Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow #BookReviewTitle:  Scorpion Rules

Author:  Erin Bow
Release Date:  October 6, 2015
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing
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 Prefectures. 

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. (Goodreads)

My Review:

Scorpion Rules has the intriguing premise of a world where the children of world leaders are kept as hostages in order to ensure peace. Should a nation declare war, a child will die. Harsh, but effective. 
While I’ve never heard of this practice, I’m told that it’s actually based on real history. What a fascinating concept! And I thought that the author did a great job bringing this idea to life!
Greta has been a Child of Peace since she was a young girl and is an ideal student. She understands her position and comports herself with grace and dignity. An outstanding role model, Greta has never questioned the system. That is, until another student shows up and refuses to accept his fate. 
That’s when things really start to get interesting.
Elian, the new student, is a bit of a rebel who refuses to accept the rules or go gently into that good night. This may be because his family is new to power, so he wasn’t raised as a hostage like the others. Or it may have been just his personality, because he kept bucking the system even when punished. But he’s not a heartless fool and dials things back after his classmates are also punished for his misbehavior. 
I enjoyed how Elian opened Greta’s eyes and made her finally question the system. It’s hard to see how wrong something is if you were raised to believe in it, but Greta finally wakes up and starts asking questions.

Things really take off from there, with action, intrigue, and a few surprises along the way!

Really enjoyed the world that Bow created! Some of the secondary characters could have been fleshed out a little more, but there weren’t any I didn’t like. 

Have to admit that one of my favorite characters was Talis, the AI who put the Children of Peace system in place. He’s a little snarky and his quotes are sometimes too funny! I guess that some people would look upon him as a bad guy, but he did save the world and introduce peace, so we should probably cut him some slack.

Thought that this was a unique concept that was well written, with decent pacing and good wordplay. Really enjoyed this one and am looking forward to the sequel!

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