Author: Eric Walters
Publication: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (January 21, 2014)
Description: One shocking afternoon, computers around the globe shut down in a viral catastrophe. At sixteen-year-old Adam Daley’s high school, the problem first seems to be a typical electrical outage, until students discover that cell phones are down, municipal utilities are failing, and a few computer-free cars like Adam’s are the only vehicles that function. Driving home, Adam encounters a storm tide of anger and fear as the region becomes paralyzed. Soon—as resources dwindle, crises mount, and chaos descends—he will see his suburban neighborhood band together for protection. And Adam will understand that having a police captain for a mother and a retired government spy living next door are not just the facts of his life but the keys to his survival, in The Rule of Three by Eric Walters.
My Thoughts: THE RULE OF THREE is action-packed, filled with heart pounding adventure, and clearly the first book in a series. It is a post-apocalyptic survival story. Adam Daley is a typical teenager with a snarky best friend and a crush on a sweet girl when the world changes. In the blink of an eye, everything with a computer goes dark. No computers, no cell phones, no cars. Luckily, Adam drives an '81 Omega which has no computers. He picks up his young twin brother and sister from their elementary school and takes his friend Todd and crush Lori home.
Adam's mom is the a police captain; his father is a commercial pilot. When everything goes dark, his father is on the ground in Chicago and has no way to communicate with the family or get home. Luckily, the Daleys have a next door neighbor named Herb who is a retired spy and who has been in situations where life has gotten very difficult before. He is a major pessimist who is very good at planning for all possibilities. He plays the role of wise old man in the story. Besides having a stockpile of food and weapons, he has had experience with civilization crumbling. He is also a very dangerous person. He says he was a paper pusher for the government but his actions make that really, really unlikely.
Adam also has an ultralight plane and the skills to fly it. When it becomes apparent that the lack of computers isn't a short term problem, Herb and Adam's mother gather some influential people from the neighborhood to try to figure out a way to survive. The also convince Lori and her parents that they aren't safe on their farm and bring them and all their belongings - animals and equipment - to the neighborhood. However, it is dangerous being an outpost of civilization in a world that is growing more and more chaotic.
The story is filled with action, battles on land and in the air, and is very exciting. There is even a little bit of romance as Adam and Lori get to know each other. The story ends with a very unresolved ending. I can't wait for more books to find out what happens to our group of survivors. I also can't wait to add this one to my media center for all my adventure lovers.
"Civilized behavior is nothing more than a thin veneer. Once that's peeled away it can get ugly very quickly. I've seen it close up."I got this ARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. You can buy your copy here.