The Three by Sarah Lotz
Wow. Just finished reading the Three by Sarah Lotz. This was totally different than what I expected, in fact I can’t really remember what I originally expected, all I now know is that this was better than I ever thought it would be!
The Three – to put it in a nutshell – the world is shaken by a series of airplane disasters, four in total occurring on different continents and all within hours of each others. Only three survivors make it out of the wreckages, one survivor for each plane crash except for the fourth which unfortunately found a watery grave. At first terrorism is expected but when this, and other environmental factors, are eventually wiped out people across the world begin to speculate. How could these three children have survived. It’s a miracle. Isn’t it?? All the survivors are young children. One now living in Japan, one America and one in the UK. Of course it doesn’t take long for all sorts of religious and conspiracy theories to start to develop which pretty soon grow beyond belief and cause worldwide unrest and panic.
The book is actually written in the style of excerpts from a book! So, a book within a book. At first it appears to jump back and forth and at first this can be a bit distracting but pretty soon adds to the tension, the story being related through the experiences of those surrounding the nearest and dearest of the survivors of the crashes. The writing is very easy, persuasive even in the way it manages to scare you in the simplest way possible. The strange thing is you could almost debate whether this is a horror story and, if you’re expecting some sort of slasher, then yes, you’ll be disappointed. This is much more of a psychological horror. The author insinuates things, makes suggestions, plants the seeds of doubt until you’re completely torn between thinking some of the ideas here are completely rational, even if they’re not, but maybe they are, wait….and then the ending! Yes, I realise that’s all a bit cryptic and also a bit of a tease but this book made me go round in circles. Are the people here suffering from loss, are they mourning, are they delusional, disturbed or what? And SL has this ability to write a scene that’s really quite awful in this almost deadpan and chilling way that frankly gave me the creeps to read.
The Characters, not sure how much of an attachment you’ll feel to any of them and I suppose that’s one of the flaws to a book written in this style where it’s written looking back – you have a certain sense of foreboding in one respect but in another you feel more comfortable because you’ve also lost a certain element of surprise. That being said the author still manages to come up with a few surprises and even now I’m still thinking of the ramifications of what happened here.
The only criticism that I can really level at this novel is that it’s damned difficult to review it without giving away the plot. It’s a crazy mixed up feast of The X Files, Conspiracy Theory, The Ring, Predator, The Shining and the Bible – whilst being none of those things at the same time. Basically, there are little elements there that make you grasp at straws even as they fall out of your reach.
So, as if plane crashes in themselves weren’t scary enough, now chuck in creepy kids and clowns and bingo – i’m joking about the clowns – that would have been one step too far. Really though this book gave me the chills!
In terms of criticisms, I don’t really have any. When I first started reading I initially thought this wasn’t going to be for me but within a few chapters it reeled me in.
I received a copy of this courtesy of the publisher through Netgalley. The above is my own opinion.