The Three by Sarah Lotz

Black Thursday. The day that will never be forgotten. The day that four passenger planes crash, at almost exactly the same moment, at four different points around the globe.

There are only four survivors. Three are children, who emerge from the wreckage seemingly unhurt. But they are not unchanged.

And the fourth is Pamela May Donald, who lives just long enough to record a voice message on her phone.

A message that will change the world.

The message is a warning.
I will start by saying that The Three is not in any way a YA novel.

Sarah Lotz first came to my attention as half of Lily Herne – the composite author composed of Sarah and her daughter Savannah, together they wrote the excellent post-apocalyptic zombie trilogy Deadlands.

As a teen I was a fan of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, James Herbert and Ramsay Campbell. Teen tastes for horror have not changed much although there are more YA authors writing in the horror genre I think that The Three will have definite appeal to teens that enjoy a heavier read.

It took me just over a week to read, I would normally have devoured The Three as quickly as possible but work and life demanded that I get some sleep and go to work as well as being a person so I read the book in chunks, in bed often late into the night which is the perfect time for horror. The blood and guts is kept to a minimum there are no long descriptions of gorn, and, with the exceptions of the Khayelitsha crash and the Aokigahara Forest scenes there is very little to do with bodies.

It taps into our subconscious fears – flying, creepy children, conspiracies, age, infirmity, religious fundamentalism and the thoughts that those we love may not be ones we actually love.

Told in pieces through interviews with family, investigators, the police, religious leaders as well as reports and news articles The Three is the first genuinely creepy book I have read in years.

Sarah conveys the rising paranoia and fear through words in articles and interviews perfectly. Telling the story through multiple viewpoints and formats is brilliant, the words of each of the participants in the interviews stitched together a greater, more terrifying story, told across the world. I spent a large portion of the novel wondering if there was something not quite right with the children or if it were just end times paranoia that was causing global fear and distrust. The dénouement does not disappoint!

If you enjoy horror then I implore you to pick up a copy at your local library or buy your own!

The feeling of disquiet I had when I finished The Three is still lingering in my memory.

You will not be disappointed and there will be a sequel!

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