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The scorpion rules
2016
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Summary
The children of world leaders are held hostage in an attempt to keep the peace in this "slyly humorous, starkly thought-provoking" ( Kirkus Reviews , starred review) novel.

Greta is a Duchess and a Crown Princess. She is also a Child of Peace, a hostage held by the de facto ruler of the world, the great Artificial Intelligence, Talis. This is how the game is played: if you want to rule, you must give one of your children as a hostage. Start a war and your hostage dies.

The system has worked for centuries. Parents don't want to see their children murdered.

Greta will be free if she can make it to her eighteenth birthday. Until then she is prepared to die with dignity, if necessary. But everything changes when Elian arrives at the Precepture. He's a hostage from a new American alliance, and he defies the machines that control every part of their lives--and is severely punished for it. His rebellion opens Greta's eyes to the brutality of the rules they live under, and to the subtle resistance of her companions. And Greta discovers her own quiet power.

Then Elian's country declares war on Greta's and invades the prefecture, taking the hostages hostage. Now the great Talis is furious, and coming himself to deliver punishment. Which surely means that Greta and Elian will be killed...unless Greta can think of a way to break all the rules.
Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-Talis's first rule for stopping war is to make it personal. The powerful AI ensures the world's leaders know the exact cost of any declaration of war by taking their children hostage as Children of Peace. If war is declared, the lives of both nation's hostages are forfeit. Greta Gustafson Stuart, Duchess of Halifax and Crown Princess of the Pan Polar Confederation, is a seventh generation hostage at Precepture Four where she has lived most of her life. She embodies the ideals of the Children of Peace and knows to follow the rules even with her country on the brink of war. New hostage Elián Palnik refuses to accept any of the tenets of the Children of Peace, causing Greta to question everything she believes. Masterful, electric prose and wit make even the hardest moments bearable in this work as Greta and her friends endure countless hardships with the grace and aplomb befitting the world's future leaders. Bow weaves together science, ethics, and humor in this science fiction novel that delves deep into the human condition and questions the nature of choice and what must be sacrificed for the sake of the greater good. This book is further strengthened by a diverse, memorable cast of characters with realistically complicated relationships (romantic and platonic), brilliant plotting, and shocking twists. Guaranteed to have high appeal on many levels. VERDICT Bow delivers a knockout dystopian novel that readers will devour with their hearts in their mouths.-Emma Carbone, Brooklyn Public Library © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
In the future, Talis (once human, now AI) rules the world, and peace is maintained by holding world leaders' children hostage in Preceptures until their eighteenth birthdays. These Children of Peace, including roommates Greta and Xie, are educated to rule, and they never consider challenging the system until Elian, a new hostage, arrives. Greta feels as if she has been awakened to possibilities political, personal, and sexual by both Elian and Xie, but when Elian's grandmother blasts into their Precepture to use Greta for political ends, everything changes. Peace now hinges on whether or not Greta will agree to become AI herself. Bow has crafted an authentic sci-fi narrative around the AI premise, utilizing an imaginative world and well-developed characters. Through Greta's conflicts, the author explores what it means to be human and gives readers a glimpse inside the mind of artificial intelligence. Fans of Star Trek and 2001: A Space Odyssey will appreciate this novel, which paves the way for a sequel.--Moore, Melissa Copyright 2015 Booklist
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