Reading Rule of Three is a good choice for any lover of the disaster genre. The solid prose and fast-paced story make a delectable combination: this book is sure to leave an impression on you.
Written for a younger audience (middle-to-high school ages) it is easy to forgive the characters’ good fortune with things such as having the right people around, the season being spring so the neighborhood can grow food for awhile, and the way that so few lives are lost at Eden Mills. There is no gore shown, with only a few short descriptions of bodies gracing the pages. It was refreshing to read a novel like this one after Annihilation, a story with more grotesque details.
I swept through this thick tome in just a day, breezing through the easy-to-read layout and style. It is a good book, no doubt, and stands a little taller than the others because of its smooth chapters and exceptional flow. It did not feel as though there were any gaps where more information was needed, nor were there any extra scenes that felt they should be cut. It was just a fun book to read—While the material was dark and urgent, it leaves you with optimism.
Rule of Three’s one failing was that we never learn the cause of the chaos. During the first half of the book, the mystery surrounding all the broken computers is hypothesized about and questioned, but as time goes on people seem to lose interest in solving this dilemma. It was not until I began writing this review that I even remembered that the book began at the mainspring of the trouble. I am disappointed this was not fully addressed, and it made me feel as though the author had not thought everything through. I later found out that is is only the first in a trilogy, something that I wish was mentioned in the book. There should be a page at the end revealing the title of the next volume, or a note, at least.
Something else worth mentioning is the flatness of Adam’s mother. She is set up to be a strong female character, but this nothing more than a façade. As chief of police, she should be making more of the crucial decisions and have better ideas. While she stands next to Herb as what appears to be an equal, she never comes up with any safety measures of her own—And she is never even given a name! Not once does anyone call out to her to ask for assistance or advice. She merely sits in on community meetings or is out on guard duty. Not much is revealed about her as a person, and she does not go through any sort of character plotline or transformation that could humanize her or make her a more realistic person.
All-in-all, I strongly recommend this book as a quick read. I will be keeping an eye out for its sequel.