By Sarah Lotz
Ever since I read about Sarah Lotz’s The Three on publishersweekly.com, I’ve been waiting (im)patiently for the ARCs to be released. When I finally managed to get my hands on one, I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first. I will admit that I was expecting a more traditional novel – something along the lines of good old-fashioned third person limited – , so the mockumentary/ expose style of the book caught me by surprise. However, I decided to forge ahead with it anyway, and within a few chapters I was well and truly hooked. From then until I reached the final page I could only tear myself away from it long enough to sleep and go to work.
Don’t let the spooky cover art fool you – The Three is more than a run-of-the-mill supernatural mystery or sci fi thriller. It’s a complex and fascinating exploration of the dangers of twenty-first century sensationalist media culture, including its potential to ignite and exacerbate global hysteria.
In The Three, Lotz raises the question: how do we make sense of something that doesn’t make sense? Who do we look to for answers when faced with the unexplainable? The church? The government? The so called “conspiracy nuts” previously dismissed by society? And to what ends?
As with real life situations, everyone in the book seems to have their own theories regarding the enigmatic Black Thursday plane crashes – in many cases carefully manipulated in service of a cynical personal agenda. Which as it turns out, is what makes Lotz’s unconventional journalistic approach perfect for the story she’s telling, as we witness the tragic, and at times, horrifying, chain of events that unfold across the four continents involved in the initial disasters.
Whether you love it like I did, or hate it as I’m sure some readers will (Remember how divisive Lost was? Or how passionately some moviegoers disliked Inception?), The Three is the kind of mind-bending book that will stay with you for a long time. When you reach the end, you’ll most likely find yourself wanting to debate it with family or friends or anyone else you can talk into reading it. It’s sure to be a popular choice for book clubs this year.