Title: The Scorpion Rules
Author: Erin Bow
Series: Prisoners of Peace, book 1
Cupcake: Banana Chocolate
Quick Rating: DNF at 40%, skimmed to 75%
I was so annoyed I couldn’t finish it. If I don’t finish, I can’t call this a real review. But I’m still going to tell you why.
I can’t even tell you how irritating the characters were. Every. Single. One. The only one I liked was the non-human overlord, and not even because it was a good character! I was just happy that it added some dimension. Elian, too, finally had something fresh to offer, but it was quickly drowned by the mediocrity of the rest. The rest were interchangeable- characters to add bulk that didn’t add anything to the story. I learned a hundred names and then got them all confused. Each character could have been so distinct and grabbing, especially due to the different backgrounds, homelands, and the diverse cast, but no. There was 0 change to their personalities. They all acted like frightened children up to the point I read. I mean, technically they’re kids, and their lives are in danger, but their lives have been in danger since they were born. It’s not quite ‘get over it…’ more like, ‘get on with it. Do something about it.’
At any rate, I felt a major disconnect with the characters. They earned my disgust instead of my loyalty, my wrath instead of my love, and that will kill a for me book very, very quickly. If I don’t love the characters, I can’t love the story, and what’s more, I usually won’t try too hard.
I did enjoy the world-building- it was a very well thought out plan and the descriptions were really interesting- it was almost a believable world that Bow created for readers. The plot, however, was sorely lacking. I read several chapters and skimmed even more, and nothing happened outside the school that they live in. The most exciting thing that happened was a goat getting loose and climbing a tree- I mean, you’ve created this whole world, and you don’t let us explore it? The plot really fell flat for me, which I find is happening a lot in these majorly hyped books. This one came out in September 2015, and it was an explosion of marketing- always in my face. But…blah.
Overall, if I was going to rate this one based on what I read, I’d only give it 1 star. Maybe 0.5 stars. The characters were awful, the plot was flat, and even the development was atrocious. Safe to say I was not a fan, but I hope if you read it, you loved it, or at least didn’t hate it.
So, it’s harder than I thought to pick a cupcake for a book I didn’t like, but I’m trying to be fair here. This banana cupcake is not what I would ever think to be delicious, just like I don’t think The Scorpion Rules could be good to anyone. But time and time again, I’m proved in the minority, so here’s an unusual (to me) cupcake for the people who love this book or still think it sounds amazing despite it only averaging 3.45 stars on Goodreads.com. You can find the recipe here at Gather for Bread.