Rating: 3.5 / 5
THE THREE by Sarah Lotz was my first book picked for the #buzzwordathon hosted by @booksandlala focusing on books with numbers in their title. I found I had quite a few options on my shelf and since I’m mostly mood reading this month, I decided to dive right in!
Around the world, four passenger planes crash killing everyone on board with the exception of a single child surviving in three of the four crashes. These children are called “the three” and the world is full of different theories about how they survived in seemingly impossible circumstances. Some believe these children can give them answers to what happened on the flight. Some believe that they came through alien intervention. Some believe these are three of the four biblical horsemen of the apocalypse and that there is a fourth child survivor who hasn’t been found.
The children are taken in by surviving relatives and friends, but they soon begin to show signs that they are not the same. Given the tragedy they have witnessed and the ongoing media storm surrounding them, it is easy to initially dismiss the behavioral and personality changes in these children, but their families begin to increasingly wonder. Those who believe they are the precursors to the apocalypse become increasingly dangerous as they set out to save the world.
This book had me hooked from the synopsis and I had high hopes for it, but it left me with mixed feelings. The format of the book is interesting. Aside from the beginning and ending, most of the book is written as a book within the book. The book is comprised of interviews, chat room transcripts, emails and audio clips from various people surrounding the plane crashes and “the three”. There are eye witness accounts from first responders to the childrens’ guardians. I really enjoy the mixed media format of books like this, but at times it felt like there was a lot of extra material which likely could have been left out without impacting the overall plot.
The book is written as if it is going to an audience of individuals familiar with a story already known around the world. It is clear from very early on that the plane crashes aren’t the only tragedies that happened and there are are a lot of “if I had known then” type of comments. I thought that the author played with this well as it did keep me intrigued to know what happened and flipping those pages.
I did much of the book on audio and did really think they did a good job. There were two narrators (male and female) to cover the many voices in the book with characters from around the world in various accents and this really did help with keeping the characters straight!
Overall, I found this an enjoyable read, but one that did feel a bit long overall.