The Three: A Novel by Sarah Lotz

I’ll be honest with you – I have no idea how this book ended up on my TBR list. But there it was on my Kindle in the pick-me-pick-ME section, and so I read it.

There’s a lot of… well, lukewarm is the best word to describe the reviews I’ve come across for this book; however, I don’t feel lukewarm about it. It’s not a 5-star masterpiece built of epiphanies and subtleties, but it’s creepy, and a bit haphazard, and sometimes annoying but more often just interesting (with a side of creepy; I did mention the creepy, right?).

Four planes crash on four different continents, and in three of those crashes, one child miraculously survives. I won’t spoil things for you, but these kids have issues (and not of the PTSD kind, as might be expected), and their caretakers end up having issues, and that part of the story is the best part because it’s the creepy part.

Unfortunately the book gets sidetracked from its creepiness by subplots that could be interesting but don’t really seem to fit overall. I’m mainly referring to the preachers and televangelists who become convinced the children represent the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (conveniently ignoring the lack of a fourth child), and run rampant over American politics, ending with the U.S. being well on its way to becoming a theocracy. This part just didn’t fit. The crazy conspiracy Apocalypse stuff fit, but the politics didn’t. It lowered the creep value, and that made me a sad panda.

The abrupt switch to a journalist’s point of view, was, well, abrupt, and really was just a lot of exposition explaining what happened in the end, kind of a long-ass epilogue that actually didn’t resolve ANYTHING. And that was the most annoying part. So much foreshadowing that simply withered on the vine.

It occurs to me at this point that I am writing a lukewarm review. Please strike the first sentence from the second paragraph.

The author has other horror books out there and I wouldn’t be averse to reading them. Sometimes authors hit the mark and sometimes they don’t, and this book had enough good creepy ideas in it that I can imagine her writing something that would really catch my attention. There was so much potential in this book that didn’t get followed through, perhaps because there was a lack of a really strong overarching plot to pull everything together.

If we used stars on this blog I would give it 3 stars, which for me means I don’t feel like I completely wasted my time reading this book, but it’s not something that I’ll be re-reading.

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