The Scorpion Rules

“Remember when kings used to be required to have children? I require you to have children. You want to be a king, I require you to have children. You want to be a president, you want to be a general, you want to be a lord high dog catcher–if you’re in charge of blowing stuff up, I require you to have children.”


When the world finally collapses because of what we have done to it, what will become of us? The ice caps are melting, societies are rebelling, Russia is…who the hell knows what Russia is doing. The world is scary as shit right now.

Erin Bow seems to understand that fact. Her new book, The Scorpion Rules, lays out exactly what may happen when all that nastiness comes to a head. And it’s one of those dystopian scenarios that is just believable enough to be absolutely terrifying.

You know that global warming thing everyone talks about? It has completely melted the polar ice, redistributing the earth’s water sources–which means also redistributing much of the population. And with any population redistribution comes war. Lots of it.

Enter Talis–an AI created to solve this crisis of change. The humans, I’m sure, imagined him mostly a structural engineer–come in, fix some infrastructure, move some bodies around, build some walls, done. Instead, what they got was a being a lot more like Marvel’s Vision–wholly devoted only to the perfect solution. BOOM! Cities got blown up. Obviously, people were pissed. Still, it didn’t work. Cities get attention, but are, to a point, expendable.

Talis had to make things personal. Enter the Preceptures. To be eligible for a high power position, you must have a child. Why? Because that child will be sent to a monastery and be held hostage. If you go to war with another country, that child will be the first one killed (along with the child of the leader you go to war with).


Talis don’t mess around, ya’ll.

Most books written 400+ years in our future include space ships and Mars and Earth being eradicated and desolate. Really, not that much has changed in this book as far as technology. The children still milk goats and eat zucchini and read Socrates, all on a farm/monastery in Canada. The biggest advances surround the AIs, and that is to be expected. The shape of the earth has shifted, but people still inhabit it.

I think that’s why this book was so relatable and therefore so alarming. I know we are all trying to get to Mars and colonize space, but the future in this book seems so much more likely to me. And oh man did it make my heart race. It’s part dystopian YA, part scifi, part thriller. By the end of it, I was screaming right along with Greta. I’m going to leave you with this image: APPLE CIDER PRESS.

Essentially:  BUY THIS BOOK. Right now. Click the link below. It comes out today, and you need to have it. I promise. It needs to be on everyone’s TBR. Trust me.


Netgalley provided this ARC for an unbiased review. Releases September 22. All links are affiliate links.


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