cover image The Scorpion Rules

The Scorpion Rules

Erin Bow. S&S/McElderry, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4814-4271-8

In this gripping dystopian adventure, Bow (Sorrow’s Knot) explores the price of power. Four centuries after an AI known as Talis took over the world to prevent humanity from wiping itself out, civilization has splintered into smaller territories, held in line through Talis’s orbital cannons, AI agents, and one simple philosophy: make it personal. Every would-be ruler must send a child to one of Talis’s Preceptures as a hostage, to be slain if his or her country acts up. One such hostage is Greta, Duchess of Halifax and Crown Princess of the Pan Polar Confederacy. Her daily routine is thrown into confusion when a new hostage joins her Precepture. Elián has no intention of playing along, and his arrival threatens to change everything. Greta’s pragmatic, reserved, yet passionate voice commands attention from the start, but in many ways it’s Talis, an AI with a sense of humor and a flair for the dramatic, that makes the story. Bow continually yanks the rug out from under readers, defying expectations as she crafts a masterly story with a diverse cast, shocking twists, and gut-punching emotional moments. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jane Putch, Eyebait Management. (Sept.)