The Scorpion Rules: Prisoners of Peace, Book 1
By Michael Berry,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Teen hostages fight for survival in intense sci-fi tale.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The Scorpion Rules could be used to discuss methods of preventing war. It also offers a lot of practical information about raising goats.
Sometimes people will sacrifice themselves in order to save their loved ones.
Positive Role Models
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.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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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.
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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.
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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?
- Author: Erin Bow
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, Robots
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: McElderry Books
- Publication date: September 22, 2015
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 18
- Number of pages: 384
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: July 13, 2017
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