The Scorpion Rules: Prisoners of Peace, Book 1

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
The Scorpion Rules: Prisoners of Peace, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Teen hostages fight for survival in intense sci-fi tale.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

The Scorpion Rules could be used to discuss methods of preventing war. It also offers a lot of practical information about raising goats.

Positive Messages

Sometimes people will sacrifice themselves in order to save their loved ones.

Positive Role Models & Representations

At the start of The Scorpion Rules, Greta worries constantly that she will soon be killed when her country goes to war with its neighbors. Gradually, she loses her fear of death and is willing to sacrifice herself for the good of those she loves.


One of Greta's compatriots dies after being shot in the throat. Greta is tortured by having her hand squeezed by a cider press, and an adult character is later killed with one.


Some of the teens slip away at night to have sex. Greta is attracted to Xie, and the two girls kiss in an early scene. Later, Great and Xie spend a night together and presumably make love, although the details are not given.


Characters in The Scorpion Rules swear occasionally. "F--k and "s--t" are used a few times, and "damn," "hell," "bastard," "damn," "goddamned," and "dammit" appear more often.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Scorpion Rules is the first book in the Prisoners of Peace science fiction series, set in a future where the children of government leaders are held as hostages in order to prevent the outbreak of war. Violence scenes include torture and death by cider press. Misbehaving hostages receive electric shocks. A student is fatally shot in the throat. A major city is wiped out by orbital weapons. Strong language includes a few uses of "s--t" and "f--k," as well as more frequent employment of "damn," "hell," "bastard," "goddamned," and "dammit." Sexual content is understated, although it's made clear that some of the Children of Peace slip out at night to have sex. Greta and Xie share a kiss early on, and later the girls spend the night together and presumably make love.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLight_Of_Happiness May 9, 2016
Teen, 13 years old Written byfirstwednesday July 6, 2018

This book - well written, original story and characters - is one of my favorites

The Scorpion Rules is a very tense sci-fi novel that builds slowly to a great climax. It goes against clichés - the rebellious new boy who changes everything is... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byhelpfulteen December 15, 2016

Pretty good, you should read it

This is a solidly good book, although it has a tiny bit of swearing and some sex. Other than that, it has a great plot with cliffhangers around every corner. Re... Continue reading

What's the story?

Sometime in the future, a global computer intelligence named Talis attempts to prevent another world war by holding hostage the children of various world leaders. If a war breaks out, the future rulers of the participating nations are killed in some mysterious fashion. Greta, a duchess and a crown princess, is sure her turn will come soon. When a new hostage, Elian, arrives at the Precepture and resists the orders of the robots who run the place, his disobedience causes Greta to reassess her predicament and the power wielded by her captors.

Is it any good?

Starting from a clever premise that guarantees growing suspense, this futuristic tale of survival reads like a brainier version of The Hunger Games. THE SCORPION RULES boasts an engaging and formidable protagonist, a sarcastic and seemingly invincible antagonist, and a colorful and well-defined supporting cast. Halfway through, the plot takes a fascinating turn, opening up a host of new possibilities, and the ending will leave readers gasping for more.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about methods of preventing war. What strategies do modern governments use to deal with aggression by other countries?

  • Why are books about robots so popular? What others have you liked?

  • Do you think Artificial Intelligences will ever be able to control humanity? How is a computer program different from a human mind?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love science fiction and dystioian novels

Themes & Topics

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