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The Three: A Novel | [Sarah Lotz]

The Three: A Novel

The world is stunned when four commuter planes crash within hours of each other on different continents. Facing global panic, officials are under pressure to find the causes. With terrorist attacks and environmental factors ruled out, there doesn't appear to be a correlation between the crashes, except that in three of the four air disasters a child survivor is found in the wreckage.
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Publisher's Summary

Four simultaneous plane crashes. Three child survivors. A religious fanatic who insists the three are harbingers of the apocalypse. What if he's right?

The world is stunned when four commuter planes crash within hours of each other on different continents. Facing global panic, officials are under pressure to find the causes. With terrorist attacks and environmental factors ruled out, there doesn't appear to be a correlation between the crashes, except that in three of the four air disasters a child survivor is found in the wreckage.

Dubbed "The Three" by the international press, the children all exhibit disturbing behavioural problems, presumably caused by the horror they lived through and the unrelenting press attention. This attention becomes more than just intrusive when a rapture cult led by a charismatic evangelical minister insists that the survivors are three of the four harbingers of the apocalypse. The Three are forced to go into hiding, but as the children's behaviour becomes increasingly disturbing, even their guardians begin to question their miraculous survival....

©2014 Sarah Lotz (P)2014 Hachette Audio

What the Critics Say

"Lotz is a ferociously imaginative storyteller whose twisty plots will kick the stairs out from under you. She's a talent to watch." - Lauren Beukes, author of The Shining Girls

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.3 (121 )
5 star
 (17)
4 star
 (43)
3 star
 (34)
2 star
 (15)
1 star
 (12)
Overall
3.2 (105 )
5 star
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4 star
 (34)
3 star
 (26)
2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.9 (105 )
5 star
 (35)
4 star
 (40)
3 star
 (17)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (7)
Performance
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  •  
    Lisa 05-24-14
    Lisa 05-24-14

    I have always loved to read. Discovering audible has been great for a multitasker! Sorry for any misspells on reviews!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    113
    ratings
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    83
    22
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    23
    3
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    Story
    "Different"

    I normally would not like a book put together like this. It is written as reading a book within a book and continually changes view points of multiple characters some significant and some just adding another small piece to the puzzle. The author with the help of some great narrators pulls this off well to make a smooth and highly interesting story. I don't want to say much to spoil the plot other than I had to listen straight through. The ending left me a little disappointed as I never really knew for sure what the kids were, it just gives you an idea of what they are but not an definitive answer. The narrators were excellent, they did so well that you could forget your listening to a book and just become immersed in it.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Napa 06-05-14
    Daniel Napa 06-05-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    5
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Meh"
    What would have made The Three better?

    The Three is like many books in the horror/suspense genre. Its premise and character development are much stronger than the plot. As a result, the conclusion of the book feels unsatisfying relative to the investment made by the reader/listener. I think this book would be much stronger had the author figured out a way to deliver her "make you wonder" conclusion within the construct of a single narrative style. Most of the novel is spent within a book-inside-a-book done in the recounting style of World War Z. The very beginning and very end are spent in standard third-person narration. This shift is distracting and makes the ending feel a bit more like a letdown.


    What was most disappointing about Sarah Lotz’s story?

    The underlying question of the novel is "who or what are the Three?" The conclusion is intended to leave you going "whoa" or "what the!?!" Instead, I found myself going "meh". I do not want to spoil the ending, so it is difficult to elaborate. I believe the author's intent with the ending is to make you rethink various clues throughout the novel. Fair enough. I enjoy books that try to do this. But it is a little annoying with this book because the punchline does not really answer the underlying question. And the punchline is simply not strong enough to make you want to reflect back upon the nuances of the story.


    Have you listened to any of Andrew Wincott and Melanie McHugh ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I was unfamiliar with the work of the narrators. They both did an excellent job.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The Three draws you in with its premise and character development. My feelings about this novel are similar to my feelings about many of Stephen King's books -- the plot and conclusion were a bit of a letdown. Like King, I think Ms Lotz could easily hit a home run with a future novel.


    Any additional comments?

    There is an interesting commentary in the background of this book about the potential for the Christian Right to gain control of the US government such that the American republic is radically reshaped. I think the book could have gone in a very interesting direction by exploring this idea in more detail.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew SEATTLE, WA, United States 06-11-14
    Matthew SEATTLE, WA, United States 06-11-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    911
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    234
    202
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    149
    14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Book your ticket now!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    If only for the performances alone, I highly recommend this offering. The 2 readers are simply stunning. Even several weeks after listening to it, I think of the characters and the way they were brought to life in the reading.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Three?

    The conclusion, though somewhat contrived, is truly a revelation. I can anticipate ( and hope for ) a sequel.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    As above.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    True Survivors?


    Any additional comments?

    This is a sprawling, powerful and fascinating book. I can't say enough about the performers . Highly recommended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily Portland, OR, United States 06-30-14
    Emily Portland, OR, United States 06-30-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    4
    3
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    0
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    Story
    "The narrators nearly ruined it for me."
    Would you be willing to try another one of Andrew Wincott and Melanie McHugh ’s performances?

    NO. The accents both of them used were distracting and often incongruous. I hated the narration.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerry Lee Jones Jr 04-21-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    26
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "No answers"

    I found parts of this book very intriguing, but I kept waiting for the crescendo that never came. It felt very much like an unfinished story.

    The setup was neat. The book is a series of interviews that piece together a tragic accident and the aftermath for families and the world written by a fictitious author who eventually becomes part of the narrative. You really are drawn into the private horror that some families living with the changes fate has foisted upon them.

    But, ultimately, I found myself to be annoyed with the book. Some of the consequences surrounding the fallout of the accident were too far-fetched and ill-conceived to be a believable or even logical part of the story. Aside from the feeling of an unfinished story, perhaps my biggest issue was that the setup of the book didn't allow the author to spend more time fleshing out the larger sociopolitical elements of the world. That setup made revelations in the latter half seem incongruous to the overall story.

    So, the book goes like this. Lots of time on heart-wrenching family stories, the world falls apart, the end.

    But, perhaps, I simply don't want to admit I live in such a fragile world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicoleabouttown Toronto 04-08-15
    Nicoleabouttown Toronto 04-08-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not a Horror"

    Despite what the description says. It's more a suspense book. If you like very clear cut endings, this is not for you as the ending is very open ended.

    performers were fabulous. Had no problem following the different characters at all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie Moreland Orlando, FL, US 02-28-15
    Stephanie Moreland Orlando, FL, US 02-28-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    10
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    "waste of money."

    I finished it because I kept thinking there would be answers. no explanations for the main plot line. A mystery never explained. . there are no answers. spoiler alert: the survivors are the mystery. why? who are they? what are they? we get small glimpses, at best 3-4 sentences about each survivor and clues as to who or what. then they all die or get killed. At the end (after all 3 die) we are forced to listened to about 8-10 more chapters of nothingness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruthie California, USA 11-10-14
    Ruthie California, USA 11-10-14 Member Since 2014

    Associate Fashion Designer. Artist. Day dreamer. Book in my bag at all times.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    5
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    "Intriguing!"
    What did you love best about The Three?

    Twist in the story really keep the readers on their toes. All the characters are developed well and each story is sooo crazy.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janie O'brien US 07-05-14
    Janie O'brien US 07-05-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    65
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    115
    62
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    5
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    "Don't waste a credit"

    unfortunately there had not been any reviews when I purchased this book, or I would not have made the purchase. I do take note of reviews, if they are intelligently written....this book is all over the place and goes nowhere....

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerry Calabasas, CA, United States 05-25-14
    Jerry Calabasas, CA, United States 05-25-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    6
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    0
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    "One Word Sums Up My Feelings "Boring""
    What disappointed you about The Three?

    I found the storytelling style difficult at best to follow. Maybe if I had read this book as a printed novel it would have worked better .But as an audio presentation, listening to it in segments, it was too difficult to follow.


    What was most disappointing about Sarah Lotz’s story?

    The style and I just didn't care about any of the characters, let alone like them. The author kept repeating the story. At one point I turned it off, I got so bored with it that I didn't care what happened.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    None.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It was a brave attempt at a different type of storytelling, it just didn't work.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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