Katrina Monroe and the Dark Side of Fiction

Katrina Monroe is an author, mother, and professional haterologist. Her favorite things to hate include socks that fall down, grape-flavored anything, and the color 'salmon.' Grab her books here.

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Book Review:
The Three

From the cover:



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.



First Impressions:

            It’s been quite a while since I’ve been so emotionally pulled into a novel so quickly. The final moments of a plane crash are portrayed with such sickening imagery it had me reeling. Within the first few pages, it becomes increasingly clear that this novel is not for the faint-hearted. Avid readers of thrillers and horror alike would balk at this, but when picking up this book, I would exercise caution. While it is obviously—even within these first few chapters—a very well-written book, it is also an emotionally and mentally gripping book.



The Best of it:

            I love unusual—experimental, even—fiction. THE THREE is told in using several different formats including traditional narrative, a book within a book, interviews, letters, emails, even chat exchanges with detailed emoji. The use of this method provides a unique view into the world Lotz has created. There are no such things as reliable and unreliable sources as this story unfolds, making the reading more than just entertainment. It’s a collaboration between author and reader to reach the end.



The Worst of it:

            There is nothing critical I could say about this novel except that it’s too real. It was important for me to take a moment and ingest everything I’d just read before I could consider even getting out of the chair.



Yeah, But What if it Were a Movie?

            I recently watched the film, BABEL starring Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt. Pretty boy Pitt’s acting aside, I couldn’t stop thinking of the emotional turmoil and upheaval portrayed in the film and how closely it resembled how I felt when reading THE THREE. If director Alejandro G. Iñárritu took on the adaptation, I know he would do it justice.  



Show Stealer:

            Sarah Lotz has an incredible grasp of voice. Because of the different styles of story-telling, she could have been lazy and allowed her “typical” voice to slip into each section and it still would have come across as different. It is a testament to her skill that Lotz didn’t slip into this hole. Each character, despite their brief appearances, is developed down to specific mannerisms and favorite words. For example, Pam (though she is one of many Texan characters in the book) is the only one to use the phrase, “Oh, Lordy.” Cadence and sentence structure is varied for each character which make the introductory titles—“Interview with Kendra Vorhees”—almost superfluous.



Final Impressions:

            If ever there was a novel for the political climate without it being a predominantly political novel, this is it. Religious fanatics, conspiracy theorists, and a host of people grappling with their beliefs and their sanity all contribute to what I can only describe as a mind-fuck. Throughout reading, there is never one point in which I felt sure of the circumstances surrounding “The Three” and their improbably survival. As an atheist (but devout fairy-tale and superstition devourer), I felt my own thoughts on reality being prodded with a sharp stick.

            I happened across THE THREE by chance.

            Or maybe I didn’t.


            As I turned the final page, a plane passed by overhead and I got chills. 



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