Read The Three by Sarah Lotz Online


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 vBlack 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....

Title : The Three
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781444770377
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 472 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Three Reviews

  • Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
    2019-02-01 22:08

    DNF at 75 pages, because I just don't care. Skimmed the next hundred or so pages, and concluded that I made the right decision in DNFing.This book was a complete waste of my time. It gave me a headache. Over a thousand people die? I just Do. Not. Care. This is a book that focuses on the delivery, and not the plot, and it disengaged with me from the very beginning. It is all telling, no showing.This is what I can tell you from having read 75 pages of this book. That's roughly...16% of the book?.- So far, I haven't personally met any of main characters involved in said plane crashes.- So far, I feel no emotion for the plane crashes, and over 1,000 people died.- So far, there has been a number of narrators, all of them unconnected personally, almost all of them are new characters. I don't know if they'll appear again or not. They are mostly faceless.This is a book about an author writing a book about plane crashes which references other books. It features interviews, very unconvincing Skype chats, excerpts from books writteb from families and the personel involved.That's too fucking meta for me. Sorry.I can't stand the epistolary style, and I'm confused as hell. It's the same reason I couldn't get further than a few chapters of World War Z. Where the fuck are my main characters? There are so many characters that I can't keep them straight. There is no single narrator. Nearly every character in every single chapter is new. It's just me, of course, I need a main character. I like a traditional style of writing, and this book was not for me.There's just no emotion, and that's rather sad. This book was published soon after the tragedy of the real-life Flight 370 that disappeared. Hypothetically, I should have felt something reading about the plane crashes in this book. Nope. Zip. Nada.We read about the plane crashes from the people involved, the families of the survivors, of the deceased. The rescue personnel. I feel absolutely nothing for them. I don't care about them. I want my motherfucking mystery.This is the book's structure: It is told through the POVs of fuck knows how many people. The first chapter in this book is the internal narrative of a shy, overweight, neurotic American woman.Truth is, she hadn’t dared use one of the bathrooms at the airport. What if she found herself face to face with one of those futuristic toilets she’d read about in the guidebook and couldn’t figure out how to flush it? What if she accidentally locked herself inside a stall and missed her flight?70+ pages later, we have yet to hear from her again.The next chapter is presented to us as excerpts from a book. Complete with a "Note from the author" section telling us about the tragedy of January 12, 2012 and how she compiled this book.I decided that if I was going to add my voice to the mix, the only way forward was to collate an objective account, letting those involved speak in their own words. To this end, I have drawn from a wide variety of sources, including Paul Craddock’s unfinished biography, Chiyoko Kamamoto’s collected messages, and interviews personally conducted by me during and immediately after the events in question.The "author" of this book is not Sarah Lotz, it's a made-up author named Elspeth Martins.The next few chapters are presented through the form of a Skype chat the likes of which I've never seen before, because the entire chapter is written in entire well-formatted, well-written paragraphs. Then there is the "book" written by a B-grade TV actor "guardian" of one of the child survivors (whom we've yet to meet, by the way) --- who likes talking about himself far too much.I’m often asked, ‘Paul, why did you take on the full care of Jess? After all, you’re a successful actor, an artiste, a single man with an erratic schedule, are you really cut out to be a parent?’I’d gone off the rails a bit in my mid-twenties after a severe professional disappointment. I was in the middle of filming the pilot for Bedside Manner, which was being dubbed as the UK’s next hot hospital drama, when I got the news they were cancelling the series. I’d won the part of the main character, Dr Malakai Bennett, a brilliant surgeon with Asperger’s syndrome, a morphine addiction and a tendency towards paranoia, and the cancellation hit me hard.Do. Not. Care.After skimming the book, I came upon some more particular, some terribly unconvincing chat transcripts between a popular Japanese gamer (Chiyoko and her boy toy otaku Ryu). Who uses way too many emoticons.RYU: Σ(O_O;)!RYU: _|7OWho talks on 2-chan. I've never seen 2-chan so...competent. I've never seen 2-chan give such good advice. It's like it's not fucking 2-chan at all.NAME: ANONYMOUS85Get the weapons loaded.NAME: ANONYMOUS337Train that princess in your sights.NAME: ANONYMOUS23Locked and loaded, SIR!NAME: ANONYMOUS111First, we gotta help Orz get out of his room.NAME: ANONYMOUS47Orz. Some good advice:1. Clean yrself up so that u look as presentable as possible. No bed hair or pimples.2. Go to Uniqlo and get some good clothes nothing flashy.3. Go and see The Princess.4. Offer to buy her dinner.5. At dinner, tell her how you feel.That way, even if she cuts you off, you will have no regrets.It might be the case that later on in the book, the plot comes together. I will actually know what's going on. The story will be compelling, the characters fabulously drawn. I don't care. I'm not hanging around to find out.

  • Will M.
    2019-02-02 19:09

    I once again found a book with an amazing premise, but unsatisfactory execution. Everything screamed awesome, from the mysterious synopsis to the blurb by my favorite author, Stephen King. I wanted to really like this to the point of it becoming one of my favorites, but I guess it didn't deliver much. Don't get me wrong though, this is not a low 3. 3 stars usually means I at least enjoyed some or most parts of the novel. This is one of my high 3s.You have 3 plane survivors, 1 apocalypse preacher, 1 main narrator, and several other characters. What usually goes wrong with several characters? Underdeveloped ones. I hate underdeveloped characters, and this novel had a lot of them. From the useless ones to some who were supposed to be important, but ended up being boring as fuck. There were at least 3 that could've been removed. I didn't like that the author likely added them in to make the novel a lot longer. Useless shit going on usually makes the novel turn from interesting to boring. This is one classic example of that problem. I did like Ryu and the Ice princess (did I remember that right?) and the one with Bobby's story, but all the others were really boring and mediocre. There were way too many characters to begin with, and most of them didn't even impress me.The plot was very interesting at first, but because of all the useless shit going on, it depreciated. The format needed a bit of patience from me for it to start becoming interesting, but once it hit that level, the novel was a breeze to read. I enjoyed the interview-journal format it had. Tedious at first, but I learned to enjoy it as the novel progressed. The story was intriguing, so that made me want to know what was going to happen in the end. While the premise was very interesting, nothing significant happened at all. You can read the first few chapters, maybe a chapter or two from the middle, and the last chapter alone to truly grasp the essence of the novel. There were tons of info dump and filler that should've been removed. It didn't do shit for the character development, nor did it help the plot. That was my main problem with this novel. Useless shit making the novel unnecessarily longer. This can be considered one of those disappointing reads, but still made you want to read the sequel. I honestly cannot wait to get a hold of the sequel. The ending was very vague, although it explained very briefly what the mystery was all about. It wasn't the perfect ending, but I guess it was a bit satisfying that the author removed a bit of the mystery in the ending. It would be a shame if nothing was resolved in the first novel, even though it has a sequel waiting. Every novel deserves a proper ending, and the author managed to give this one a respectable one. It wasn't mind blowing like I expected, but like I said, it was interesting enough to make me want to read the sequel asap.3.5/5 stars. This may never be my favorite novel, but it was fun from time to time. The execution was a lot lacking, but in the end I'm still asking for more. I can't wait to read the sequel and find out what's going to happen next.

  • Lukas (LukeLaneReads)
    2019-02-07 16:11

    I HATE ambiguous endings.I am the type of reader who likes to have a clear outcome at the end of a novel, I can take a little ambiguity, but I really dislike it when a novel more or less leaves it up to the reader to figure out what has been going on in a story. This is what happened for me with this book. When I first heard the blurb of this, I was excited! Plane crashes? The Four Hoursemen of the Apocalypse? Creepy Kids? Lord knows I love me some creepy kid books, I envisioned some kind of epic somewhat fantastical story, but what we get here is more literary horror, or suspense would probably be a better word. It’s not that I don’t like literary horror, but I find it’s something that is hard to do. When you take a premise like this, and attempt to make it literary it can often turn out boring, placing too much time on supposed character development all the while not focusing on the plot that probably hooked the reader to begin with. This is what happens here. Instead of getting lots of creepy shenanigans, we get a story about a writer writing a book of the events after they have happened. The story is told through little experts of certain characters biographies/interviews/etc that overall all relate to the main story of these ‘Three’ peculiar kids. The trouble is, I felt like ‘The Three’ weren’t the main focus of this book, and that the author was too busy trying to make characters ‘real’. At the end of the day, this is a horror novel without the horror. There are also far too many characters, and the book probably could have been cut to shorten the page count. I didn’t despise this novel by any means, and I almost wavered on giving it a three stars, but it was just so slow in places and the mystery reveal was ultimately disappointing, so that’s why I’m going with two stars.

  • Pete Clarke
    2019-01-30 18:30 me a favour. Next time you’re in your local bookshop, go and check out the Horror section. What’s that you say? Your local bookshop doesn’t have a horror section? Okay, well, never mind. Even if it did, chances are it would be filled with nothing more frightening than a bunch of sparkly vampire lotharios, some shambling, post-apocalyptic zomboloids, and a pack of cuddly, maladjusted werewolves. Yawn.As someone whose formative reading years were spent having the living shit scared out of him by Horror heavyweights such as Stephen King, James Herbert, and Clive Barker, to name but a few, it saddens me that the genre has fallen into neglect. I yearn for the days when I could walk into a bookshop, head over to the Horror section, and browse the shelves in search of the latest trouser-browning titles.That’s not to say there are no great contemporary Horror writers out there. Adam Nevill has written some of the most frightening stories I have ever read. The Ritual starts off as a straight-up Man-Versus-Nature story, before unfolding into something altogether more terrifying. And his Banquet for the Damned is one of the few books I have read as an adult that left me truly scared of the dark.John Hornor Jacobs gave us Southern Gods. A Bram Stoker Award nominated masterpiece, it’s a dark, menacing tale set in America’s Deep South. Jacobs serves up an ending so disturbing, it will leave you numb with shock for days. Shit, I still get the shivers just thinking about it.Sadly, books such as these come along once in a blue moon. So, as you can imagine, I’m always on the lookout for The Next Great Horror Novel.Which brings me to The Three, by Sarah Lotz.After reading many gushing pre-release reviews, one in particular proclaiming it "the finest piece of horror I've ever read," my hopes were understandably high. So keen was I to read it, I tried to blag an ARC from the publisher. But seeing as my blog had one little lonely review on it, they passed, telling me I needed to review more books before I'd be considered for an ARC.So I waited.When the release date finally came round I was midway through a mildly tedious epic fantasy in which the magicians snorted gunpowder and said ‘pit’ instead of ‘fuck’. Needless to say, I dropped that baby the moment The Three landed on my Kindle.I wish I hadn’t bothered. What a waste of time.The Three opens well, with four plane crashes happening almost simultaneously across the globe. The only survivors are three spooky children. The fact that these children have survived is nothing short of miraculous. The author drops some tantalising hints about what we might be dealing with—is it terrorism, government conspiracy, aliens, or could it even be the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse? But then the pace slows to a virtual standstill while the author drones on and on and on for hundreds of pages while virtually nothing happens. All the interesting stuff happens off-page, and we hear about it in the form of news articles and twitter feeds, tedious, after-the-fact interviews, and instant messaging transcripts.I'm sure Lotz thought she was being terribly clever with all of this, but to me, she spent too much time focusing on how the story should be told, rather than the story itself.In some respects the book was a success, because, well, I finished it. But it was a chore, and I only did so in the hope that everything would come fizzing into life for the final stages.It didn't.There was no payoff. No big reveal. I still don’t know if it was terrorists or aliens or the Four Bleedin' Horsemen who brought those planes down. For all I know, it was none of the above. Overall, a big, steaming pile of over-hyped meh.

  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    2019-02-09 16:18

    5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum do people read Horror? I’m sure there are many reasons, but I’ll tell you why I do. Few other genres give me that adrenaline rush. I love that growing sensation of dread as the suspense builds, the sound in my ears of my heart pounding faster and faster, that tingling feeling that runs up my arms and spine. I enjoy that in a good horror/thriller novel, and sometimes I go deliberately looking for a good scare.That’s what initially drew me to The Three. To understand why, you also have to know that for years now, I have been struggling with a fear of flying. I can get on a plane, but not without experiencing a lot of anxiety. Hearing or seeing news about plane crashes fills me with crippling panic and visceral terror.And well, you know what they say about fear and fascination going hand in hand? Yeah. When I saw the description for this book, I just knew I HAD to read it.The Three is about four plane crashes that changed the world. They all happened within hours, on the same day, on four different continents. Terrorism and environmental factors are ruled out. In three out of the four catastrophic incidents, a single child survivor is found in amidst the wreckage. Reeling from the news of the disasters, the world struggles to come to terms with this. It shouldn’t be possible. No one could have survived those terrible crashes. People are calling “The Three” a miracle, while others are also coming up with all kinds of conspiracy theories. Some fanatical rapture cults are even calling this the End of Days, claiming that the children represent three out of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Reports of the children’s behavior becoming increasingly disturbing aren’t helping matters, nor are the rumors of strange things happening around them.Ah, so it’s not just about plane crashes either. There’s also creepy children! It’s like this book was specially designed to push all my right buttons! And I know what you’re thinking now, because I also thought the same thing: “Three children? Wait, what about the fourth plane crash?” Just one of the many questions running through my head when I read the book’s description, giving me the heebie jeebies as I played at speculation. It is why I like the UK cover a lot too, once I got a closer look at it.In addition to being an epistolary novel, The Three is also a book within a book, called "From Crash to Conspiracy" authored by the fictional investigative journalist Elspeth Martins. As its title indicates, Elspeth’s book documents the series of tumultuous events over the period of several months following the day of the four air disasters. Told through a collection of interview narratives, book and website excerpts, news articles, voice transcripts, emails, chat history, other forms of correspondence, etc. the book is a disturbing look how quickly fear and panic can make a society spiral out of control. The format proved remarkably ideal for this novel, considering the number of character perspectives involved on an international scale. Stylistically, Sarah Lotz’s decision to tell the story this way also adds an additional layer to the creep factor, due to the implication that some of her narrators are unreliable, including the “author” (Elspeth) herself, whose professionalism is questioned in places where she is accused of cherry picking quotes or misrepresenting a viewpoint in favor of her own biases or for the purpose of creating sensationalism.That said, I normally chafe at ambiguity in my stories. But somehow, The Three makes it work. The way the book is structured, we catch glimpses of the lives of the three children through the eyes of their respective guardians – all of whom have lost someone in one of the plane crashes. There will be mystery and some uncertainty. Did the strange things they report really happen, or are they nothing more than a symptom of shock, guilt and grief? The multiple and varied narratives will keep you guessing and make you desperate to read on for answers, even if the developments are downright spine-chilling. The character Paul Craddock’s (the uncle of one of The Three) first “dictophone chapter” shook me up so badly I almost couldn’t bring myself to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night because it meant having to walk through the house in the dark. Curse this novel for being so engrossing that it made me stay up until 3am reading!If it had been my goal to find a novel that truly scares me, clearly it appears I might have been a little too successful. Granted, I was probably more affected because I am a flight-phobic person; if there is a downside to reading this one as someone scared of flying, it’s that this book will feed your fears. But the upside? THIS BOOK WILL FEED YOUR FEARS. Classic horror paradox; sometimes it’s fun to be scared. I can’t think of the last time I came across a horror novel that unnerved me so deeply. Without a doubt, The Three is one of my top reads this year and deserves to be a huge success.

  • Blair
    2019-02-11 19:18

    The Three is an impossible-to-put down, terrifying and mind-bending novel from Sarah Lotz, a prolific author (under numerous pseudonyms as well as her own name) and screenwriter who nevertheless hadn't come to my attention until I heard about this book. Based in Cape Town, Lotz describes herself as a 'pulp fiction writer' in her Twitter bio, and The Three, which looks likely to be her breakout work, is positioned as 'Lost meets The Passage... for all fans of The Shining Girls and Stephen King'. I haven't read The Passage or much Stephen King, but this book is way better than The Shining Girls and actually lives up to the comparison to Lost. I'm very enamoured with Lotz already.In 2012, four passenger planes crash simultaneously in the US, Japan, South Africa and just off the UK coast. The event becomes known as 'Black Thursday'. No explanation can be found for the crashes, with the involvement of terrorists quickly ruled out, and there are no survivors - with the exception of three young children. 'The Three', as they are dubbed by the press, are Jessica Craddock (UK), Bobby Small (US) and Hiro Yanagida (Japan). Their mysterious, inexplicable survival is the subject of intense speculation, and this reaches fever pitch when an evangelical preacher declares that a garbled voice message left by one of the crash victims - a woman named Pamela who is (or rather was) a member of his congregation - identifies the children as harbingers of an oncoming apocalypse.The Three is actually a book within a book: the bulk of it is formed by 'From Crash To Conspiracy', an assessment of the truth behind the incident and the rumours surrounding the Three, ostensibly written by investigative journalist Elspeth Martins. This, again, is made up of a variety of narratives - most of them eyewitness accounts, but also including magazine articles, blog posts, emails, and transcripts of online and telephone conversations. Some of these are one-offs, others recurring narratives, split into segments so that the story can unfold chronologically. Paul Craddock, Jess's uncle, at first tells his story through chapters from an intended autobiography, then through dictaphone messages recorded for his ghostwriter. Lillian Small, Bobby's grandmother, has a straightforward first-person narrative, as does Reba Neilson, a close friend of Pamela. The parts that focus on Hiro are largely told through online chats between his cousin, Chiyoko, and an internet friend.The structure of The Three makes it incredibly easy to read and equally difficult to put down. I frequently find books compelling, but it's more unusual for me to be glued to a story and unable to stop thinking about it, which is what happened with this - it really got under my skin and I was desperate to get to an answer about whether there was any paranormal explanation for the crashes and the survivors' odd behaviour. I didn't realise until I was writing this review how successfully the author gives each of her characters a unique voice; I didn't notice because she makes it feel completely effortless. It's also really bloody scary ((view spoiler)[Jess's general behaviour, Paul's dreams and the photo of Bobby sitting up and smiling in bed!! AAARGH (hide spoiler)]) - I felt unsettled reading it at night, but couldn't stop. Through the accounts of Elspeth's interviewees and her own experiences, it becomes clear - especially towards the end - that following the events of Black Thursday, a chain of events began that has caused damaging changes to society in the USA and beyond. There is a subtle twist towards dystopia as an extreme right-wing politician is elected President, trading sanctions begin, new divisions open up between nations, and rationing of power and fuel becomes commonplace. The clever thing about these developments is that it's implied they are directly linked to Black Thursday, and may in fact even be a direct consequence of the controversy stirred up by Elspeth's book.I'm not quite sure how to categorise The Three. Like Louise Welsh's A Lovely Way To Burn, it starts off in a recognisable version of the world as it is at present, but by the end it has moved into a nightmarish vision of the near future; however, it doesn't feel right to describe it as fantasy. There is definitely a strong element of horror, but it also retains enough realism that you can read many of these elements as harmless, with a rational explanation, if you choose to (as, indeed, many of the characters choose to do). But maybe I shouldn't be trying to categorise it - it's quite simply a brilliantly, purely enjoyable story, fun and frightening and intense, and I wanted to read it again as soon as I'd finished it. All in all, I loved it and I wish there was more.

  • Kaora
    2019-01-23 22:35

    I'm torn between one and two stars. It is written documentary style, with each chapter being a chat transcript, or interview or article about the events or people involved in the four plane crashes that occurred with only 3 survivors. All children.I normally don't mind this style. With World War Z I felt it was done well and I liked enough of the characters. With this book I didn't like a single character. Not a one.Something that struck me from the beginning was how much race comes into play in this book. To the point where it made me uncomfortable. You can say what you like about Asians, she'd thought, but their children are as cute as buttons.He didn't approve of this boyfriend she had. A Mexican.But the pictures were so grainy you couldn't tell if she was tanned, black or one of those Hispanics.And nationality wasn't even the beginning.Not only was Bobby Small living in a Jewish household... Then there were those stories about the English girl being made to live with one of those homosexuals and the Jap boy's father making those android abominations.I understand that many of the points of view were from religious people and its clear that the author believes religious people are all judgmental, so I tried to play it off as the character but there was just far too much of people being identified by their race or their preferences in the bedroom. It seemed the entire point of the book was to paint religion in as terrible a light as possible. Either that or paint any "non-American" in a very bad and inaccurate light.I can't honestly say I'm for religion. But I'm not against it either. I myself was raised in a Christian home and left the church because of hypocrisy. But that isn't to say that EVERY Christian is hypocritical. There are a lot of amazing Christians out there. But they were not represented in this book.And I think that's what makes me upset. The people represented seem to be the embodiment of the worst stereotypes for religion/race. It wasn't that they were flawed. To say that they were flawed implies that there was at least one fucking REDEEMING QUALITY. And there wasn't.The only thing that kept me going was the foreshadowing, however the end left me with a lot of questions and makes me wonder if there is going to be a sequel.God I hope not.

  • Bradley
    2019-01-24 18:24

    This one's fairly hard to categorize, but based on the style of writing, alone, I can firmly place it in Horror.I have to say that I'm really enjoying all these recent epistolary novels. I always thought the old styles even from classics like Dracula were kinda overblown, but these fit me just fine. Sure, they're transcripts from skype conversations and emails and message boards, but who cares? It lets us see all the kooky craziness of a wide, wide swath of weird humanity, and that's rather the point.The Three (or four) that the novel is ostensibly supposed to be about are rather beside the point. They're merely a fraction of the creepy that this novel has to offer.No. The real monsters, the real aliens, the real possessions, and the real androids are right here among us normals. Hell, there were several references to Left Behind, enough to really point out that this was either a tribute to the whole Rapture scenario or it was one of the most deadpan satires of it. I tend to believe the latter. *shiver* The United Theocratical States of America. Yikes.This is real horror.In the end, it doesn't even matter what the titular characters were, although I'll think about it for a while and probably pick up the sequel because the question is still interesting. The best part of the novel was in looking at the mirror of our societies and all of our deep dark ignorance and our crazy.It was great fun! It was kinda relaxing and let me get my hate on for all the idiots of the world. Isn't that the point?All of the characters were pretty damn detailed and immersed us in the world. The devil is always in the details for the horror novel, after all, and this succeeds quite well. I'm very glad to have read this, even if it's not mind-shattering, truly horror inducing, or terribly original. It is, however, solid and fascinating and modern and tongue-in-cheek, so I'm going to sing it's praises. :) It IS well written. :)

  • Diane S ☔
    2019-01-27 21:23

    3.5 An imaginative and compelling read with a unique structure. The book follows the messages, interviews and articles from an non-fiction book that is published in response to the events in the book's summary, in essence a book within a book. It follows very realistically what happens when a major event strikes the world, at least this is how it is the United States. Many, many news commentators cover the story, they interview anyone they can, they bring in professionals, talking heads, to comment, cover-up and conspiracies are batted around and all the nuts come out of the woodwork. The real story, besides all the suppositions, are those who are now responsible for the three children. Are they the same children? How could they survive? Those taking care of these children all notice that things are not quite right with them. In the case of Paul and Jess, it is intriguing to read his mental descent. At the end the questions remain, what is real and what was not. While this was at times suspenseful, it was not really a horror story. While I am not sure that the events written about could ever happen, the rest of it was very realistic. Good and very different read.

  • Kelli
    2019-02-13 22:21

    I seem to be in a slump, especially with my last few audio choices. I'm several hours into the audio of this and I just need to walk away. I still know as much (after listening for hours) as I knew when I read the book blurb. Im not sure when this will move forward into some plot points but I'm a little bored. I'm betting this wasn't a great choice for audio because it seems the book is deliberately set up as a collection of interviews and snippets of media coverage compiled into a documentary-style nonfiction book about these events, that is then this fiction story I'm listening to. Got it? The premise sounded great and perhaps it is a great story, but It isn't working for me.

  • Leanne
    2019-01-22 20:35

    The blurb for The Three hooked me in as soon as I read it: four plane crashes? Three surviving children, all behaving strangely? Conspiracies? It sounded endlessly intriguing, and the book itself does not disappoint.I can see why it would be polarizing, though - it's comprised of short chapters from the perspective of a large variety of characters (some frequently recurring, some that we never hear from again) and is essentially a book within a book - each chapter is an interview, transcipt, or excerpt of some kind. I wasn't thrilled with the narrative at first, as I was expecting a more straightforward story. I'm easily confused, and I had difficulty keeping the details of each plane crash and all of the names introduced straight in my head. But somewhere around the 100-page mark, I got used to it, and I was officially addicted. We start seeing the reappearance of the guardians/relatives of the Three - Paul Craddock, the uncle of Jessica Craddock (1) and small-time actor who tells his tale through snippets of an intended autobiography and then through a dictaphone for his ghostwriter, Chiyoko, cousin of Hiro Yanagida (2), through online chats with her closest friend, recluse Ryu, and Lillian Small, grandmother of Bobby Small (3) in first person narrative. Through these accounts, the reader starts to see the changes in the children from pre- to post-crash (some subtle, some not so much) and Lotz works in some genuinely creepy and ambiguous scenes. This book makes you ask yourself if something supernatural or alien is actually going on with the children, or if the strange behavior and unnerving situations are merely symptoms of stress and grief. The religious sections of the book were slightly less compelling - during the Japanese plane crash, some of the victims had time to record phone messages and in Pamela May Donald's (the only American on board), she makes reference to her local pastor, who takes this as a sign and concocts a wild theory about the apocalypse that takes flight internationally - but they were fascinating in showing what could happen in a world with a crisis on this global of a scale and a very thoughtful commentary on extremism. The Three is not blatantly scary - but even better, it's subtly sinister and strange. It's completely different from most novels I've read, and if you like creative yet still straightforward formatting, this book is perfect.I don't think I've really been able to adequately summarize the plot or the scope of the story here, but it's better that way - this book should be read knowing as little as possible and spoiler-free. One of my favourites of the summer so far and worth your time if any of the above-mentioned elements appeal to you.

  • Paul Nelson
    2019-02-03 22:15

    I had high expectations with The Three after seeing some of the reviews but in the end was left feeling well, absolutely nothing. The story didn’t hold my attention in any way except the last 50 pages, by then I’d almost given up twice and was generally skipping through without any feeling of missing something vital.On Black Thursday (I think that was what it was called) four commercial airlines crashed in four different continents, all at the same time, from out of the different wreckages came three survivors, three young kids and the start of a worldwide media frenzy.The book is written in the format of an author writing a book, it contains mainly excerpts of interviews with various people on the periphery of the ensuing investigation, family members of the three survivors and a religious group proclaiming of the coming of the four horsemen and the apocalypse. The overall feeling was more of a documentary or case study, which started off ok but very soon became boring, there’s no character narration as such so you never get invested in any hero, villain or any part of the story giving little empathy or compassion for anything.I did feel like giving up several times during the middle of the book but persevered mainly because I’d just paid whatever it was for the hardcover copy, the last 50 pages rescued it a little for me but only enough to bump it up to 2.5 stars. The ending was ambiguous but actually fitted the story and in conclusion I was disappointed with the Three and wouldn’t recommend it.

  • Kristen Shaw
    2019-01-26 23:31

    Interesting idea, poor execution. I felt like I was always waiting for something interesting or thrilling or creepy to happen and I never really got that (with the exception of maybe two moments). I think the main problem was the multiple narrative perspectives. I honestly couldn't care less about 90% of the narrators and found it difficult to differentiate between the different voices. If you're going to assemble a number of different perspectives to tell a story, each narrator has to have their own distinctive voice, and each section has to be clearly unique, or else the intended effect of multiple narratives is lost. It also seems to be a waste of time to include the narratives of, for example, the neighbour of a neighbour who doesn't show up for the rest of the book or add anything interesting to the story. I think this idea would have worked better if the writer was more selective - maybe two or three narrators for each of the "three" so that readers could actually develop a connection to the characters rather than just get little tastes that prevented me from becoming really invested in any one story.

  • Liz Barnsley
    2019-01-31 18:31

    Coming May 22nd from Hodder and StoughtonThank you to publisher and author for the ARC.There are not enough stars...They’re here … The boy. The boy watch the boy watch the dead people oh Lordy there’s so many … They’re coming for me now. We’re all going soon. All of us. Pastor Len warn them that the boy he’s not to­­–The last words of Pamela May Donald (1961 – 2012)Four disasters. Three Survivors. A message to change the world…Yes well. For those of you who were hanging out on Twitter a few days ago if I say “What Sarah Pinborough said” you know you have to immediately add this to your reading list right? If you missed that absolute little gem, sorry, you’ll have to make do with my random rambling. I will attempt to write a more articulate review nearer publication…or I may just leave it at this…So you know when you finish a book and then sob quietly into your pillow thinking “WHY did I read it, now I can NEVER read it again for the first time?”. There is that. And you know when you are reading a book and you have to keep going back and reading sections again because they are so delicious? Yep there is that as well. And very occasionally a book captures your imagination SO much that you look up half expecting to see Kay Burley on Sky News trying desperately to interview random passers by about an event from the book? Yep got that a lot as well…Here we go then. One dark day, four planes crash for different reasons on different continents…from the wreckage of those planes emerge three survivors. All children. One woman who briefly survived leaves a message…and what follows is a series of events that really will change the world. Told as a “book within a book” in an expose style we get an absolutely addictive narrative mixing up interviews, articles and letters from various people involved in the aftermath of that day…and watch open mouthed as the world goes mad. Conspiracy theories are rampant and its all so terribly realistically scary, hence my many “Kay Burley” moments…And creepy children. My achilles heel. See I do NOT get scared by books, movies, random noises in the night but show me a child who is creepy and I’m behind the sofa immediately. But ARE they “creepy”? Or is it just me? It MIGHT be just me. Its probably just me…right? Read the book. Its probably just you….Imaginative, intelligent, brilliantly written, giving any mind an intense work out of the kind that extends into your dreams (or nightmares) and takes over your life for a while, this is absolutely one NOT to be missed. When you can, grab a copy, find a day that is YOURS, find yourself a corner and enter the world of “The Three”…it may be closer than you think…Find out more here if you dare Sarah on Twitter here: Information: Reading Folks!

  • Erica
    2019-02-04 16:16

    Those three stars up there? They're kinda wobbly. One could fall off I think about this book too hard.Like World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, this tale is told via interviews, transcripts, excerpts, and other perspectives after an apocalpytic-ish beginning event occurs - four planes crash on the same day/time in different parts of the world and there are three survivors, all children. dun dun DUUUUUN!The world, or, at least, North America, Europe, and Asia, change as a result. There are theories about why the children survived, there are family members who must deal with the fallout of having a surviving plane crash victim, there are evangelists, some who make money off the tragedy and others who go a bit mad trying to save all the souls before end times get here. It's all brewing together for a big ending.I was riveted for the first half. Were these children changed in any way or were they being perceived as different in light of the circumstances as well as because of the emotional toll their caretakers had suffered over the loss of loved ones? Add to that the media reporting theories regarding aliens, the Four Horsemen, and other explanations of the "Black Thursday" event. It was fascinating to watch the childrens' households cope with their miraculous charges while overcoming grief and trying to move forward in life. Three different cultures and many ideologies were represented. A Jewish NYC grandmother whose husband was lost to Alzheimer's, the emotionally-distant robotics engineer who understood his creations better than he understood humans which is why is socially-maladroit, cynical, sorta-evil niece told his part of the story, and a single, gay British actor who had been on the wagon for years prior to the crashes. There was even a void for comparison. The fourth plane was rumored to have a child survivor but that was neither confirmed nor denied so there was a big blank space in relation to the other three stories. The book progresses via research compiled by a biased journalist but the reader doesn't know until later just how much of the story has been left out by said journalist.See? If it's not going to be a psychological thriller, it's going to be suspenseful in some way as everything comes together, right? There's going to be some jaw-dropping coming, there just has to be with a build-up like that.The thing is, though, around the halfway mark, I got bored. I felt like the story was floundering, going in circles, continuing to build on the tension instead narrowing down to a focus. After I read the end, I had to wonder: What was the point? (No, of course there doesn't even have to be a point, not when you read for entertainment) For me, I would have liked a point. That's not the same as an explanation; I didn't need a big reveal or for everything to be spelled out but (view spoiler)[I'd have liked something more meaty, more impressive, more thought-provoking than the end which pretty much said:(view spoiler)[...and the somewhat asshole journalist went into the woods, found a robot that may or may not have housed a soul of some sort, realized that higher/other life forms are playing Groundhog Day with us, and then she walked away and went missing...perhaps to commit suicide in the forest because it's all just too much, blah blah blah - OR maybe it said ...and the dumb journalist went into the forest, was killed by the collector guy, didn't know she was dead so just kept playing out her life and this is what her conscious told her before she flicked out of existence for good (hide spoiler)] Now, thanks to this book you just read about (I didn't understand how the book was blamed for the election results), America is run by a super conservative tyrant who will run the entire world into economic collapse, so take that, dumbasses! (hide spoiler)]To recap: I was enthralled by the first half. Then I got bored. Then the end was something of a dull fizzle for me.I was kind of reminded of my reaction to the movie "Signs": All that time building up to THIS? Really? Huh. Not so fun, after all.

  • Melissa
    2019-01-30 20:31

    In the spirit of looking on the bright side, I can say that one nice thing about having a death cold take the entire family down (for a solid week now & still going strong!) is that while everyone is laying around languishing & hacking, you can get a lot of reading done. I picked this up in the morning & was done with it by the time the sun went down. This is an excellent book! Four planes crash simultaneously on different continents with a lone child survivor at three of the crashes. Are these children blessed? Aliens? Are they possessed? Who can say, but as the families of The Three, as they’re universally known, start wondering if maybe something is a little off with their loved ones, the religious right in the U.S. scrambles to frame their survival as a sign the apocalypse, clutching at laughably implausible clues that they are the horsemen from the book of revelation. As usual, while some pastors would like to use this information to save souls before the rapture, others want to use it to help consolidate fear-based political power. In the world the Lotz creates, the election of a president who believes in Dominionism is going to be totally super bad news for pesky feminists like myself as well as gays & misbehaving children, seeing as how this sect thinks that abortion, homosexuality, and sassback are crimes that should be punishable by death. While there was a high yikes factor in a lot of the elements here (my personal fave is the recorded ramblings of the uncle of one of the survivors), I found this bit to be particularly disturbing, that fundamentalists could really galvanize the country with their nutty message to the point that everyone rushes out to cast their vote for an American theocracy. I won't lie, at the beginning of the book, written in typical narrative fashion from the perspective of Pam, a passenger on one of the doomed planes, I wasn't too invested in where things were going. But then Lotz turns this into something different; rather than a regular novel, it is actually the book that a fictional author has written about The Three. Told in almost World War Z-ish style, anecdotal & complete with transcripts of phone conversations & cockpit recordings, interviews, and emails, I found this set-up to be much more engaging & eminently devourable. I also have to say, the ending was phenomenal. There’s not a whole lot that Lotz could have done that would’ve made me happier than the way she leaves it – ambiguous, open-ended, and chilling as all hell. Superb.

  • Amanda
    2019-01-29 19:25

    DNF @ 48%. This is the most boring non scary horror ever. The audio narration is fantastic but even two great narrators couldn't save this disaster.

  • Sarah Anne
    2019-02-17 17:34

    DNF @ 71% This book was told in the blah blah blah - oops, I mean documentary style much like the not so blah blah blah World War Z. I need a cast of characters. Why can't I find a cast of characters? Google is failing me.The Highlights:Paul Craddock - self absorbed alcoholic and uncle to one of The Three. Honestly the only character I cared about. Oh, and he was gay, which came into the story a lot.Yomajuri Miajima - a geologist and volunteer suicide monitor at Japan's notorious Aokigahara Forest (how many suicides does this place see? What an awful job)Lillian Small - Her Brooklyn accent was fascinating.Chiyoko Kamamoto - Self styled "Ice Princess" and a thoroughly dislikeable characterHiro - Survivor who is unable to speak. His uncle makes an android that is identical to Hiro that will read Hiro's lips and speak for him. Totally strange.Ryu - GullibleReba - Hmm... Racist/homophobic... pretty much every type of prejudice you can imagine + religious nut.Lola Cando - Former sex worker and website entrepreneur. Actually she was pretty cool. She also had a lot of dirt on some of the more sanctimonious characters.Pastor Len Vorhees - IdiotMona Gladwell - totally loved the "Bobby was so different when he came back" moment. Why was he different? Because he no longer tortured her cat.There were a whole bunch of other characters. Many many many. I think it actually would have worked much better if Lotz had dropped quite a few of the secondary characters and focused on what was going on specifically around The Three. I think that the author tried to make it too much like WWZ, which successfully used many characters. These characters? Blah blah blah. I really didn't care about them, I didn't care what their experiences were, it was just boring.Seriously, how can a book be so bad that you can't stand listening to the last 2.91 hours of it?

  • Rick Fisher
    2019-02-12 23:14

    2.5 stars First, I would like to thank GoodReads giveaways for the opportunity to read and review this ARC for "The Three" by Sarah Lotz. I will review this work honestly and forthrightly. I do not believe in nor agree with rating ARC's with 5 undeserving stars in hopes of continuing to receive free books to read. It is unfair to all readers who hope to illicit sound and true advice from reviewers. I was very excited about this work because the premise was very original and promising. Unfortunately, it really went from great premise to an average and somewhat slow read.The authors ability to write is undeniable. Her style flows so reading is easy. There are more than a few interesting characters. The format reminds me a little of how "World War Z" was fashioned, with interviews and snippets from different people involved. It also, at times, reminded me of "Robopocalypse".So, why a 2.5 rating. The story held my interest for the time I was reading. But, not enough to read it in one sitting. It would slow down so much I would loose interest and sit it down. Once I stopped the reading process, I forgot about the book. GASP. I know, right. But, there was nothing really pulling me back to it. I had to remind myself to pick it up so I could finish and start on something a little, maybe a lot, more interesting.Thus, I got through to the anticlimactic ending. There was so much I was looking forward to. So much wasted and unrecognized potential. I wanted more than I got. I do understand and appreciate Sarah Lotz's dream for this work, but was hoping more for a nightmare and found something hazy, I could barely remember upon awakening.

  • Robyn
    2019-01-30 17:06

    I think maybe I'm just not a horror-fan. This has an interesting plot and was amusingly out together, but I just didn't connect with the story.

  • Kristin(MyBookishWays Reviews)
    2019-02-20 16:22 planes crash in different places throughout the world. Three children, one from each of three sites, are the only survivors, although there are pervasive rumors of a fourth. An American woman (the only one on a Japanese flight), Pamela May Donald, supposedly survives long enough after one of the crashes to leave a cryptic message on her phone, directed at a certain Pastor Len, that alludes to a boy and “the dead people.” This leads Pastor Len to believe that the children may be three of the four horsemen, and that the end times are approaching. That sounds more simplistic than it really is, though. There is a progression, not only of events, but of certain ideas, that lead to such apocalyptic talk, and a rather odd fervor is created. But, a little should be said about the survivors. All are of a certain age (under 10) and come from fairly different backgrounds, two boys and a girl. Jess Craddock is sent to live with her gay uncle Paul, little Bobby’s grandparents, including a grandfather suffering from Alzheimer’s, takes him in, and little Hiro Yanagida, the son of a brilliant Japanese robot expert, is left with his aunt and cousin. The boy, in fact, communicates only through a lifelike robot that his father has created in his image. If you think that sounds creepy, you’d be right. The story of these three unusual kids is told in book-inside-a-book form, called Black Thursday: From Crash to Conspiracy by Elspeth Martins, and each tale is laid out in quite different ways. Paul and Jess’s tale plays out via Paul’s confessional style voice recordings, Bobby’s by way of interviews of his grandmother and neighbors, and Hiro’s in the form of his teen cousin Chiyoko’s instant messages to a lonely young man, Ryu, that longs to be with her. There’s also a search going on for “Kenneth”, the rumored survivor of the Africa crash. Also in the mix is testimony from the crash investigators and a few others. It makes for a potent brew.This is a complex book, and there’s really no easy way to sum up the events. I can say that Lotz is an expert in the creepies, but I already knew that (see The Mall, her novel as ½ of SL Grey). For example, Pamela’s plane lands in Aokigahara, also known as the Suicide Forest or Sea of Trees. It’s estimated that up to 100 suicides occur there each year. There are actually signs there encouraging people to reconsider their actions. Like I said, creepy. Hauntingly beautiful, but creepy. Pamela’s last vision before her death includes some of the most unsettling imagery in the book. The kids are certainly a bit “off”, most of all Jess, and Bobby seems to have a miraculous effect on one of his family members. The biggest clue to what’s going on, early in the book, comes from Jess, and her uncle’s suspicion that she’s not the real Jess begins to consume him. His spiral is devastating, but you won’t be able to tear your eye’s away.It’s not worth your time to try to plug this book into any particular genre. It has horror elements, certainly, and thriller elements, but considering the end times angle, and Pastor Lem’s certainty that The Three are harbingers of Revelations being upon us, it’s also a very clever, and thoughtful exploration of extremism in all its forms, and also our fascination with disaster and its aftermath. Lotz’s character studies are nothing short of fascinating, and if the book’s structure kept me at arm’s length from the characters a bit, that’ s ok, because this book is so damn cleverly put together, and Lotz’s attention to detail is phenomenal. The Three will reward readers in the end, at least it did me, and each little slice of life, and death, that I experienced along the way was a treat. The Three is a solid, absorbing-and yes, creepy-solo effort from a very talented author. Can’t wait to see what she does next!

  • Michele Harrod
    2019-01-27 18:34

    I really wasn't sure what to expect when I picked this up, but in a very short time I was quite riveted. Wonderfully original in both style and content - this was very reminiscent to me of Stephen King's "Needful Things" in so far as it was an expose of human nature in the face of extraordinary events. We really don't do well with things we don't understand!! I loved it for reminding me of that so beautifully. This really is a wonderful mix of humour, horror, thriller, and a rollicking good story. I'd be very surprised if this wasn't made into a TV series already - it has the makings of one from the get go. Packed with some great characters, some of whom on their own make this worth reading. Such as Lillian - whose gentle depictions of what it is like to lose a beloved husband and best friend to Alzheimers, alone made this well worth reading. I had no idea this had the dreaded #1 in the title - which may have deterred me from reading, as I am a bit over the endless run of series - but yes, I will definitely read the next one - or anything else Sarah Lotz writes for that matter.

  • Bonnie
    2019-02-21 00:32

    My rating: 4.5 of 5 starsI received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.When four planes crash on separate continents with a child being the sole survivor in each crash except one, the day becomes known as Black Thursday and the survivors become known as The Three. A woman named Pamela May Donald survives long enough to record a message on her cell phone, a warning that many go on to believe is a message straight from God.“They’re here. [...] The boy watch the boy watch the death people oh Lordy there’s so many… They’re coming for me now. We’re all going soon. All of us.”Conspiracy theorists believe the children have been abducted by aliens or are possessed by the devil but the religious zealots are convinced that these children are representative of the four horseman of the apocalypse and that there is a fourth child that did survive and must be found. When these children are returned to their relatives, they indicate an unsettling change in these children but wouldn’t that be something one would expect after being the sole survivor of a horrific plane crash? The real question here is: Are they right to be worried about what’s going on with these children and their mental state or is it all just a product of the conspiracy theorists and their stories taking root in everyone’s minds?The Three is actually written as a non-fiction book entitled “Black Thursday: From Crash to Conspiracy” which is written by the fictional character Elspeth Martins. For those of you who have read World War Z by Max Brooks, The Three is written in a similar manner by using witness testimonies but also chat room transcripts, news articles and blog posts. The chapters bounce back and forth between various individuals associated with the survivors and tells the story of life following the crash, with constant foreboding of a bleak future for all involved. Normally, I would find this writing style and constant switch back and forth between various individuals to be jarring but each and every witness accounting was incredibly interesting and I was completely engaged, eager for the next detail of these peoples lives.The Three is a compelling and well-written novel that showcases a unique style of writing that was completely absorbing. It unfortunately suffers greatly from an ambiguous ending. An ambiguous ending filled with so many unknown factors can leave the reader with an uneasiness that warrants contemplation well after the book is finished, and while The Three has in fact kept me contemplating, I don’t feel the author gave enough answers to formulate my own opinion of what was truly going on. I don’t expect (or desire) that a story have a perfectly wrapped up with a bow on top sort of ending but turning that final page and having more answers than questions should be a given. Regardless, I still thoroughly enjoyed this mesmerizing novel and eagerly await more from this author.

  • Gamze
    2019-01-20 16:32

    3-3,5Kitap ile ilgili beni hayal kırıklığına uğratmayan tek şeyin sadece kapak olduğunu söylesem çok mu acımasız olurum acaba?Kitabın olay örgüsü birkaç saat arayla düşen 4 uçak ve bunlardan sağ kurtulan 3 çocuk ve onlardan sorumlu insanların etrafında geçiyor.Konuyu bilmeyen yoktur, o nedenle direk görüşlerimi belirtmek isterim.Büyük bir Supernatural fanı olaraktan ilk başta tanıtımı yapılırken "mahşerin dört atlısı" gibi cümlelerin beni kitaba çektiğini itiraf etmeliyim. O nedenle haliyle beklenti fazlaydı. Yazarın kalemi çok tuhaftı. Açıkçası ilk 60 sayfalar kitaba adapte olamadım, aklımın ucundan acaba yarım bıraksam sonra mı devam etsem diye geçmedi de değil hani..Sonra sardı ortalarda büyük keyif aldım. Gerçi maalesef 200lerde falan sanırsam olayların gidişatının sonunun nasıl olacağını öğrenmiş oluyorsunuz, hiçbir süprize yer bırakmıyor kitap..Kitap benim için biraz "görüntü var ses yok" gibiydi.Hele son. İnanın yıkıldım. Hay dedim böyle yazara yazıklar olsun. Bu son oldu mu hiç, dedim.. Seri olsa falan anlarım o şekilde noktalamasını kitabı. Ama seri falan değil, tek kitapta böyle saçma sapan son mu olur!Kesin okuyun veya asla tavsiye etmem diyemiyorum. Karar sizin..

  • Rochelle
    2019-01-21 19:07

    Such a same that this book let me down so much. The idea of it give me a thrill thinking it would be a good shock to the system. Nope I was wrong. The children were not anything spooky at all and I was pretty disappointed that they just end up being killed! The whole book written by interviews and emails and chat rooms was really unappetising to the mind. My honest opinion is why was this book published?

  • Siobhan
    2019-01-22 19:19

    I’m going to be honest and say I was really excited about this one. I overlooked the negative reviews to begin with, mainly because the idea of the book caught my interest much more than I had been expecting it to. However, after getting part way through the book I decided I probably shouldn’t have overlooked what other people were saying. Don’t get me wrong, it is not as bad as some people would have you thinking… but at the same time it is very far away from being the scary read that other people suggest it to be.Okay, let me clear up some things. My problem is not with the layout of the book. I know some people have a problem with the layout but for me it was interesting to see the story unfold through snippets of interviews and newspaper articles. It decreased the scare factor yet it made things unique and interesting. What ruined it for me was the fact that through this we know quite early on how things were going to play out. References were made to future events which could have been surprising. Rather than having the question of whether or not things would be resolved we knew what to expect. Such a thing completely ruined the suspense of the book of me.As well written and interesting as it was, I couldn’t bring myself to give the book more than three stars as too much was given away too soon. Moreover the ending… it simply didn’t sit quite right with me. I get that the author was trying to do something different but I don’t think it worked out as well as was planned.As a whole I was rather disappointed by this one.

  • Rinn
    2019-01-23 00:15

    I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher, Hodder, in exchange for an honest review. Also posted on my blog, Rinn Reads.The Three is unlike any book I’ve ever read. It’s a fictional non-fiction book (!) comprised of eyewitness accounts, interviews, IM chats and transcripts. Focusing around an event known as ‘Black Thursday’, where four planes crashed at the same time all over the world for unknown reasons, it is a book within a book. Between the four crashes, there were only three survivors: all young children, who don’t quite seem themselves after the event. You would think this not usual, considering what they’ve been through, but various people latch on to different theories about what ‘The Three’ might be. These range from the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse to aliens, to possession and many other crackpot theories. What’s immediately clear is that something isn’t quite right…It is certainly a unique way of telling a story, and despite the size of the book (close to five hundred pages), definitely one to be read quickly. It keeps you drawn in, every page reveals new information whilst keeping you guessing. I mean, this is a book that managed to draw me away from the Steam sales and all my shiny new video games so that’s got to be something, right? ;) As I read more of the story, the creepier moments began to appear – suddenly and completely out of the blue, exactly as they should be! However, I don’t feel the book was ever quite as ‘terrifying’ as several reviews have claimed.Unfortunately, there were two major things that pulled the book down a rating for me. The first was that I felt an utter lack of connection to any of the characters, because of the way the book was written. It felt very detached and impersonal, with all these interviews and eyewitness accounts – although they were following the same people, there was no room for character development or even really getting to know any of them. Even with the ‘author’ of the book within the book, and her sidenotes – absolutely no connection to the character. I would have loved more information about ‘The Three’ before the crash: although we’re told by friends and relatives that they’re different post-Black Thursday, we don’t know how. The reader has no real idea what any of the children were like before the event, so the creepiness of the change is rather toned down.The second reason was the completely open and ambiguous ending. I actually felt really frustrated at this, and in a way it sort of felt like the author just couldn’t be bothered to come up with an explanation for the events. When I read a thriller, I like to try and guess why something has happened, what is causing it, who is behind it etc – it’s quite satisfying to get it right! But as there was no answers or explanations for the past four hundred odd pages, I felt a bit cheated.In conclusion, a read that draws you in and grips you – and is thoroughly enjoyable – but doesn’t quite deserve the ‘horror’ tag. Perhaps if there’d been some explanation or a proper conclusion, it would have been worthy of five stars in my eyes, but unfortunately it doesn’t quite cut it!

  • Sonja Arlow
    2019-01-21 22:18

    I first heard about this author on Talk Radio 702 where they were discussing a host of SA authors. The second reason why this novel caught my eye is that just weeks before the radio interview I found out about the eerie Suicide Forest in Japan where dozens of Japanese choose to take their own lives every year. I watched a clip on YouTube and it made for chilling viewing.So I was thrilled to get my hands on this book as the storyline sounded excellent. 4 Planes go down at exactly the same time but in different areas of the world Japan, UK, USA and South Africa. And only 3 children miraculously survive. And as time goes on it becomes clear that something is not right with these children….The book takes multiple formats. From Skype interviews, chat room conversations, book excerpts, 3rd person narratives and documentary style reports. I think this helped to distinguish between the different sites, cultures and narratives. I could not stop reading this and up to the 60% mark I was willing to give this a 4 star review. However there were a few things that bothered me.1) The build-up and eerie feeling that surrounded the children never really went anywhere2) I would have loved to see more in the book about the Cape Town crash (seeing that I live in South Arica and the first chapter about the crash was done so well)3) The ending, though not as disappointing for me as for other readers, could have done with a bit more of a sizzle and bang.I did like how the author took on a wide range of extremist groups. From government conspiracy theorists, alien abduction groups and end of times religious fanatics, it all made for good reading. After finishing I read a few 1 star reviews and saw more than once that other readers complained that the author portrayed religion, in general, in a bad light. I completely disagree, unless you are part of a fanatical religious cult then I don’t see how any offence can be taken.The bulk of the book is spent exploring the reactions of these extreme groups so this should serve as a warning to any reader thinking they are going to be reading a fast paced, horror filled book. As there are also a huge amount of narratives you don’t really get under the skin of most of them but overall I enjoyed the reading experience. Had it not been for the lacklustre finish I would have given this a higher rating.

  • Angel Erin
    2019-02-02 21:20

    Stephen King is my favorite author of all time. So when I saw he raved about The Three I decided to read it. Why not? The Three had been on my to-read list for a while already anyway. Also, the last novel I read that Stephen King raved about was The Troop by Nick Cutter. Which turned out to be absolutely amazing. The Deep by Nick Cutter is also an extremely good read. Well I definitely will have to look up some more novels Mr. King recommends because he knows what he is talking about.The Three starts off with four plane crashes within hours of each other. All of the crashes occurred on different continents. Out of the four plane crashes there are three survivors (one from each of the plane crashes, except one that had none), all of them children. A religious nutter claims that the children are the horsemen of the apocalypse and that a fourth child will be found from the fourth wreckage. The surviving children all begin to exhibit bizarre behavior and even those closest to them begin to have questions... The book is written in documentary style. It's set up as if you are reading real interviews, chat transcripts, articles, and such piled together for a novel. It kind of reminded me of how World War Z was set up, but done a lot better. I wasn't sure I would like that at first, but it really did add to the story.I'm not sure I would count The Three as a horror novel even though it seems to be marketed that way. It's more of a mystery/thriller with a few spots of creepiness. Overall The Three was very good, but there are some parts that were a bit dull. There is a lot going on that is more about what is said/not said and the book does not rely on action. This is NOT an action packed book, although there is some, it's a book where you have to think. Let your imagination fill in the blanks and wonder, what if this was real? It's a book where there are no real answers at the end and you have to decided what you believe. The Three is a great book if you can get past a few boring parts. I enjoyed it and I can't wait to read the next in the series, Day Four. Which Mr. King has also recommended. Perhaps some answers will be given to us in that book. I recommend The Three for people interested in the apocalypse, creepy children, books without definite answers, and fans of thrillers.

  • Kirsten
    2019-02-15 22:20

    An entertaining novel with a unique premise and format, however, I felt it never achieved the menace and chills it promised. The best bits were the ones with Paul and Jessica. Those were some excellent scenes. (A book written from Paul's POV could be very chilling.)I did find the story very engaging and the thought of theocracy is terrifying.