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The three
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Librarian's View

When the three child survivors of unrelated plane crashes on different continents begin to exhibit increasingly disturbing behavior, a religious cult leader claims that they are harbingers of the apocalypse. - (Baker & Taylor)

When the four child survivors of unrelated plane crashes begin to exhibit increasingly disturbing behavior, the claim by a religious cult leader that they are the harbingers of the apocalypse is taken a bit more seriously. 80,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)

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... - (Grand Central Pub)

Author Biography

Sarah Lotz is a screenwriter and pulp fiction novelist with a fondness for the macabre and fake names. Among other things, she writes urban horror novels under the name SL Grey with author Louis Greenberg and a YA zombie series with her daughter, Savannah, under the name Lily Herne. She lives in Cape Town with her family and other animals. - (Grand Central Pub)

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Booklist Reviews

Around the world, at almost the same time, four passenger airplanes plummet to the earth. There are no survivors, apart from three children (on three separate planes) and a woman who soon dies but not before leaving a recorded message that warns listeners to "watch the dead people." The young survivors, soon dubbed The Three by the press, become worldwide sensations, even as some begin to suspect something is not quite right about them. Theories about The Three start to spread: they're harbingers of doom, says one theory, the embodiments of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; no, says another, they were chosen for survival by our reptilian alien overlords. As it turns out, no one has any real notion of just how important and dangerous these children really are. The author's use of the oral-history format, with its shifting voices and points of view, is a stroke of genius: the reader is in a state of near-constant confusion at the beginning, which is slowly replaced by unease and then dread as the various commentators start to see the bigger picture. A very creepy, very effective novel. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews

Lotz, a South African screenwriter and novelist, unspools a creepy thriller about four simultaneous plane crashes that stun the world. At three of the crash sites, a lone child survivor is found. And at one site, a fatally wounded passenger records an ominous message on her cell phone just before she dies. Told through a series of interviews conducted by a journalist investigating "Black Thursday," as the crash date comes to be known, we quickly discover that the three survivors are different children from who they were before the accidents. Are they merely traumatized? Are their families and caretakers imagining things? Or, as some fervently believe, are they harbingers of death and a sign that the apocalypse is near? VERDICT Lotz is an excellent storyteller, and she favors subtle innuendo over big shocks. Her unsettling tale builds to a crescendo that will have readers leaving the lights on long after they finish the book. Recommended for fans of sf and apocalyptic thrillers by authors such as Justin Cronin and Stephen King. [See Prepub Alert, 11/10/14.]—Amy Hoseth, Colorado State Univ. Lib., Fort Collins

[Page 68]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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