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The Three: A Novel
     

The Three: A Novel

3.3 14
by Sarah Lotz
 

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Four simultaneous plane crashes. Three child survivors. A religious fanatic who insists "The Three" are harbingers of the apocalypse. What if he's right?

The world is stunned when four planes crash within hours of each other on different continents. There doesn't seem to be a correlation between the crashes, except that in three of the four air

Overview

Four simultaneous plane crashes. Three child survivors. A religious fanatic who insists "The Three" are harbingers of the apocalypse. What if he's right?

The world is stunned when four planes crash within hours of each other on different continents. There doesn't seem to be a correlation between the crashes, except that in three of the four air disasters, a single child is the sole survivor. Dubbed "the three" by the press, these "miracle children" achieve international celebrity. Things take a dark turn when a fanatical preacher starts insisting that the young survivors are three of the four harbingers of the apocalypse.

As the children's behavior grows increasingly disturbing, even their loved ones start to suspect there could be some truth behind the conspiracy theory. And when a survivor from the fourth accident is found, deadly alliances are formed and it becomes ever more difficult- and dangerous -to decipher the truth.

Combining the complexity of Lost and the thrills of Stephen King, THE THREE is an enormously ambitious thriller from a blazingly talented storyteller.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/31/2014
Lotz has published “urban horror” and young adult zombie novels with collaborators and under pseudonyms, but this disappointing book is the first to appear under her real name. Its premise is promising: four planes crash on the same day in Japan, South Africa, the United States, and the United Kingdom, respectively, leaving three survivors, all young children: Hiro in Japan, Bobby in New York, and Jessica in London (no one, apparently, survived the crash in Johannesburg). The very act of their survival and the coincidence of the crashes understandably unnerve the whole world and prompt all manner of conspiracy theories (terrorists? aliens?), which go viral, of course, online. One adult, Pamela May Donald, a devout Christian from Texas, survives the crash in Japan long enough to phone her husband, and her final words provide opportunistic televangelists the chance to proclaim this a harbinger of the Rapture. The novel is presented in the guise of a nonfiction book, Black Thursday: From Crash to Conspiracy by Elspeth Martins, which is itself a pastiche of every conceivable genre: chat room transcripts, blog posts, news articles, and interviews (no chapter is more than a few pages long). But this approach involves dozens of characters, many of them peripheral to the central storyline, and the result reads like a faulty mash-up: plenty of bits and pieces (often well rendered by Lotz), but they don’t coalesce into a real narrative with the kind of momentum or urgency that the premise calls for. Agent: Oli Munson, A.M. Heath & Company. (May)
Lauren Beukes
"Lotz is a ferociously imaginative storyteller whose twisty plots will kick the stairs out from under you. She's a talent to watch."
Kirkus Reviews
2014-04-17
Lone survivors from different plane crashes spark apocalyptic fears.South African screenwriter Lotz's new thriller revolves around the fictitious events of "Black Thursday," Jan. 12, 2012, when four planes crash within hours of each other on different continents. As if that weren't frightening enough, the drama is intensified when the public learns about the cryptic last message of a woman who died on one of the planes and the odd coincidence that in three of the crashes, a single child survived. When the children are returned to their families, they seem different somehow, and they become the focus of rumors ranging from alien activity to paranormal messaging. In the U.S., the hysteria is brought to a head by a fundamentalist preacher who sees the children as the harbingers of the End Times referenced in the book of Revelation. While the media hounds the survivors' families, politicians exploit the public's apocalyptic fears to take domestic and foreign policy in a new direction. Lotz tells the story through a fabricated nonfiction book within the novel called Black Thursday: From Crash to Conspiracy: Inside the Phenomenon of The Three, written by the fictional Elspeth Martins, who says she's pieced together an amalgam of email messages, interviews, articles, online chat forums and memoirs. This eclectic style of storytelling provides just enough information to follow the developing events, while the reader grasps for the crucial information that will solve the mystery of the enigmatic children.An engaging thriller with clues that will keep you guessing.
From the Publisher
"Lotz is a ferociously imaginative storyteller whose twisty plots will kick the stairs out from under you. She's a talent to watch."—Lauren Beukes, author of The Shining Girls"

The Three is really wonderful, a mix of Michael Crichton and Shirley Jackson. Hard to put down and vastly entertaining."—Stephen King

Library Journal
★ 05/01/2014
Lotz, a South African screenwriter and novelist, unspools a creepy thriller about four simultaneous plane crashes that stun the world. At three of the crash sites, a lone child survivor is found. And at one site, a fatally wounded passenger records an ominous message on her cell phone just before she dies. Told through a series of interviews conducted by a journalist investigating "Black Thursday," as the crash date comes to be known, we quickly discover that the three survivors are different children from who they were before the accidents. Are they merely traumatized? Are their families and caretakers imagining things? Or, as some fervently believe, are they harbingers of death and a sign that the apocalypse is near? VERDICT Lotz is an excellent storyteller, and she favors subtle innuendo over big shocks. Her unsettling tale builds to a crescendo that will have readers leaving the lights on long after they finish the book. Recommended for fans of sf and apocalyptic thrillers by authors such as Justin Cronin and Stephen King. [See Prepub Alert, 11/10/14.]—Amy Hoseth, Colorado State Univ. Lib., Fort Collins

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316242905
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
05/20/2014
Pages:
480
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.60(d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Lotz is a screenwriter and pulp fiction novelist with a fondness for the macabre and fake names. Among other things, she writes urban horror novels under the name SL Grey with author Louis Greenberg and a YA zombie series with her daughter, Savannah, under the name Lily Herne. She lives in Cape Town with her family and other animals.

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The Three: A Novel 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I won't say that Lotz is a bad writer, as she does know how to weave a story with good characters and is convincing in her understanding of real elements like different cultures and industries. But in a nutshell I think this book is "all sizzle and no steak." The premise leads you into the story believing that the children who survive the plane crashes are going to figure prominently in the story line. And in my opinion, the children and their actions and interactions are sidelined to all the other characters and their actions (and there are many characters to keep up with). At the end of each chapter, I was thinking the next chapter would surely involve more of what is happening directly with the children. But it never happened. If you condensed the book down to what the children actually do or say or what is done directly to them, the book would be about 20 pages long. Meh. Still feeling shortchanged.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first few pages were promising but i was expecting more about the survivors to appear in the plot. Not what i expected & by page 200 i had to force myself to finish the book in case i missed something. I should have known that if a book has not hooked you by page 200 it would not get better. I am an avid reader of many genres & wanted The Three to be good, but it failed to meet my expectations.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rarely do not finish a book, but this one, no matter how hard I tried, I could not get past 100 pages or so. The writing is so disjointed it is very difficult to follow the plot and the story. You don't have time to get to know a character before the author jumps to a new story line. I would not recommend this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read in one day - amazing and awesome ending!!!
Bubwolf More than 1 year ago
An interesting book hard to put down but the ending was a bit unsatisfying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The definition of a page turner...I read it in 2 days and didn't want it to end. The way the author has structured the book - an expose of the fictional event - was amazing. The characters were interesting and I had to find out what happened to them. The event itself is one that you could easily imagine happening today, which made it all the more unsettling. Easily the best book I have read in years. Read it now, you will not regret it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the worst books I have read. It took me over 2 months to get thru this book when I normally read a book in 2-5 days. I had to force myself to continue  Continue reading.  Very confusing with seemly irrelevant subplots and dialoge.  Won't read anything else by this author
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Would like to see a sequel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a terrible book. Don't waste your time!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was hooked from chapter one!
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