Book review: The Three (by Sarah Lotz)

Title: The Three
Author: Sarah Lotz
Page count: 480 pages
Rating: 3,5 stars (4 on Goodreads)

Trigger warnings for the book: plane crashes, paranormal happenings, gore, suicide, memory loss
Spoiler warnings for this review: this is a spoiler-free review.

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Goodreads summary:

Four simultaneous plane crashes. Three child survivors. A religious fanatic who insists the three are harbingers of the apocalypse. What if he’s right?

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 behavioural 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 behaviour becomes increasingly disturbing, even their guardians begin to question their miraculous survival…

This book is where I really regret my laziness with review writing. I`m sure more memories of this book will come back as I write, but right now as I start? I just remember reading it almost in one go. Which is, you know, a good thing. But the fact that I have difficulty remembering more of it is a bad sign.

The Three is about 4 plane crashes, in different parts of the world. Three children have survived, while no one else has. Which is weird, of course, and it`s what caught my attention when I picked it up in the bookstore. It sounded like a very interesting, mysterious book. I suppose that somewhere, somehow I hoped it`d be a mystery like Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christie, despite knowing from the start that this was obviously not going to be the case.

Still, I did not expect the documentary style writing. The book consists of interviews with people involved – relatives of victims, tape recordings by the guardians of the children, newspaper articles, things like that. It`s a style very much like World War Z, and it`s a style I do really enjoy. It adds a strangely realistic feeling to a non-realistic phenomenon, and I for one appreciate it.

This book was also interesting in the human aspect. The children get very little attention, especially at the beginning, and it is mostly about everyone else. How does the media respond, how do the people around the victims respond, how do governments respond. It feels almost like a study of humankind at times, and it`s interesting to see how much impact a strange occurence like this could have on societies worldwide.

Was it a very good book? Nah. I was definitely left feeling a bit weird and unsure what I thought of it, and the book felt like it was lacking something, though I can`t quite put my finger on what exactly.

I did consider for a while to buy the sequel, though now that a couple of weeks have passed (I actually finished this on April 30) and this book has almost entirely left my consciousness, I`m not so sure if I still want to. It was a fun ride while reading, and it definitely popped up in my mind a couple of times at work in the time I was reading it, but in the end, it left much less of an impression than I expected at first.

Do I recommend this book? If you`re into the slightly horror-esque books (because there is definitely some horror in there) or if you like that kind of paranormal documentary style books, then this might be worth checking out for you.

Just don`t go into it expecting an exciting mystery, because the pacing is too slow for that and there`s barely any real build-up of tension.

I am keeping this book, I might go back to it at some point, see what I think of it and if I want the sequel or not. But for now I`m happy just having read it once.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Or are you going to read it? Let me know down in the comments!

I`ll see you guys again soon, and take care 🙂

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3 Responses to Book review: The Three (by Sarah Lotz)

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