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The Rule of Three (The Rule of Three, #1)
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The Rule of Three (The Rule of Three #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  4,345 Ratings  ·  677 Reviews
One shocking afternoon, computers around the globe shut down in a viral catastrophe. At sixteen-year-old Adam Daley's high school, the problem first seems to be a typical electrical outage, until students discover that cell phones are down, municipal utilities are failing, and a few computer-free cars like Adam's are the only vehicles that function. Driving home, Adam enco ...more
Hardcover, 405 pages
Published January 21st 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Daniel Paterson From in-text references (i.e.: the "stars and stripes" and the constitution) as well as cultural indicators (high rates of gun-ownership) make it…moreFrom in-text references (i.e.: the "stars and stripes" and the constitution) as well as cultural indicators (high rates of gun-ownership) make it clear that this takes place in the United States, however geographical indicators place this clearly in Mississauga. Therefore I propose two theories: 1) Walters is selling primarily to an American audience with this trilogy and is relying on them not knowing anything of Canadian geography, leaving the setting essentially fictitious. 2) The series takes place in an alternative historical setting where the United States had, at some point, gained control over at least parts of Canada, including southern Ontario. I find the second to be more intriguing, but the first more likely. (less)

Community Reviews

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Wendy Darling
DNF around 80 pages. It's fine, and the story is interesting, but I don't love the writing style. The dialogue in particular doesn't seem to flow very naturally.

Also: too many exclamation points.
Aug 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Review to come, but you should pre-order this.... like now. No, really go now please and pre-order! You're welcome!




Excited 3

Yes, this is totally going to be one of those reviews that is 60% gifs, 30% incoherent screaming and caps locks, 5% me demanding you go out and buy it, 3% analogies made of pure nonsense and 2% coherent review. Now that you have been warned, let's get this party going!!!

I swear  I just want to scream TRUST ME! YOU'RE GOING TO LOVE IT JUST FLIPPING

Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
One afternoon, as teenage Adam and his best friend Todd are working in their high school computer lab, their computer abruptly shuts down. All the computers shut down - and everything that relies on computers to run. No electricity, no communication. Adam's mother is the local police chief and their next-door neighbor, Herb, is an elderly former government operative, so as alarm verges on panic, Adam finds himself at the center of his neighborhood's efforts to survive. Walls are erected, supplie ...more
Erin Sky
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Adam is 16. He's a good student. He's building an ultralight with his dad in the garage. He likes a girl he's too nervous to talk to. And then every computer in the world goes dark. Permanently.

What's a guy to do?

If his mom's a police officer and his next door neighbor is some kind of retired government operative (spies tend to be vague about their personal history), he fortifies his suburban neighborhood and turns it into the last bastion of sanity amidst a dying civilization. Obviously.

If that
Feb 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought I was over the whole dystopian genre, but this book proved me wrong – very wrong. I won a copy of this book through Twitter, and I’m glad I did, because I never would have bought it from the bookstore. My problem with dystopian fiction is that it is most always completely unbelievable, but that was far from the case with this book.

The basis of the novel is that technology ends. One minute all is fine, and the next there is no electricity, no computers, no phones, nothing. Though that
Jun 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nelithma Wasage
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
All over the world, electricity has shut down. Computers don't work. Neither do most cars. Our way of life is rendered completely useless. Next comes the chaos. People don't know what to do - they can't get home, they can't go to work, they can't live like this! The fight for power begins...
For Adam Daley, it's no different. On one day, all technology shuts down. At first it seems like a normal power outage, until kids discover that cellphones are down, municipal utilities are out of commissio
Fuck. I love books like this. SO MUCH. It reminded me of when I read "Ashfall". I love books that are just about humans surviving in apocalypses. I mostly get this from zombie novels, but there's something refreshing when the only enemy is human nature. You know, other humans. Just trying to survive in these extreme circumstances.

I liked Adam. I'm pissed we never found out what Herb did for a living. Also: what happened to Adam's dad? I kept expecting him to show up. Frustrating. Even more frust
Joyce Yattoni
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this "what if" novel, especially in today's age when everything is powered by electricity and configured with computer software. This civilized society went downhill pretty quickly with factions and neighborhoods vying for supplies, food, weapons and water. I hope I am never around to see this happen. The protagonist. Adam, a high school junior doesn't really change that much throughout the story. He was a responsible kid in the beginning and is responsible towards the end as h ...more
Gray Cox
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dnf, okayish
DNFed this at 113 pages.

It’s not that it was bad so far, but it was the same old dystopian/survival story. I’ve read it before…a gazillion times.

But if someone who is new to this genre read this, they’d probably have a fair chance of enjoying this.

The Rule of Three honestly reminded me of a less epic, washed out, YA version of The Last Light series, without the lovable characters and awesome action and suspense. I didn’t bother to finish it though, so maybe it picked up? I just didn’t want
Carina Olsen
Oct 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
Oh, how I had issues with this book. I really wanted to love it. Though it did take me over a year to finally read my copy. But yeah. I thought this book sounded exciting and a bit different. I was nervous, as I wasn't sure it would be for me, but I hoped. And I'm so disappointed, because I really did not like this book.

I'm not sure how to begin talking about it. And I don't think my review will be all that long, because when I think about this book, I don't have any positive things in my head.
Imagine having to survive without electricity for a month. It seems unimaginable but for Adam and his country it is simply reality. After a major power outage everything stops working from cars to phones. Adam's community must learn to work together and in the end survive throughout this terrible black out.
As I mentioned before, I joined Red Maple because of my passion of reading. After recently the layed back, How to Outrun A Crocodile With Your Shoes Untied, I felt the urge to read an intense
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: survival, teen
Adam is 16. He's in school one day, helping his buddy with a paper, joking around and flirting with girls. Normal stuff - that is, until the power goes out. After realizing it's not a normal power outage - cell phones are out too and cars won't start - Adam is able to drive his older model car home. His neighbor, ex-spy Herb, seems to be preparing for the worst. But it's just a normal power drill, right? Everything will be back up and running soon. But as Herb warns, it's likely to get worse. An ...more
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really liked the book. The book was basically a story of what would happen if all of the computers and electricity stopped working. The thing about this is it could actually happen. Right now I don't think humanity is prepared for something like this.
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was a really interesting book. I really liked it. It was interesting because like it says on the back, the idea of the book is that all the power/electricity is wiped out. I felt like this was a highly possible situation given the current events. I would recommend this to everyone.
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy a good YA post-apocalyptic/dystopian novel if it’s done right. Unfortunately so many of them aren’t. I’m happy to say that this one fits the former category and not the later.

What I liked about this one is that unlike so many post-apocalyptic/dystopian novels out there that take place 100 years or more in the future, this one takes place in present day. It made the disaster and the subsequent consequences much more relatable for me. I could actually see something like this happening toda
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

Plot- 6.5/10
Characters- 7/10
Writing- 7.5/10
World Building- 8.5/10

Total- 7.1/10

Quickie Review- This was not a good book. 2.5 stars is generous, actually. I tried so hard to get into this book. Really. I saw it at the library and went, OMG THAT'S A SICK COVER. And the blub on goodreads was pretty cool. HOWEVER, there were numerous flaws with this book. First of all, the plot never got interesting until page 350. NO action, just a whole bunch of planning and talking. In no way was this a g
Feb 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: march-2015
When a blackout hits Adam's school, it turns out that all computers and technology have been shut down all over the world. Adam and his community team up in order to survive with the help of Adams mom a police officer and their neighbour Herb a retired government spy.

I picked this book up because it was by one of my favourite authors;Eric Walters, It was also one of this years red-maple books which was a bonus.This book was a little over-the-top for me because everything was so fast-paced, In f
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: febuary-2015
A blackout hits Adam's neighborhood as it turns out to be a viral catastrophe. People have gotten frightened, causing them to start making little troupes to protect themselves. With the help of Adam's neighbor, who is a retired spy and Adam's mom, a police captain, Eden Mills might have the chance to stay alive, but only if they work together.

I picked up this book because it was a Red Maple Nominee for this year. Also, I have heard that Eric Walters is an extraordinary writer which gave me anot
Marilyn Belsham
This book does the end of the world as we know it extremely well. I felt very uneasy through much of it. I think it's likely an accurate portrayal of the breakdown of society in a situation like this. Not every character is particularly likeable and neither did they all make the decisions that I would make, but that's just like real life I suppose. I am not a fan of the extremely sudden ending though. This will evidently be part of a trilogy but I still like an author or make an attempt at creat ...more
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopia, young-adult
And time to see if the library has the next book.
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It was one of those days I was glad it was -6 F outside and -30 F with the wind chill factored in, as my job got cancelled for the day and I got to cuddle with this book all afternoon and evening. With my fireplace blazing, the wind howling, I got up quickly to fix dinner but otherwise I was wrapped up inside the drama in The Rule of Three and what drama there was. The excitement began quickly with anything that is run with computers losing power. Cars, phones, computers, the world that we take ...more
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Lately, dystopian visions dominate the landscape for teen readers. Some have zombies (Ashes), some have vampires (The Hunt), most have malevolent governance (Among the Hidden, Uglies, Divergent). This one sticks to what might actually happen if we can accept the conceit of a massive, simultaneous, world-wide failure of computers. By page 15, normal has ended, beginning as a power outage and slowly sinking backward a century. This isn't The Hunger Games or The 5th Wave; more like Ashfall or perha ...more
david y biblioflick

So it's time to start another dystopian series. I found the cover really catching and it is quite similar to Monument 14 also their texture is the same ( because they have the same publisher, at the paperbacks at least).

After reading they synopsis, reading other reviews and reading a lot of dystopia or post-apocalyptic novel, I find this book boring. Also, there is a similar tv show: Revolution, even though I haven't watched it.

So it started when Adam and Todd is writing an essay then the whole
When the blackout that hits Adam's school turns out to be a world-wide event that has knocked out all computer technology, Adam and his community rally together to survive. Guided by a retired spy, and Adam's mom, a local police captain, they learn to do what needs to be done in order to maintain some level of safety, and the veneer of civilization.

I picked this book up because I read a really positive review of it. There was a lot of writing being done about this book. Wanting to support Canadi
Dec 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
A blackout strikes in Eden mills causing a viral devastation. After three days a fight for power began, as people weren't able to survive on their own. Adam with the help of his neighbor who is a retired government spy and his mother who is a police captain can save Eden mills.

I picked up this book because it was one of the Red Maple books and it seemed to be interesting. The title really brought me into the thought of reading it, and so I did.

I finished this book because I wanted to see how t
Susan Faw
Feb 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was fortunate enough to have this series suggested by my 13 year old son. What started as an english assignment quickly turned my son into an avid fan, who had me searching for book two for Christmas and him saving his Chapters gift card for book three (just released).

Having now completed my read of this dystopian young adult novel, set in curiously familiar surroundings (if you don't recognize it, google the street names and you can see an ariel view of the place where this novel is set) I h
Jack P
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is about great. I have read this before and it never gets boring. Its always interesting and never boring. In the beginning, there is a world wide power outage and everybody thinks this is maybe just some problem and there fixing but its not. It turns out that there is no more power, internet or anything electronic working. The book is a mix of action, emotion and some romance. I would probably recommend it to people who like survival and war books. I will say that you have to read the ...more
Rachel Seigel
Jan 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing read. Page-turning and exciting but also thought-provoking. Makes an interesting statement about the reliance that our society has on technology, and what happens when that fails. Worse than Y2K! Would have liked to know more about what caused it, but possibly that will be revealed in the next book.
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is exciting and held my interest from the first couple of pages! There was only two words in it (The D-word on both occasions) but other than that it was pretty clean. The main character was good at making choices and thought them through. It worked out well for them in the end, I'd say why but SPOILERS. I've read it twice now, and there is a chance I'll read it again!
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Eric was born in Toronto in 1957, which makes him "real old". But, as Eric says, "Just because I have to grow old doesn't mean that I have to grow up!" In his many roles as parent, teacher, social worker, youth sports coach and writer he is in constant contact with children and young adults. He draws from these experiences and feels that this helps him to capture the realistic interaction between ...more
More about Eric Walters

Other books in the series

The Rule of Three (4 books)
  • Fight for Power (The Rule of Three, #2)
  • Will to Survive (The Rule of Three, #3)
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“The problem with a liar is that he doesn't believe anybody else is capable of telling the truth.” 3 likes
“I'd had some dates that crashed and burned, but not the way that could happen in a plane.” 3 likes
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