(May 20th 2014 by Little, Brown and Company)
Let’s just start by saying this book is very inconspicuous. It’s received mixed reviews on Goodreads, has an ominous cover, and a pretty strange synopsis: four simultaneous plane crashes happen around the world and there are three child survivors. I can promise, however, this book is worth the read.
The structure of Lotz’s novel is compiled from interviews, newspaper articles, blog posts on conspiracy websites, and personal research by the ‘author’ Elspeth. Each retells the stories of the survivors and their guardians. The four plane crashes were all over the world, the everglades in Florida, the ocean in the U.K, South Africa, and in the mountains of Japan. Dubbed “The Three” by the media, the children quickly become famous for their miraculous survival, but the children are clearly different than when the first got on the plane. It’s quickly ruled out that terrorism was involved and most of the crashes could be explained by human error or mother nature. Because the children seem different and because of the circumstances surrounding the plane crashes, a large conspiracy of the four horsemen of the apocalypse becomes viral –thanks bible belt religious nuts! (Keep in mind, a fourth child was never discovered.)
The author, Sarah Lotz, does a brilliant job of weaving together all the stories and conspiracies until it reaches an almost insatiable need to find out the truth. I could not put it down after I read about the attempted murder (or successful) of some of the children. Plus, the psychotic breakdown of one of the guardians was especially troubling and creepy. And the aftermath of Elspeth publishing her book we’re reading, From Crash to Conspiracy, is that the United States becomes some sort of totalitarian regime (!?!?!) (eliminating the first amendment to save souls and morality). I’m trying not to give away too much, but I’m bursting wanting to talk about this with someone.
The end was especially weird. WERE THEY GODS?!?!?!
I feel like I have not done justice to this crazy and original book. It got in my head. And now I’m a bit worried to fall asleep because there are ghosts that can haunt me. I guess that’s the mark of a good horror novel, if you don’t want to sleep.
Some of the reviews gave this book a lot of flack because some of the interviews were racist, and you know, that’s fair, but also remember that Lotz was just portraying people as they are and it’s impossible to ignore that some people are casually racist. I’m not saying that it should be the norm, but that’s how people, disgustingly, really are.
In case you couldn’t guess, 5 of 5 Stars is my rating. Everyone should read this book right now!