Review: The Three

The Three

The Three
By Sarah Lotz
(Little, Brown and Company, Hardcover, 9780316242905, May 2014, 480pp.)

The Short of It:

Three strange children, four plane crashes and a media frenzy gives this a ripped from the headlines feel.

The Rest of It:

Four commercial airlines crash within minutes of each other. There are only three survivors, all of them children. Their families don’t know what to make of it, when their personalities prove to be different from how they were before the crash. Religious fanatics think they are the devil or that they are a sign that the end days have begun. The media, ever-present, want answers to all of the numerous questions being asked. Why these three? Are they the chosen ones?

With the Malaysian flight disappearing and then the other Malaysian flight getting shot down, commercial airlines have been in the headlines for quite a while and I happen to read this book between the two events, which gave it a surreal feel, to say the least. But based on the reviews I’ve read, I expected a more horrific read. One blogger said it was “terrifying” and another said it was worthy of nightmares. Really? I thought it was pretty mild as far as plot.

Much of it takes place after the event and with the media presence and the journalistic format of the novel itself, I felt a little detached from what was taking place between its pages. You know how it is. After a major disaster, the TV channels are overrun by footage and first hand accounts. At some point, there is no new info and you just can’t take it anymore. That is how I felt with this novel. About 3/4 of the way through, I got tired of it and moved on to another book. I only decided to finish it just to see if there was any resolution and even that is debatable.

As a quick summer read, it’s entertaining and a page turner but I would have liked the format to be a little more varied. It had too much of a newsy feel to me but I know a lot of readers that really liked that aspect of the book so obviously, it’s my own personal opinion.

Have you read The Three? Want to discuss the ending? If so, leave a non-spoilery comment and I will send you an email.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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22 thoughts on “Review: The Three”

  1. man that book was looonnngg! I read it a couple of books back so my details are fuzzy..but I did like the format (yes I am one of those)
    I never got a sense of scariness or urgency about this book..the only time I got (wow) moment was when the girl who lived with the gay uncle let him know she knew what he was up to.
    I didn’t buy into the hype of the apocalypse or anything. it was just ok
    a while back you reviewed a “clean” book that you liked…I just finished a man called ove…clean, fun and maybe one of the best of the year

    1. I saw something about The Man Called Ove. The cover or maybe the write-up made me think of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (which I loved). I have to look into it further. 

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  2. I didn’t think it was terrifying, and I actually read it on a plane. The real life news scared me much worse than anything in these pages. But it was creepy, and I enjoyed the read. The ending was a little ambiguous. I’ll be interested to see what my book club thinks…

    1. I guess the crash part wasn’t all that suspenseful but you are still a bad ass for reading it on a plane!

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    1. I was curious about the ending too. So many on FB mentioned the ending and how strange it was. 

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  3. I enjoyed the news feel of the story and thought it was a really fun read. I did think it was creepy, but that was due to me letting my imagination run wild – like with the uncle and his niece and how he would leave those recordings about her and his dreams. I let myself get caught up in the hysteria of “what are they?” and “what really happened?” – that’s why I think I liked it so much 🙂 It was definitely an entertaining page turner.

    1. Can you imagine if something like this happened in real life? The kids would not be able to go into hiding, that’s for sure. 

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    1. I like to see news articles interspersed throughout a book but there were so many and so many interviews with the media. I’d get into their story, turn a page and then it would be some reporter recounting what was said. 

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  4. Dare I admit that when I read your statement, ” One blogger said it was ‘terrifying’ and another said it was worthy of nightmares” and how you thought it was “pretty mild”, I immediately thought it must be because you are such a fan of Stephen King? 😉

    Seriously though, I have been wondering about this one. Even though you didn’t completely like the format of the book, you’ve convinced me I should add this one to my wish list.

    1. That could be!! I am more terrified of the every day stuff I see on the news these days. I am jaded. LOL. 

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  5. Hmmm, I have been really looking forward to this one. I usually like the extra stuff like news articles etc in stories but I could see where too much would be annoying. I still plan on reading this but will have more realistic expectations!

  6. I loved the story within the story aspect of the book. I can’t imagine that is easy to do. I just really loved this one because I think it is so open to interpretation depending on one’s belief system.

  7. The only part that was actually scary for me was the very beginning, the plane crash part. I did like the book but am still shaking my head in confusion over the ending.

    1. The plane crashes were pretty well done. I read it while all that stuff was going on about Malaysian airlines so it was sort of creepy to read about crashes and think of that missing plane. 

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