Title: The Three
Author: Sarah Lotz
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Source: ARC via Netgalley
Available: May 22nd 2014
Buy it: Pre-order Here
Three planes, totally unrelated, crash shortly after take off. As the world receives the news, reports emerge of three child survivors - the only survivors from any of the planes. How did they escape unharmed? And what did the recovered phone message left by Pamela May - deceased in the Japanese crash - mean? "The boy, watch the boy..."
Wow, how do I even begin to review this book? There is a lot of hype around The Three already and I have to say it's entirely justified. The book is a mysterious thriller in a style reminiscent of classic King. The writing itself it taut and suspenseful - told in collected reports, interviews and news clippings - and these give enough detail, bit by bit, to keep the reader enticed, yet always fall short of a full answer! I was turning pages at rapid speed as the mystery and theories surrounding the three "survivors" mounted.
Creeping and explosive, the writing has moments of horror greatness as Sarah Lotz builds the characters of The Three in such a way as to lead the reader's assumptions, then counter them in shock - and sometimes blood.
The voices of the many characters giving reports and interviews are each individual and idiosyncratic. Lotz characterises the recurring characters in such a way as to make the reader feel as if they know them, then has the reader question what they thought they knew as a more objective voice sheds a new light upon a person or event. It's a rollercoaster ride of knowing which narrator to trust, and it's entirely enjoyable.
The only slight negative I have to say about The Three, is that the end conclusion is a bit slow compared to the rest of the book, which - after so much racing to reach this point - feels like a drop in momentum, almost as if the writer wasn't sure where to take it. As it is, the denoument is left ambiguous. Other readers may feel this is a suitable end, and I do too, but I would have been jumping out of my chair and through the roof with praise if I'd been given a solid answer to the mystery that had blown me away.
Brilliantly paced and unique, The Three deserves the hype currently amounting around it and more. The novel feels like a throwback to a time of horror masters, and belongs on the book shelf beside them. I want to be first in line to see what Sarah Lotz does next!