The Scorpion Rule (Prisoners of Peace #1)
by Erin Bow
McElderry | September 22, 2015
DNF @ somewhere around 50%
       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.

Like Daughters of Ruin, I read this on RivetedLit because it was a free read. I stopped reading because the books expired and I didn't like it. These two books have shocking similarities, which isn't a great coincidence. Both books have questionable writing styles and share similar plots-royalty/people of importance are held hostage to retain "peace". I guess reading the same plot "back-to-back" led me to dislike this book.

I found the events that led to the hostage/history much more enjoyable in this book. It's The 5th Wave (never read) meets The 100 with a little bit of Under the Never Sky. Along with all that post-apocalyptic/dystopian goodness, there's AIs! Fun fact: I do not trust AIs and have a fear towards them. Too many movies about AIs taking over the world. The history was so dark and morbid. You're fighting? Well, I guess I'll just have to take your kids away! It's so cruel and I LOVE it! It's so evil and genius! Talis isn't a major character, from what I read, but his influence and ideas made me like him (even though he's an AI). It's also told in a less info-dumpy fashion and has a entertaining tone to it. Although the history is told quite well, I would have liked a map of the world. The books mentions the new superpowers and I found it hard to picture the borders/their kingdom.

I would have liked to see Talis' "commandments" too. From what I gathered, it's heavily based off Greek writings. I really loved how these "commandments" are aware. Environmental issues, obviously caused by humans, was the main cause of war. Talis created rules that try to help the environment that humans have slowly killed. Life seems slightly better.

The characters are one-dimensional in this book too, but there's a little more sass and snark in this book. Continuing the train of negative thoughts, the book is CONFUSING. It was really hard to follow. I didn't know where it was heading and what was happening. Too many things that didn't fit happened simultaneously. There was a lack of explanations and incongruity. The author throws some information that is relevant, but because we don't know this world, it's foreign. The author doesn't explain what ever she mentioned. She scatters random things here and there. Whoops, my ice-cream fell on the floor. *walks away*  That's what the writing felt like.

I also didn't like the budding romance and plot choices. The budding romance seemed way out of place in time of war. There were choices that can end war, but I guess the characters/author never realized it. The plot choices I had in mind would have made the book shorter, slightly more interesting and "reasonable" (in my opinion). The author spent more time on her affinity on goats than developing the story. Everyone who reviewed the book also noticed the excessive mention of goats (and trivial/mundane jobs on a day to day basis). It's a long, slow, boring, confusing, and full of goats book.

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