was not what I imagined. I loved how it played out but the ending… the ENDING! Fortunately Erin Bow said on Goodreads that she is setting up another novel that will be a companion. Which is great because I want to know what happens next, and you will to!

He did not tell me, like a villain in a vid, that I had no choice. I simply knew that I had no choice.

Villains can be so great. They really can be. But they are even better when they don’t go telling the entire story. Who does that? Just kill the person and get over it! The villain in this is quite interesting and adds yet another fabulous layer to the story. I may like him the most.

In short: Great read. Good dystopian. A nice addition to the YA dystopian genre.

The Author




1. I’m a physicist turned poet turned YA novelist.

2. I am world-famous in Canada, which is kind of like being world-famous in real life.

3. I wrote a book about Greta Gustafsen Stuart, Duchess of Halifax and Crown Princess of the Pan Polar Confederacy: THE SCORPION RULES, coming fall 2015 from Simon and Schuster.

4. I wrote a not-at-all-cute book with a talking cat in it: PLAIN KATE (called WOOD ANGEL n the UK), Fall 2010

5. I wrote a book about cat’s cradles that can repel spirit zombies: SORROW’S KNOT, Fall 2013

6. All these books will make you either cry on the bus or snort milk out your nose. I am dangerous to your dignity and should be stopped.

7. I think Hufflepuff is the best house, Xander was the best Scoobie, Five was the best Doctor, and Spock was the best everything.

8. I am married to another novelist, and we can actually pay our bills.

9. My daughters want to be scientists.

10. My bookshelves will always be full.

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