Many thanks to Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, via NetGalley, for an opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review!
Really, really enjoyed The Scorpion Rules. I’ve never read anything by Erin Bow before, but I definitely want to read her other books ASAP!
This book is dystopic with a unique twist — to try and prevent nations from declaring war on each other, the ruling/royal families of each country have to give up one of their royal children as a hostage. If war is declared, then the children of both of the warring countries die. Obviously, the hostage situation — which is really more similar to a boarding school for children of all ages, except there’s constant fear of wars starting (and the knowledge that classmates have been killed on the premises due to war declarations). The children who live and work at the “boarding school” are known as Children of Peace.
Enter Greta and her cohort of fellow hostages. I won’t rehash the entire plot since you can read that in the blurb, but I found Greta to be fairly likable, a little aloof, and pretty believable, especially given the changes that have taken place in this world, so far in our future.
Would definitely recommend to pretty much anyone, even (and perhaps especially) to people who don’t normally enjoy sci-fi/dystopic novels. However, I agree with one of my friends here on GR and would not recommend for younger teens, since there is some violence as well as gay and straight sexual references/scenes (neither terribly graphic).
The ending though!!! AHHH….. so bittersweet…