The Rule Of Three: The Neighborhood; Book 1 by Eric WaltersThe Rule Of Three: The Neighborhood; Book 1 by Eric Walters

The Rule Of Three: The Neighborhood; Book 1

byEric Walters

Paperback | January 13, 2015

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One ordinary afternoon, every single machine in sixteen-year-old Adam’s high school computer lab stops working. At first the problem seems to be an electrical outage, but it quickly becomes apparent that it is far more serious. Outside, cars won’t start, phones are down, and a blackout is widespread. Adam is surprised to find that his ancient, cyber-free car is one of the only vehicles to function. And he senses a rising storm tide of anger and fear as he drives home past hundreds of stranded motorists.

Soon Adam will discover that the problem has paralyzed not just his town but the whole region if not the whole country and beyond. Soon—as resources dwindle, crises mount, and chaos descends—he will see that his suburban neighborhood must band together for protection. Soon violence will erupt and Adam will understand that having a police captain for a mother and a retired government agent living next door are not just the facts of his life but the keys to his survival. 

Award-winning author Eric Walters is one of Canada’s best-known and most prolific writers of fiction for children and young adults. He has published over eighty novels, which have won over one hundred awards, including eleven separate children’s choice awards, and have been translated into over eleven languages around the world. He...
Title:The Rule Of Three: The Neighborhood; Book 1Format:PaperbackProduct dimensions:432 pages, 8.25 × 5.25 × 0.84 inShipping dimensions:8.25 × 5.25 × 0.84 inPublished:January 13, 2015Publisher:PRH Canada Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:014318752X

ISBN - 13:9780143187523


Rated 4 out of 5 by from I loved it! this book was very interesting and thrilling, making me think what I would do if all the power was gone and i had to work with my neighbors to survive. there are a lot of action packed moments, sometimes leading you on a path that you didn't expected.
Date published: 2018-09-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Did Not Finish I was really excited about this book because the concept sounded really interesting. With the exception of being from a teenager's point of view, it seemed like it wasn't aimed at teens.
Date published: 2018-08-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was good I bought the book a while ago and finally got around to reading it. I really liked the overall idea and it was interesting. The only problem I sort of had with it was that the dialogue seemed a little too formal. I still enjoyed the book because it shows the challenges people face and the hard decisions that must be made as well as the resulting consequences.
Date published: 2018-08-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Support Canadian authors Simple in it’s writing and a little slow to start it does pick up half way in. The second and third instalments were more action packed once characters had time to develop. Not the best YA but not the worst either.
Date published: 2018-07-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nice book. This dystopian story again made me want to read it. It is really interesting and sad
Date published: 2018-07-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was okay I bought this book after a friend told me it was great, although I got bored around half way through, I guess it is all based on preference.
Date published: 2018-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this book! I bought this book when Eric Walters came to my school, I ended up loving it and reading the whole series. Would highly recommend!
Date published: 2018-04-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from interesting I actually really enjoyed this book. The best thing about it was the setting is in the GTA. I kept wanting to know what was going to happen.
Date published: 2018-02-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Favourite Series! I loved this series and so did my teen. We read it several years ago and loved it it was Canadian and based on an Ontario neighbourhood not too far from my work place. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this book! This book is just what I was looking for. A great book for teens and young adults. The book is gripping, and I just could not stop reading it! The characters are easily lovable, and the plot is very interesting.
Date published: 2018-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Recommend Found this series on Google, while looking for recommendations for Dystopian novels. I like reading books about the idea of a simple disruption and the ripple effects that take place. In this case, they lose all electrical functions. I've completed the series, so thought I'd post this on the first book, so others will look into the following ones. Highly recommend. Easy to read, easy to follow, very intense series. Couldn't finish the book fast enough, to move onto the next one. You instantly fall in love with the characters, and their intelligence. Great page turner, couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2017-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very unique Full disclosure, I read this book but I have not yet read the sequel so I cannot speak for the progression of the series. With that out of the way, I really liked this book, it started out a little slow at the beginning, but eventually it became quite exciting. I loved how real this situation was, it didn't involve extraterrestrials and it really examined how quickly our society can crumble! great read!
Date published: 2017-10-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from interesting concepts this is a really good read, especially for middle schoolers. great concepts and very well written, interesting and gripping enough for a book of its length.
Date published: 2017-10-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thrilling So good it literally makes you shiver.
Date published: 2017-08-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Intriguing This book was so interesting because it took a situation that could actually happen in today's society, and used that in the plot of the book. Although I thoroughly enjoyed it, my one complaint was that the main characters weren't very memorable. I found them a bit cliche and I usually like more original characters.
Date published: 2017-08-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fascinating book! This book was an enjoyable read. A very interesting concept that will delight the teen audience. However, I did find that there were a few "boring" parts, but for the most part, it is fast-paced, and even the most reluctant readers are sure to be thrilled.
Date published: 2017-07-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I wasn't able to put it down! Loved the concept of this book and incredibly well written!
Date published: 2017-07-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent I really enjoyed this book and found it very thought provoking. It's interesting to think about what would happen in the situation Adam is presented with. I'm not going to say that what Adam went through was "unrealistic" but it was certainly not what I would probably go through because I don't have a police chief as a family member and I don't know anyone in my neighbourhood who was intelligence for the government. However I would hope we would be able to band together and be able to protect ourselves and each other.
Date published: 2017-05-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great for reluctant readers and experienced readers alike (grade 8) I am an eighth grade English teacher. I frequently have problems getting students to read novels of any length, and convincing a reluctant reader to even pick up a 400+ page book is a daunting task. Last year I had my students choose their own books from a list and really tried to push The Rule of 3. I had 10 students grab this particular novel, most of whom were weak readers who did not usually finish a book. They all finished the book, some of them in a week, and a couple even read it twice. Both boys and girls in my grade 8 classes of all reading levels enjoy this book. If you live in the Toronto area, a lot of the locations are actually based on Mississauga, so you can actually visit some of the locations described in the book (like the Baskin Robins and the high school).
Date published: 2017-05-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book (and hopefully series) Love dystopian books, love the idea of people building back a society? From Toronto and want to see towns/street names you recognize? This is definitely for you! I only give it 4 stars because I feel nothing in life is perfect... #plumrewards
Date published: 2017-02-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing My favourite series that I've read in a long time, read if you love books that show the destruction of a society facing challenges along the way!
Date published: 2017-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from fantastic beautifully written, perfect for teenagers and not only. Grabs your attention form very 1st page!
Date published: 2017-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book for students Used this with my grade 8 students to start the year and they loved it!
Date published: 2017-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gripping from the start! This book grabs you right from the beginning and pulls you into a world with out electricity. For most people this is almost unimaginable, until you read this book that is. This wonderfully written novel will keep you on the edge of your seat and eager for the next installment.
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this book! The whole series is amazing and I couldn't stop reading these books.
Date published: 2016-12-22
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Good, but not extrordinary I tought the concept was great, but, with a book this long, there needed to have more. Unfortunately, I could not relate at all to the characters and did not care what happened to them. It was just a bit plain and made me lose interest. I had to put down the book at least three times for a month, before finally forcing myself through it because I hate leaving a book unfinished. Just make sure before going into this that if you require the main characters from the books you read to not be unidimensional, you are indeed prepared for a long and boring read, with tiny bits of action to sometimes keep you captivated.
Date published: 2016-12-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good science-fiction book “The Rule of Three” by Eric Walters is the story of Adam, a sixteen-year-old boy. As he is helping his best friend, Todd, to write an essay due the next class, the power suddenly goes out in the school and everyone gets to go back home. They soon realize that it is not a normal power shortage. Actually, even cars are not working anymore. Soon, the community realizes that the power shortage might last longer then usual, and they must think about ways to survive without electricity… Luckily, Adam’s mother, who is the police captain of the neighborhoud, and Herb, Adam’s neighbour, who is an ancient government, spy have a good idea on how to organize things. I liked the overall idea of the book. It took me a while before getting into the story, but once I did, I really enjoyed it and had a hard time putting it down. Watching the characters deal on how to survive without electricity was very exciting and as I was reading, I was wondering how I would react in a crisis situation like this. There are just two things that disappointed or surprised me a little and seriously, they are just small details. The first thing is that I would have liked to see more of Todd, Adam’s best friend, in the story because he is so funny and I like him so much. We see him at the beginning of the story, but after he only makes a few apparitions and I think that his joyful temperament would have been useful to ease the very tense atmosphere of the book at some points. The second thing is that I was surprised to see that after only twenty-four hours of no electricity, people were already at the point of vandalizing the supermarket to get food and supplies. I mean, isn’t that too early? Once the power shot down for almost three days where I live and we weren’t at the point to attacking the grocery store. I just think that this part of the book was not realistic enough. But in overall, I really enjoyed the characters and the plot.
Date published: 2016-12-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Rule of Three A great book, but not the same story type I've come to expect from Eric Walters. Wonderful, but took a bit to get used to it.
Date published: 2016-12-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Book!! Hands down one of the best books, it really gets you thinking, you will be unable to put this down. I know it YA but honestly, anyone can read it and they will enjoy it!
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Series! I had done one of the books in the series for a book report and was so glade I did! I loved the whole series and had gotten my mom hoked on to it too! Definitely recommend this book and the whole series! With the thrill, tension and the feeling of never wanting to put the book down made this series something that I will never forget.
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty Good Good start to the series, and a good book for anyone who enjoys YA fiction.
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great! Amazing start to the series, and I love the idea of it as I am very into apocalypse-esque type stories! I definitely recommend this series though while this book was good, I found that it got progressively a little worse by the end.
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read I actually stumbled across this book in store this September, and I got it because it said that it was actually signed by the author (and because the plot was very appealing to me). When I started reading it, I couldn't put it down like all other books. The plot os very realistic, as Walters was able to capture exactly to what society might be like after the death of technology. The characters started out strong; Adam with his high dreams, the girl he have a crush on, his daily life with his best friend etc. However, the character lost their charm throughout the novel when Adam became the only character who was greatly focused on while the other charaters are only there for his own character developement. But despite the death of character development, the book was actually pretty good as Walters' world realistically described what will happen to humans without technology. And of course, I was quite happy getting a copy signed by the author.
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty Freaking Good This book was a bit terrifying for me because the entire plot was in an area that I live really nearby. It really made me think about what I'd do if something like that happened. And I also stocked up on chlorine pellets (you'll get it when you read it). Overall, quite good, would recommend.
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from GONE series rip-off This book is basically the GONE series minus the super powers... If I hadn't read the GONE books before this would of been a really good read but honestly it's almost the exact same thing. I found I was forcing myself to finish the book... I was never really geipped to any of the characters. I read the entire series and found it was almost always the same thing: preparing for a war or fighting one. Never the less I read the entire series.
Date published: 2016-04-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from It started out strong, then got a bit boring and repetitive I read the whole thing and at the end I wasn't too amazed. It started repeating itself and had nothing gripping me to the story or its characters.
Date published: 2016-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Eric Walters at his best I love Eric Walters. He is extremely talented and if you ever get a chance to hear him speak - GO! He's so inspiring and engaging. This is his best book yet. Love it. Great for a father/son book club. I know many adult men that loved it.
Date published: 2015-11-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Exciting and Entertaining Dystopian Tale! "The Rule of Three" is a dystopian vision of a new world that begins when the lights, computers and iphones go out in sixteen year old Adam Daley's school in Milton. Amid the fear and chaos that follows, Adam's neighbours guided by the sound advice of Herb Campbell a retired enigmatic government spy and his mother the Captain of a local precinct, band together pooling their talents and resources as government and security break down. With his father away and the electrical outage global, Adam quickly matures taking on responsibilities that have him facing death, ducking bullets and voicing humane ideas for survival to the community's leadership. But even as guards patrol the protective walls circling the neighborhood, a sports field and lawns are dug up for planting, and patrols are sent out to scout and rummage for supplies, a danger lurks only miles away that could destroy all that's being built. The plot is well-developed, imaginative and very realistic; the main theme dealing with Adam's neighbourhood surviving challenges like transportation, security, food and water consumption. It's fast-paced and action-packed especially when events unfold that have Adam and Herb dodging bullets , escaping a Cessna in the ultra-light and even a surprise raid against a merciless and ruthless encampment of mercenary soldiers. The novel is a page turner from beginning to end, climaxing with a violent explosion that begs for another novel. In a story filled with violent clashes, the seriousness of the theme is often broken by humour and romance. Adam is continually teased by his friend Todd about his blossoming romance with Lori Petersen, although I did wonder (like several other details that weren't apparent) why her rich, possessive boyfriend didn't find a way to get in touch with her. Amid the turmoil issues are often raised that have ethical implications like restricting families seeking a safe haven to only professional or skilled individuals, and the morality of killing when innocent by-passers are accidently murdered. Adam Daley is a likeable sixteen year old who's resourceful, reliable and hard-working; completing the ultra-light he and his father had begun building. In contrast to Herb Campbell Adam is optimistic and proactive, looking for the best in humanity. Herb a former spy is a wealth of information, having served abroad in operations that required organization, soldierly skills and cunning. He's tough, sharp-edged and clever as mysterious as he is cynical. These two main characters and others add passion, energy and tension to this exciting and highly entertaining tale. I enjoyed "The Rule of Three" a great story without the graphic language prevalent in many other teen novels. I look forward to reading the sequel.
Date published: 2015-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Explosive! Five high-flying stars!!!!! The Rule of Three is an exciting and powerful read. Eric Walters takes us into a world that is not impossible to imagine. When the world has been shutdown and a neighbourhood bands together their only option is survival. A great adventure with the surprise of a GTA/Mississauga connection. I can't wait to dive into The Fight for Power! Highly recommended!
Date published: 2015-06-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great ,read the next book Great book always leaving on a cliff hanger and making you want more. If you buy the first book buy the second.
Date published: 2015-04-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Proud Canadian I really enjoyed this book, well written, especially since I could sort of visualize the area everything was happening in. My big question to the author is this, with the exception of Burnham Rd, (change to Burnhamthorp instead) all these streets are in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, why would you want your readers to believe this is an American city?
Date published: 2015-03-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a great time in pages.... the rule of three is awesome!!! never a slow moment. i actually cleared things out of my schedule so i could read a few chapters during the day. your mind craves the pages of this entertaining story about a global blackout and how do we survive? love the characters especially herb (my fave). honestly i learned a few tips in case this ever happens. also opens your mind to other things you may not have thought of it if you were ever caught in this global disaster. themes: friendship, survival, learning, working together, black out, farming, sustaining life, future, loved ones, defense and fight i cannot wait till the second book!!! i want to know what happens. please hurry up. i don't see any anticipate date of when it is to be released. eric walters is AWESOME
Date published: 2014-05-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Review from MajiBookshelf The Rule of Three was such a surprise. I got into it thinking it is something along with lines of The 5th Wave, but I have to say that I actually enjoyed it even more than The 5th Wave. The Rule of Three starts off with the world ceasing to exist as it is and that reason is the computers around the world shut off. Computers, motors, internet, pumps, turbines, factories, cars, planes.. everything. Everything that is a crucial part of our survival has disappeared. This book made me take a step back and really see how we've become so dependent to technology, It was seriously scary. The Rule of Three is more about survival and learning to survive without technology. How to get clean water to drink, growing food and plowing and creating land to be able to farm on, building contraptions to make their everyday life easier but without the use of technology, and lastly working as a team to protect themselves and from any foreign and dangerous outsiders. The book is narrated through Adam, a 16 year old boy with an ex-spy neighbor. As soon as all hell broke loose, I loved seeing how his neighbor was able to think fast, and 3 steps ahead of everyone else. It doesn't hurt that he was an ex-CIA (or similar) agent back in the days. They were all fighting against time and against the gangs formed as well as threats that will come their way from outside their community. The way the neighbor made their community self-sustainable was just so fascinating to me. I loved reading every minute of it. I know people would automatically compare this novel to the tv. show Revolution, but Revolution is more killing, moving from one place to another, and more killing. The Rule of Three is more about learning to survive with what you have. I definitely picked up a few tricks and useful points if I ever needed them (haha). There is romance here but I blocked it from my mind. It was very underdeveloped and too immature-ish for my taste. Overall The Rule of Three was a very different and interesting read. The way it ended hints at a sequel but I am still not sure if there is one. However, if there is I am definitely picking it up.
Date published: 2014-05-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent Portrayal of the Breakdown of Society This book does the end of the world as we know it extremely well. I felt very uneasy through much of it. I think it's likely an accurate portrayal of the breakdown of society in a situation like this. Not every character is particularly likeable and neither did they all make the decisions that I would make, but that's just like real life I suppose. I am not a fan of the extremely sudden ending though. This will evidently be part of a trilogy but I still like an author or make an attempt at creating a proper beginning, middle and end to each entry in a series; however the rest of the book is so strong I'm willing to forgive it
Date published: 2014-03-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good, but I wanted more.. Adam and his best friend are in the computer lab at school when all of a sudden there’s a power outage. Not only do the computers go out, but people’s laptops and even cellphones. When they try to leave school, they find that Adam’s old car still works, while all the others don’t. What becomes of humanity when all of the technology they depend on is wiped out? What I enjoyed about The Rule of Three was not the main character Adam, but his neighbour who becomes a confidante and all around leader. He seems to know more than anything else and is wholly prepared for any disaster. The things he would say were intelligent, witty and very wise. He quickly diffused any situation only because he’s a master of people. My guess was that he was an operative for the government. Another thing that I enjoyed about this was the location. It’s not every day you get to read a book based on a suburban city you know. I enjoyed reading about the neighbourhood and streets that I drive by almost every week. I also loved that this turned out to be a guide as to what happens when all electricity is gone. What do you do and how can you be prepared? (I really should stick up on bottled water and chlorine tablets.) Even though I enjoyed it, I also had some issues. This is a more civilized and realistic view of how the world would come to be if there was no power, and it’s not a bad thing. I’m just so used to books where everything is in chaos and people die left and right. I wished there was a reason as to why it happened though. I kept hoping for something to come from the ham radio waves, but there was none. I really wished there was a clearer view of why the power and all electronics as they know it has ceased to work. I also wanted a more clearer timeline as to how they events unfolded because I didn’t see it span the weeks it claimed to be. Also, I found the dialogue to be long and winded, and wanted more explanations. The ending also felt anti-climatic. I am hoping there’s more to this novel because GoodReads doesn’t even say if it’s part of a series. Overall, I liked it! It was a fast-paced, comprehensive guide to what you should do if the end of the world is coming..
Date published: 2014-02-14

Read from the Book

1“Can’t you keyboard a little bit faster?” Todd asked.We were in the computer room during study hall, our second-to-last class of the day. Not exactly where I wanted to be, but there were worse places to be than hanging with my best friend—even if we were working on his essay.“It’s not the speed of my fingers that’s slowing us down. I can only type what you say. And you’re not saying anything,” I answered.“Come on, Adam, I’m counting on you to fill in the blanks on this thing.”“It’s your essay.”“Don’t you want me to pass?” Todd cajoled.“Of course I want you to pass.”“Then you’d better get busy, because that whole passing thing isn’t likely to happen if you don’t contribute.”“You wouldn’t need my help if you didn’t wait until the last minute to do your homework, you slacker,” I said.“It is not the last minute. This isn’t due until final period.”“Which is in forty minutes,” I replied.“That’s my point. It won’t be the last minute until thirty-nine minutes from now. If I handed it in now, technically it would be early.”This was Todd logic at its finest. He was almost impossible to reason with but totally impossible not to have a laugh with. The freshman girls seated on either side of us in the computer lab seemed to agree as they started giggling.“Please don’t encourage him,” I said.“And now you don’t want me to be encouraged. What sort of best friend are you?” Todd demanded. “If you ladies want to offer me encouragement, please feel free.”They giggled again. This was obviously becoming more about him trying to impress them and less about helping me help him avoid flunking another assignment.“Why didn’t you just do this last night?” I asked.“I was worn out from football practice. Physically and mentally. You’d have been worn out, too, if you hadn’t quit the team.”I snorted. “I didn’t quit. I just didn’t try out this year.”“Same thing.”“It’s not the same thing. I chose flying lessons over football.”“What kind of normal sixteen-year-old chooses flying lessons over anything?”“One who wants to be a pilot.”“Just like Daddy.”“Sure.” My father was a commercial pilot for Delta. He had been in uniform at the breakfast table and said he was heading to O’Hare this morning. I knew he would be taking off on his return flight soon, so he’d be home in time to read with the twins before they went to bed.“Personally, I’d rather be like your mother,” Todd said.“My mother is a woman,” I pointed out. “And I gotta tell you that picturing you in a dress, heels, and makeup is a bit unnerving.”“First off, I want to be a police officer, like your mother. Second, the idea that you are picturing me in a dress, makeup, and heels is more than a bit unnerving,” he replied. “Just how long have you been fantasizing about me as a woman?”Once Todd got started it was hard to turn him off.“Excuse me!” Todd called out. Everybody in the lab turned to face him. “How many people find it disturbing that Adam has been picturing me as a woman?”Lots of hands went up.“Ignore him, please!” I protested.“Adam, don’t be ashamed, embrace your feelings!”“Let me know when you’re done, Todd.”“In this day and age it’s important that all of us accept you for what you are and how you feel. In fact, I take it as a compliment that you fantasize about me.”“I don’t fantasize about you!”“Don’t be embarrassed. I’m sure you’re not the only one who fantasizes about me.” He turned to the girl on one side. “Right? You must admit I’ve entered your dream world at least once or twice.”She stopped laughing and looked like she was choking on something.“Don’t be shy,” he said. “Embrace your feelings, too. Live the fantasy and you could become part of the total Todd experience.”She turned beet red, gathered up her things, and practically ran away. The other two girls beside us pretended to ignore us now.“Nice,” I said.“Mean, possibly. Fun, tremendously. That’s why God created high school—so kids in older grades could torment kids in younger grades.”I knew that Todd could be neither embarrassed nor contained. He was as relentless as an avalanche. All I could do was redirect him.“Since when did you decide you wanted to be a police officer?”“Recently. I decided it would be cool to run around with a gun,” he said.“The fact that you don’t have a gun right now is at least a small blessing for all of us.”“I’ll ignore that crack—but if I had a gun I would force you to play football.”“Like I said, I have no time.”“You could have time for both football and flying lessons if you didn’t waste so much time on school. That’s my solution.”“And just how is that working out for you?” I asked.“It would be going extremely well if somebody would stop giving me a hard time and help me finish up this essay.”“Let’s just get it finished. I have to get out of here right after school. I have a flight lesson.”“Okay, Orville Wright,” he said.“Hey, better Orville Wright than Orville Redenbacher. Three more lessons and then I solo.”“When you get your license, do you know who I want to be the very first person up in the air with you?”“You?”“I was thinking anybody except me!”The two girls to my left started giggling again—as well as a couple of other people in the lab.“You better not insult the man who has your future at his fingertips or—”The lights suddenly went out, the computer screen went blank, and everybody in the lab collectively groaned as we were thrown into darkness.“What happened?” I wondered.“Power failure or something. More important, did you at least save my essay?” Todd questioned.“I saved it . . . a few minutes ago. It’s almost all there.”“But I need all of it there! What am I going to tell Mr. Dixon?”“You’ll tell him about the power failure.”“He won’t believe me!”“Of course he’ll believe you. The lights are out everywhere, so I think he might have noticed.” I gestured to the darkened hall. “This isn’t just a power failure in the computer lab. Besides, I’m sure everything will be back on soon,” I said.“Soon may not be soon enough, and he won’t believe me that it was almost done. You have to tell him!”“Why me?”“He’ll believe you! You hand in your assignments on time, you never skip class, you do your reading, and you’re always polite to teachers. You are such a suck-up!”“It’s called being responsible.”“Suck-up . . . responsible . . . different words for basically the same—”“Hey, my computer is down, too,” the girl beside us said.“Everybody’s computer went off,” Todd said. “Computers need a magical substance called electricity.” He turned to me. “Today’s younger generation doesn’t understand much.”“I understand that this is my laptop and it has a battery,” she said.“The battery must be dead.”“But mine went down as well,” another boy said.“Mine, too,” a girl at the other end of the lab added. All of them were on laptops.“Well, that’s because . . .” Todd turned to me. “Well, Adam?”“How should I know?”“Didn’t you win the science fair last year?”“That was for designing a two-seated ultralight, not because I know everything about electricity.”“Come on, you know everything about everything. I wouldn’t let you do my homework if you didn’t. Can we go and find Mr. Dixon and explain to him about my paper?”I wasn’t going to do that. But I did want to see what was going on. I gave a big sigh and got to my feet._______________The halls were filling with kids. The only light was coming from classroom windows and scattered emergency lights running on batteries. Classes had ended unexpectedly, and everyone was streaming out. There was a lot of laughing and loud conversation as kids enjoyed an early break.“Can I have your attention, please!” a deep voice boomed. “Please, everybody, stop where you are!” It was our vice principal yelling through a handheld bullhorn. “We need everybody in the gym for a brief assembly!”There were groans from the crowd.“I say we head for the doors,” Todd said. “In this commotion there’s no way they’re going to be able to stop us from leaving.”“What about the assembly?”“And you wonder why I call you a suck-up?”We headed down the stairs, only to find two teachers at the exit deflecting the river of students toward the gym.“So much for leaving,” I said. I knew Todd was disappointed, but I really did want to hear what they had to tell us.We went with the flow. The gym was dimly lit with just a few emergency lights. It was already crowded, and I felt a little claustrophobic as we pushed in. The bleachers were filled to capacity and we were herded onto the court, shoulder to shoulder. I was grateful to be taller than most everybody else. Did they really think they could cram fifteen hundred kids into this space?“My phone isn’t working,” Todd said.“You know there are lots of dead spots in this school.”“No, I mean it’s as blank as the computer screens.” He showed it to me.“Your battery is dead. Your phone needs that magical substance called electricity to—”“My phone is dead, too,” a girl said.“Same here,” somebody else added.All around us people who had overheard were pulling out their phones. There was a chorus of disbelief and upset. It was strange how they seemed more upset about their phones not working than there being no electricity.I pulled out my phone, just to confirm things. It was off—as per the school rules—but when I pushed the button to turn it on, it remained blank. I knew my phone was fully charged. The cell phone towers probably needed electricity to work. Is that why we weren’t even getting a screen? No, that didn’t make sense. Even without the towers there should have been power to run other apps.“Can I have your attention!” Our principal was on the stage with a bullhorn. “Please!” he called out. “We need everybody to listen carefully . . . Please stop talking!”There was a murmur of conversation that faded to a semisilence, an acceptable level of cooperation.“As you are all aware, we have a power failure,” he started. “We’re assuming that it’s probably countywide, as there is a complete breakdown in telephone service, both landlines and cell phones, which must be related to the power failure.”The crowd noise went up as those who hadn’t noticed previously all pulled out their cell phones to confirm what he’d said.“Quiet down, people! The sooner we can finish here, the sooner you can all go home!”A cheer went up from the crowd and then applause.“Silence, please!” The noise faded. “Whatever the issue is, I’m confident it is being addressed and will be corrected shortly.”For some reason I had a feeling it wasn’t going to be so simple. I was still thinking about why the batteries in the laptops had gone dead.“We’ve decided to cancel final period today and let you all go home early.”A cheer went up from the audience once again.He raised a hand to quiet everyone. “You can stay here in the gym to wait for the buses. If you’re driving or walking, keep in mind there will probably be no functioning traffic lights, so please be careful. Dismissed.”There was an even bigger cheer as we all started for the exits.

Editorial Reviews

“The Rule of Three is a tense, smart, can’t-put-it-down YA thriller about the collapse of society.” - The National Post“The book offers wonderful discussions of airplanes and flight, survival, and the importance of community, questions of humanity and human endurance.” - CM Magazine“All the hallmarks of a good Walters book are here: the teenage perspective is spot on, the male hero rises to the challenges thrown his way, the pace is quick but realistic, danger and adventure are around every corner.“ - Quill & Quire“The Rule of Three is a fantastic, compelling, unforgettable book! Its simple premise—what if one day all modern technology stopped working—becomes a blisteringly fast tale of survival in a world gone to hell. The genius of the novel isn’t its likeable, reluctant hero, teenage pilot Adam, or its explosive, bullet-ridden, nail-biting action scenes—it’s how believable it is. Walters perfectly captures the fragile nature of civilisation, and how easily that veneer can shatter in times of crisis. The escalation of the plot—the way society implodes as quickly and as violently as a black hole—leaves you breathless. This book makes The Walking Dead look like a walk in the park, because in The Rule of Three the monsters howling outside your gates aren’t the undead but your friends, your fellow students, your coworkers. It will leave you looking over your shoulder to try to work out who would be your friend after the world ends, and who would very quickly become your enemy. Combined with some deft humour, a carefully handled love story, and some white-knuckle plane rides over the growing chaos, The Rule of Three is one of my favourite books of 2014. I just hope there’s a sequel!” - Alexander Gordon Smith, author of The Fury“Rule of Three maintains a realistic and frightening look at what happens when technology is lost and modern society begins to fall apart.” - School Library Journal“Adam’s ethical qualms about the ruthless decisions that Herb insists they must make—turning people away from their sanctuary, treating unknown people as threats—make for nuanced reading.” - Booklist“A solid read that sidesteps most of the SF influence so prevalent in current dystopian fiction.” - Publisher’s Weekly