Author: Sarah Lotz
First Published: 2014
Page Count: 507
Film/ TV Adaptation: No
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Note: Book 1 of The Three
The Three is a thrilling page turner that will keep readers guessing even after they close the book.
*Varied POVs *Storyline Pacing
“’You never think it’s going to happen to you, do you?’” When four planes crash on the same day within hours of each other the world is thrown into a panic. Adding to the mystery is the fact that three of the planes only had one survivor who all happen to be children. The joy at finding any survivors quickly turns to paranoia as religious groups begin to assert that the children are the harbingers of the end of days, while others claim they are aliens. And then there is the rumor that there might be a fourth child survivor. With so many strange occurrences surrounding the children the world wonders if there is more to the survivors and the crashes then meets the eye.
This is such a great concept for a story which felt totally realistic what with all the mysterious planes that have gone missing or crashed in the past couple of years and our ability to jump to wild conclusions, especially when under the influence of the mob mentality. Fortunately none of these real world plane crashes delivered us the harbingers of the Anti-Christ, but in this alternate universe of our own world, the general population is struggling to decide whether these children are signs of an upcoming apocalypse. I enjoyed the way this story was presented to us; it’s a book in a book. The author brings us the story as if we are readers in this alternate universe who picked up a nonfiction book that recounts the events and aftermath of the crashes. This really helps maintain the story’s thrilling pace because we get to read a lot of different points of view on the case in the form of interviews, news articles, retrieved emails, etc. It’s also next to impossible to put the book down because the sections or chapters are so short and always different from each other that you are always tempted to keep reading just one more section. Lotz even puts summaries before the chapters in bold describing what we are about to read and this is usually where she drops major bombs about what happens in the future of the story which make it impossible not to read the next section to decipher what she is referring to.
This book did not have the best ratings and for the longest time I was left wondering why. I was constantly drawn to the story and thoroughly entertained. I knew that must mean the ending didn’t appeal to most readers since I was so far along and still loving the book. Well, when I turned the last page I understood what probably turned off many people to this book. I don’t want to give anything away but the ending was extremely vague. You are given the answer about what is up with the crashes and children but it still doesn’t feel concrete enough. I was partially satisfied. It wasn’t the ending I ever could’ve predicted, and it wasn’t a boring way to end the book either. But was it the ending I was hoping for? I’m still not sure.
Since I was caught up in the story and even left thoughtfully contemplating the conclusion after I’d finished, I couldn’t give this book a poor review. Could the ending have been better? Probably, but it wasn’t a total disappointment either. It’s hard for me to trash a book that had me glued to every page even if the ending was a bit of a let down. From the look of it’s Goodreads page, a lot of readers couldn’t stomach it for just that reason. Therefore, pick up this book with a bit of caution if you are willing to go on a thrilling ride with a sub par conclusion.