I try not to get too engrossed in politics, and while I use technology on a daily basis, I don’t trust computers, as a rule. The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow is a book I could have written. Anything along these lines that I would attempt would fall short of the genius behind this creation. So let’s break it down shall we?
Right out of the gate the reader gets a detailed explanation of the political weather. Bow goes into the history of the AI, Talis, how he took control and how he kept it.
Enter the Preceptures, akin to monasteries where the children of world leaders are held hostage to keep peace. If war is declared, the children are forfeit. These children are called the Children of Peace. Greta was such a child and had come to terms with her imminent demise, or so she thought, until a new hostage arrives and changes everything she understood about the Precepture.
Elián Palnik arrives at the Precepture in chains and spends most of his time there bound to one AI or another designed to discipline troublemakers. Greta sees Elián’s arrival, sees his “discipline” and begins to question the sanctity of her own life. Elián fought so hard for freedom, so hard to live, and she had simply accepted her own death.
When Elián’s grandmother Wilma Armenteros takes control of the Precepture, Greta understands who she is and what she is willing to fight for.
Greta fights for control of her body, her mind, but most importantly to her, her love. She wants to live. She wants to live because she is in love with Li Da-Xia, her best friend, because she wants to change how the world works. Because she wants a true peace. So when it comes down to it, she has a choice, become AI, or die as a hostage of war.
She becomes AI.
She saves the Precepture, saves Elián, Da-Xia, all of her friends and thousands of civilians who would have been killed in attacks from Talis and Greta’s mother, the queen of the PanPol Confederacy. She sacrifices her humanity for peace. She is a Child of Peace, the very embodiment of the title. A slave to a crown, a hostage to a treaty, yet she chose her own fate, and it saved countless lives.
Every moment is a choice. Our lives are not as dramatic as Greta’s. We may not be children of important people, but we could become important people. Look at the sacrifice Greta made and think if you would do the same to save lives of strangers.
Choose your own fate.