The Scorpion Rules: Fantastic Futuristic Non-Formulaic YA Novel

7 Aug

I loved this book!
The world itself is so real – set some 400 years in our future, after climate change and access to water resulted in non-stop war. In a HAL like manner, artificial intelligence (and now controlling overlord) puts a stop to it all.
To keep the peace, Talis (one of the best antagonist characters I’ve come across in a long time!) requires every world leader to contribute their child as a hostage – to be killed in the event their country goes to war. Well, first he bombs a few cities (“by city number seven – Fresno, because no one’s gonna miss that – I had everyone’s attention.”) and then he develops the “first rule of stopping wars: make it personal.”
The geopolitical cynicism/real politics are so clearly rooted in the world we live in today makes this futuristic sci fi novel feel very possible.
The characters are complex and quirky, surviving in this unique environment. The children trained to face their fate with equanimity, banded together. The AI robots that teach/imprison them. Talis him/itself, with a tone reminiscent of a Douglas Adams character.
The writing is magical and compelling. I have so many highlighted sections of the book. Here are a few:
“There was a space inside me, cupped and still. It was as small as cupped hands; it was as large as the sky. It was untouched and it was touch itself. It was empty and it was full. I held love there, like a treasure. I held my own name.”
“The fire sank to coals. I could feel the night pass in the spin of the Earth. Hours, and hours. Dawn sidled near; the sky lightened over the loop of the river.”

I was excited to read that the author, a former physicist and poet, is “putting the finishing touches on a companion novel” as this is a world and a writer that I can’t wait to re-visit.
I highly recommend this book for adults and YA readers. In fact, going back over my notes makes me want to read it again RIGHT NOW!



One Response to “The Scorpion Rules: Fantastic Futuristic Non-Formulaic YA Novel”

  1. susannevalenti August 8, 2015 at 7:19 am #

    Great review! I think I’ll be checking this one out next 😊

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