I’m back with another book review! Can you feel the excitement? No? Well you should.
Today, I’ll be reviewing Jay Posey’s novel, Three. It’s a great mix of Sci-Fi, Horror, and Action/Adventure that is part Mad Max, a scoop of Star Trek’s the Borg, throw in a dash of Clint Eastwood’s The Man With No Name Trilogy, and add to that much of the fighting style of the Matrix movies (at least in my opinion). There’s swordplay, gunfights, and even some pretty nifty hand-to-hand combat. While it may be difficult to pinpoint exactly what Three is, one thing’s for sure: readers are in for one hell of a ride!
The world has collapsed, and there are no heroes any more.
His name is Three, a travelling gun for hire in a dying world. He has no allegiances, no family, no ties.
Against his better judgment, he accepts the mantle of protector to a sick woman on the run, and her young son. Together they set out across the plains in search of a mythic oasis, attempting to survive the forces that pursue them, and the creatures of the dark.
In these dark times, a hero may yet arise.
All Three wanted was to collect his bounty and leave…
This book starts off fast and launches readers into a post apocalyptic society where people and technology go hand in hand. Normal folks like you and me would be considered strange because we’re off the grid, not plugged in. Whole cities are abandoned and left to decay, bending under time’s steady fist. Only a handful of large cities stand where citizens live a moderately peaceful existence away from the dangers of the night, the dreaded Weir.
The Weir were a great addition to Mr. Posey’s world. Think of what would happen if a cyborg’s machine parts kept their human parts going after those same human parts had expired. You get something like a Borg crossed with a zombie. The Weir rule the night and folks tend to lock themselves indoors until sunrise.
Our main character is Three, an apparent bounty hunter and lone wolf who prowls the wastes earning cash by tracking and capturing people with prices on their head. Like X-Men’s Wolverine, he’s the best in the world at what he does…and what he does isn’t very nice. When I think of Three, I see a mixture of Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name, Vin Diesel’s Riddick, and even Marvel’s Wolverine. He’s tough, great in a fight, but disconnected from much of humanity. He prefers to be alone with no distractions or anyone/anything weighing him down. Yet, deep down, he cares.
As he waits for one of the local peace keepers to scrounge up his bounty, a desperate woman and small child burst into the bar and beg for help. There’s something in the way the kid looks at Three that makes him go against his gut instinct to not get involved. Things really take off from there.
What I really like about this book is how Mr. Posey gives readers just enough info to keep them turning pages but keeps much of the grander picture shrouded in shadow. Readers know Three is different, special. We never really understand to what extent…and I like him having an air of mystery about him. That’s where I pull the Clint Eastwood reference from. Three feels like a tortured hero from an old western, a man you don’t want to cross but are grateful to have on your side. He’s mysterious…in a good way.
After taking in the woman and child, Three promises to get them to where they want to go. The people after them naturally have something to say about that and a chase ensues.
If you like pulse pounding chases, flawed heroes, fast and furious action sequences, and villains you want to stab in the eye, then you must read Three. Add to that the brilliant creation of the Weir, and the accompanying visuals, and you’ve got all the ingredients of an engaging, and easy, read. I could easily see this book being turned into a video game or film. Perhaps both.
What I liked:
- Three’s character. Jay slowly pulls back the curtain on his main character and gives readers a chance to get to know him through what he does and how he thinks in real time. He’s careful to not give too much away too soon adding a sense of mystery to Three. I found it refreshing to have healthy questions throughout the book. Well done.
- The pacing. From the first page to the last, readers know they’re to strap in and hold on as this book speeds along.
- The setting. C’mon, a believable post apocalyptic setting is never a bad thing. Long forgotten buildings, secret safe houses, and desert wastelands support the overall story arc and concepts. Readers are never beaten over the head with too much setting though. You’ll find a nice balance of description and action as characters make their way across the desolate landscape.
- The Weir. I don’t think I’ve ever seen characters like the Weir. The closest I can come is the Borg, from Star Trek TNG. When it’s dark and you see the soft blue glow racing toward you, you better haul ass!
- The action. There’s something for everyone with all the fight scenes in this book–shootouts, sword fights, and epic hand-to-hand combat. The scene toward the end where Three, Cass, and Wren are surrounded by Weir and trying to hold out until dawn is definitely the most memorable.
- The desperation. These characters, good and bad, all do what they must to survive. There are those who have, and those who have not. Take a wrong turn and you may wind up at the end of a slaver’s leash. Take too long foraging and the gate to the city may be closed leaving you to fend for yourself as the Weir awaken for the night. Mr. Posey does a fantastic job depicting a society barely clinging to some semblance of normalcy while constantly looking over their shoulder.
- The backstory. This is closely tied to my first point, but I believe Mr. Posey has plenty of material to explore for future works. He does an excellent job of giving readers just enough info to get them through without giving away all his secrets. I can’t wait to learn more about Three’s origins, how the Weir work, and where Wren’s abilities come from. *glares at Jay*
What I didn’t like:
- The overuse of commas. There are stretches in this book where Mr. Posey uses five or more commas in consecutive sentences. I understand the need to convey the right emotion, or any number of other information but what’s wrong with varying sentence length/structure? It can get on a guy’s nerves after a while.
- Character’s being repetitive. I understand Three believes he shouldn’t have taken Cass and Wren under his wing, but do we need to constantly be reminded of it? The same goes for Cass worrying about her son…all the damn time! I was annoyed with how many times I was reminded of both things…over and over and over again. We get it. Move on.
- The ending. It wasn’t a bad ending…just…I didn’t like the way a certain character behaved. I didn’t feel like it fit with what readers were led to believe about them. Why wouldn’t they incapacitate their enemy by…say…breaking a leg or something?
Overall: I’m giving Three, by Jay Posey, four out of five stars. Three has moved straight to the top of books I’d like to see made into a major motion picture. I could easily see this being a summer blockbuster. This is Science Fiction done right–presented in an approachable and non-judgmental way that any reader can enjoy. There’s something for long time Sci-Fi fans to love as well as being friendly enough for the casual fan too. All-in-all, you can’t go wrong with Three. Give this great book a try! Oh, and bring on the sequel!
You can find more about Jay Posey and his books by following this link to his official site: http://jayposey.com/