A world battered by climate shift and war turns to an ancient method of keeping peace: the exchange of hostages. The Children of Peace – sons and daughters of kings and presidents and generals – are raised together in small, isolated schools called Preceptures. There, they learn history and political theory, and are taught to gracefully accept what may well be their fate: to die if their countries declare war.
Greta Gustafsen Stuart, Duchess of Halifax and Crown Princess of the Pan-Polar Confederation, is the pride of the North American Prefecture. Learned and disciplined, Greta is proud of her role in keeping the global peace, even though, with her country controlling two-thirds of the world’s most war-worthy resource — water — she has little chance of reaching adulthood alive.
Enter Elián Palnik, the Prefecture’s newest hostage and biggest problem. Greta’s world begins to tilt the moment she sees Elián dragged into the school in chains. The Prefecture’s insidious surveillance, its small punishments and rewards, can make no dent in Elián, who is not interested in dignity and tradition, and doesn’t even accept the right of the UN to keep hostages.
What will happen to Elián and Greta as their two nations inch closer to war?
The idea behind this book was so wonderfully fantastic I’m still in awe of it. This book was intense, the world detailed and really just an excellent read. Don’t go into this one expecting much action though…this book relies on thought provoking situations.
I’m really not sure what this book would be classified as for genre but it had a dystopian, science fiction feel to me. It even had a boarding school feel with the Preceptures. For some reason, I’m a huge fan of the isolated society within a boarding school (Hogwarts anyone?) or the like. I love that the attendees create their own social structure and I always feel books with this have an extra dose of interesting for me.
Looking at the star ratings on Goodreads you can see that this book is either hit or miss with people. I think what really won me over was the AI character and how the world worked. I did have a disconnect to the characters and never really formed an emotional bond with them. The romance was another thing that was meh to me. It does contain a love triangle but this one is a bit different than the normal one because it focuses on our main character and a girl and a guy. It wasn’t my favorite set-up since I had a lot of trouble feeling any chemistry between some of the characters.
Where I found myself completely immersed was during every section containing the artificial intelligence named Talis. This character was incredibly well done in my opinion and made the book for me. Talis alone was the character I felt the most towards and the history behind how artificial intelligence was approached in this society was very interesting.
The Scorpion Rules was a very intriguing read for me that introduced one of my favorite characters in a long time. Though I loved many aspects of this book, such as the main story arc, the characters in general fell a tad flat and I never could connect very deeply to the main character. Regardless, I really enjoyed my reading experience and fully recommend this read to anyone interested in an unique take on dystopian with an amazing artificial intelligence element.