The Three by Sarah Lotz
Published by Little, Brown and Company
From the publisher:
The world is stunned when four commuter planes crash within hours of each other on different continents. Facing global panic, officials are under pressure to find the causes. With terrorist attacks and environmental factors ruled out, there doesn’t appear to be a correlation between the crashes, except that in three of the four air disasters a child survivor is found in the wreckage.
Dubbed ‘The Three’ by the international press, the children all exhibit disturbing behavioral problems, presumably caused by the horror they lived through and the unrelenting press attention. This attention becomes more than just intrusive when a rapture cult led by a charismatic evangelical minister insists that the survivors are three of the four harbingers of the apocalypse. The Three are forced to go into hiding, but as the children’s behavior becomes increasingly disturbing, even their guardians begin to question their miraculous survival…
The premise of The Three didn’t grab me like it did a lot of others, but when everyone and their mother began raving about it, I knew I had to get on board. I chose it for one of my book clubs – meeting later this week – because I thought it might generate some discussion and because everyone who loved it couldn’t possibly be wrong, right?
Right! I totally get why people loved this novel, and while I didn’t LOOOOVE it myself, I liked it a LOT. It’s the kind of book that is unputdownable, and I definitely raced through it as I desperately hoped for some answers as to why the heck these three kids survived, and just what exactly was behind these simultaneous plane crashes.
This is actually a story within a story, as the entire book is a book written by a fictional journalist, using interviews, newspaper articles, and other medium to create the full story of these plane crashes, subsequent investigations, and getting to know the families of the three children who survived. It’s kind of hard to explain, but it’s incredibly creative and I think the format worked really well.
Lots of people said they found this book creepy, and that wasn’t really the case for me, with the major exception of the very beginning, where one of the plane crashes is lived through in meticulous detail by someone who perished in that crash. The rest of the book wasn’t exactly scary, but it was tension-filled and had me on the edge of my seat. The kids were a little creepy, but actually the media hysteria and attention surrounding them was even more so. It caused me to really think about how strong of an impact the media has on our day-to-day lives and how the media can take one event and turn it into a complete circus – way, way more than necessary.
Unfortunately, I kind of hated the ending. I don’t always mind ambiguous endings but in this case I wanted more answers. I felt like the book was racing toward an actual conclusion and one wasn’t provided for the reader at all.
Overall – highly recommended! I couldn’t put this book down and I loved the creativity of the whole thing. While the ending left much to be desired, it was still a worthwhile read for me.
10 thoughts on “The Three by Sarah Lotz”
I didn’t like the ending either. And yes, for me it was the first chapter re going through a crash that totally creeped me out – too realistic sounding!
VERY realistic! Scary!!
I didn’t love it either, but did race through it like you did.
It was pretty hard to put down, right!?
Very much agree about the ending! I was grabbed by this premise, and I wanted to love the book, but yeah — the ending let me down. And I didn’t think the book as a whole was as awesome as I wanted it to be either. But it was definitely a fun read!
Yep, I agree = fun, not quite to the level of awesome.
I really love books with interesting formats, but I hate ambiguous endings enough that I think I might pass on this one.
It was definitely a frustrating ending. Pass if you can’t handle that. 😉
Didn’t love it, but really liked it, like you. I read it fast. Didn’t really scare me so much but was creepy. And I’m not really sure what to think about that ending. Not sure what it means exactly, but it might generate five or ten minutes of solid discussion at book club in throwing out some ideas (knowing our group this is good, right?). I swear, I tore right through this book thinking it was a trilogy, which may have affected the way I was looking at things.
[…] might be cheating to say The Three because it was my book club pick, but I’m going with […]