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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 8:31 am 
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With some... transitioning going on at work and home, I wanted something lightly prep-related to fill my downtime. For some reason, I chose to buy a novel from the Young Adult section while buying magazines at Barnes & Noble. I probably should read a copy of The Patriots instead. Oh, well.

"Rule of Thr3e" by Eric Walters is about a community, and perhaps the whole country, suddenly plunged into an unusual blackout. It's more than just the power grid down, as even battery operated mobile devices stop working as well. Not an EMP/CME either, since simple appliances like toasters and mini-fridges still work when on a generator. Also, old cars like the protagonist's. It's all the computer chips that have stopped working.

So five chapters in and here's what I've got so far as exposition goes:
Protagonist Adam Daley is described to readers via talking with his BFF Todd. Adam is 16, oldest of three, gets good grades, has a pilot for a dad, a police capt for a mom, takes flying lessons and oh, yeah. He's building an ultralight for a school project. Foreshadowing much?
BFF Todd is a big guy for 16, on the football team, and has a slacker/class clown personality. Should I be worried about him?
Love interest Lori is generic so far, and is already dating someone. :roll: Oh, and she lives on a farm with horses. That'll be helpful.
Next-door neighbor Herb is the character any ZS would gladly have in their bug-in/out group. This old man is a prepper, full on. Generator, ham radio, carry permit, food, water, and best of all, a level head. Herb goes on about how bad things can get based on his old job working at embassies around the world (Adam wonders if he used to be a spy), but then immediately tries to reassure whoever that it'll probably work out ok. With Adam's dad stranded across the country, and his mom having to organize her precinct, Herb's a good figure to have around.

There's only been a few conversations so far contemplating the blackout. The main characters are aware it isn't a simple line falling down and wonder if a computer virus could be responsible.

I'll read more and update every now and then. I'm curious if there's any actual good advice the teen readers can pick up on, amidst teen dribble.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 2:30 pm 
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"I'll read more and update every now and then. I'm curious if there's any actual good advice the teen readers can pick up on, amidst teen dribble."

Likely, no.

I tired to put some good (useful) stuff in my WoC books, only to be told it read like "Prepper porn" - whatever that is.

Bottom line, preachy stories won't do well. Fun/action/adventure sells, and if the reader leans anything - it's a bonus.

Please, continue the review as you read more...

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:17 pm 
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So I noticed that towards the end of the book, there's a different colored page. Turns out in the appendix, Jim Cobb of DisasterPrepConsultants did an article on GH Bags. So.. that's something.

Two thirds through and it's not too bad. To me, the teen angst is minimal, since the kid is so focused on survival. Also, the romance arc is settled so quickly, it's kinda boring and forgettable. She's more there to bring her farming father into the plot.

Spoiler alert if you actually want to read the book yourself:
Three or so days into the blackout, and some cops stop showing up. So the mom has to set up neighborhood watch and checkpoints. The old neighbor's ham radio confirms the outage is nationwide, and concludes it's worldwide since no aid from allies or attacks from enemies has come. To prevent looting, the store managers agree to accept cash and IOUs from locals. Works for a small town, I guess.
Shootouts happen with looters, love-interest-farm girl's family is talked into moving into the secured neighborhoods, and the main kid gets to fly his ultralight to recon the town. When they confirm the other police station has burned down, they enact a plan for a borderline feudal community involving a lot of the things ZS isn't allowed to discuss. Scavenging and squatting mostly, which they justify by having a judge, a councilwoman, and police mom as their leaders, and keeping records of what they take. It's a nice point that they actually discuss and wonder if they'll be charged with anything when civilization is restored.
And now it looks like a conflict is brewing with raiders soon.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:21 am 
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All in all, it was an ok read. I actually am interested in the sequel, but not enough to pay hardcover price. Guess I could try the "Monument 14" trilogy in the meantime. That's actually why I started this. "The 100" turned out to be a surprisingly good show and those teen-in-dystopia-novels-turned-movies (Hunger Games, etc.) are doing well at the box office. So after hearing "M14" might be made a movie, I thought I'd give this stuff a shot.

There's nothing truly instructional in "Ro3" other than the excerpt from Jim Cobb, but it might be a good way to get a teen into the idea of prepping. I think it paints a decent picture of how badly things fall apart and the ways it changes people.

Things a teen might learn from this book:
Lots of tech depends on computers, including modern cars.
Pool chlorine could be used to purify drinking water.
Try to bargain/negotiate first, but have a back-up plan if things get violent. Like a trusted friend with a scoped rifle nearby.
It's a good idea to stockpile canned foods.
A toilet can still flush if the water's off by pouring water into the tank.
Maybe she dates bad boys because nice guys are too shy to ask her out.
( :lol: Sorry, couldn't resist putting that there)
Potatoes are a good crop to grow, with regards to nutrition and yield.
A convoy should be heavily armed at the rear.
Think outside the box on how you can repurpose household items for your needs. Like X-mas lights to illuminate a perimeter or car windshields for greenhouses.
It could still be considered stealing, even if it's the "end of the world."
And
Communities need good leadership. Leaders need to project confidence and assurance. Not just to those following them, but also in the face of potential allies and enemies.

My thoughts on it as a book:
The authors writing style is decent, but at some points I find the descriptiveness lacking. And I don't really connect with the characters much. Of course I wanted them to win since they're the good guys, but I didn't get too invested in anyone in particular.

My next post will contain spoilers.
I'll list the ethical issues they face and also, a mini-rant on coincidences, luck, and other non-prep circumstances that benefited the protagonist.

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