The Three by Sarah Lotz is an engaging pre-apocalyptic thriller that centres on four plane crashes where three children miraculously survive. The book is written from witness accounts after the events, so there are interviews taken from first responders to the scenes to the families left looking after the survivors. The book has a time frame from the moment the plane crashes to events that range from end of the world cults, to conspiracy theorists and alien abductions without forgetting the families and communities that hold the book together.
The witness accounts and interviews are collated by Elspeth Martins who collects information from people involved with the three from all over the world. The Three are Bobby Smalls, an American who after the crash goes to stay with his grandmother Lillian Small, Jessica Craddock who is looked after by her uncle Paul Craddock in England and Hiro Yanagida, a Japanese boy who goes to live with his cousin Chiyoko Kamamoto and her family.
The Three’s tone is dark and foreboding, a haunting mystery that you are slowly pulled into. The book is set up in chapters between conspiracy and survivors. The conspiracy chapters focus on Pastor Len Vorhees, who is an End of Times preacher who believes that Pamela May Donald, who was on the Japanese flight, left him a phone message before her plane crashes. This leads him down an extreme path which links a lot of the chapters together, heralding a very dystopic future. The survivor chapters focus on The Three and their families and what they have to deal with in the aftermath of the crashes.
I found the book really interesting as it isn’t focused on one location in the world. Instead we get to see how different cultures react to the plane crashes and to the survivors themselves. Whether it is press invasion or dealing with a plane crash set so close to 9/11. The book can be seen as a conspiracy theorists dream; we are given hints from the start that lots of bad things are to happen in the unfolding story. This is an intelligent book that will leave you wondering what is true and what isn’t.
Review by Michelle Herbert
Johanna from Finland
Overall "Three" is an interesting and well-written book. The story is quite coherent even when constructed through interviews and chat room discussions etc. I gave 7/10, because I was honestly expecting more horror elements and the ending left me kind of confused. Also, at times I had to browse the book because I had forgotten a certain character, because some of them weren't that memorable. But this one is without a doubt above average story, so people should give it a chance.
7.5/10 from 2 reviews