The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow | Review

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<strong>The Scorpion Rules</strong> Book Cover
The Scorpion Rules Prisoners of Peace (Book 1) Fiction, Young Adult, Science Fiction, LGBTQ Simon & Schuster Hardcover 384 pages Amazon

Greta is a Duchess and a Crown Princess. She is also a Child of Peace, a hostage held by the de facto ruler of the world, the great Artificial Intelligence, Talis. This is how the game is played: if you want to rule, you must give one of your children as a hostage. Start a war and your hostage dies.

The system has worked for centuries. Parents don’t want to see their children murdered.

Greta will be free if she can make it to her eighteenth birthday. Until then she is prepared to die with dignity, if necessary. But everything changes when Elian arrives at the Precepture. He’s a hostage from a new American alliance, and he defies the machines that control every part of their lives—and is severely punished for it. His rebellion opens Greta’s eyes to the brutality of the rules they live under, and to the subtle resistance of her companions. And Greta discovers her own quiet power.

Then Elian’s country declares war on Greta’s and invades the prefecture, taking the hostages hostage. Now the great Talis is furious, and coming himself to deliver punishment. Which surely means that Greta and Elian will be killed…unless Greta can think of a way to break all the rules.

I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


I was very fortunate to meet the author of this novel at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference during the YALSA YA Coffee Klatch. Once I heard the synopsis, I knew I had to read it! My intuition was correct, this is an amazing read.

I know, I know, another YA dystopian novel. But hear me out, this book is worth picking up.

The world is at peace, but always on the brink of war. Each kingdom must sacrifice their child to live as a hostage under the guard of artificial intelligence until they reach age. If a kingdom goes to war, the child of all parties involved will be killed (regardless of who is the aggressor). We follow the heroine, Greta, who has accepted her life as it is until Elián arrives and begins to question the order of things.

Bow does a fantastic job creating a new world for readers. This science fiction novel is one that readers of many genres could become captivated by. Greta is a strong lead character, not at all a damsel in distress. Greta develops beautifully as a character as her quest for knowledge and questioning expands.

There is a love triangle, but it includes two females and one male, which made perfect sense as the relationships grew. Each character has a distinct personality and you get to see their strengths and weaknesses as the novel continues on.

The ending was not what I pictured at all. It takes the reader by surprise and leaves you wanting more.

The second book to this series will be released in 2016 and I will definitely have it preordered.

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