2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Popsugar Reading Challenge Book #29

The book prompts are getting more broad which is nice as it allows you to pick genres that you enjoy hcowever it also makes the research behind the title more involved. After I finished the last book, my next pick became available and I was excited to get into this one.

A book with an unreliable narrator- The Three by Sarah Lotz

Four planes crash around the world on the same day: North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. As each crash site is being explored, one child is found from each plane in North America, Asia and Europe. Three children survive the horrific tragedies around the world. How? What does it mean?

As information regarding the crashes, the odd behavior of the surviving children, and a cryptic message left by a dying victim of the Japanese crash begins to leak to the public, fanatics begin to gather and a chain of events occurs that seems almost unstoppable.

Were the crashes natural and the children just lucky? Was it terrorism? Did aliens attack? Are the children the harbingers of the Apocalypse?

This book intrigued me from the get go. The entire book is written in the past tense as a collection of manuscripts, interviews, online chat room recordings, articles and news reports that were collected by the author and published after the events played out as she tries to make sense of what happened and find the truth. As such, the reader of The Truth is really reading a book inside of this book which is interesting in and of itself. In addition to that, the chapters bounce between writing styles: one will be an interview by the fictional author, the next a transcript of an internet chat room, and another an article written by another author. This style allowed the story to be told from multiple view points along the way and gives the reader a sense of how the world was feeling and slowly falling apart.

Each child returns to a family member after the crashes a changed child. Strange things begin to happen around them: a grandfather with advanced Alzheimer’s returns to himself again,  an uncle has nightmares and swears the girl is sending them his way, a boy who only speaks through an android. Psychologists diagnose PTSD and tell the family to give them more time. Outsiders call them the riders of the Apocalypse and claim the end of the world is nigh.

In the US, a faction of Doomsdayers gains traction due to a cryptic message a church member in Texas leaves on her cell phone for her pastor as she lay dying in the Japanese forest. As more and more people begin to fear the end of times, the church gains power and eventually gain control of the country creating a uber conservative regime.

Elsewhere, the world falls into disarray as Japan aligns with Korea, Europe falls into a depression and war seems imminent. Overall the question remains: who are these children and why did they survive?

The ending….well…I don’t want to spoil it completely. Thankfully the book does provide an explanation through a series of epilogues after the initial text in a more traditional style of writing. Was I thrilled with the ending? Not right away, but after more thought I really did think it was the best way the author could have ended it.

I do recommend reading it. It is a quick read due to the format and keeps you hanging on to figure the plot out.


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