________________ CM . . . . Volume xxi Number 15 . . . . December 12, 2014


Fight for Power. (The Rule of 3).

Eric Walters.
Toronto, ON: Razorbill/Penguin Canada, 2014.
346 pp., hardcover, $19.99.
ISBN 978-0-670-06706-0.

Grades 8 and up / Ages 13 and up.

Review by Stephanie Dror.

** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.


I was frozen to my seat, but my mind started to race. Almost involuntarily my hand started to creep toward my gun, holstered at my side. I stopped myself. I couldn't possibly draw and fire before she did.

"I've been waiting for this," she said. Her voice was calm, but her eyes remained wild. Slowly she pulled up the gun and aimed it at Quinn. I leaned farther back in the chair.

"You, get away," she said, gesturing for me to get out of the line of fire. "I don't mean you any harm. It's him I came to kill."

I stumbled to my feet and staggered a few feet toward a far corner, putting distance between me and him – and her.

"I've come to kill the man who killed my family."

"Look, lady, I didn't kill anybody," Quinn pleaded. For somebody who said he wasn't afraid to die, he looked terrified.

"Maybe it wasn't you, but you were one of them!" Her voice was still calm. She almost looked peaceful. "Get out," she said to me. "Go."

I took half a step and then stopped. If I left, Quinn was dead. "I'm sorry, I don't know you," I said to the woman. "Do you know me?" I asked.

She nodded. "You're the son of the police chief; you fly that little plane. You're Adam."

"That's me... I'm sorry, I don't know your name."

"That isn't important."

"Sure it is."

She hesitated. "Paula."

I extended my hand to shake. "Hey, Paula, I'm pleased to meet you –"

"Don't come any closer, Adam," she ordered.

I drew back my hand. "Take it easy, Paula."

"I don't want to hurt you," she said. "I really don't want to hurt you."

"I appreciate that."

"You have to leave," she said.

Again she gave me the chance to walk away.


Adam Daley and the community of Eden Mills return in this second installment of Eric Walters' realistic post-apocalyptic “The Rule of 3” series. It has been three months since computers around the world inexplicably stopped working, and in that time Eden Mills has become a self-sufficient, if largely insular, community. With an established ruling body, farming and fair food distribution, a defensible perimeter, ad hoc arms training and the reinstitution of school, Eden Mills seems like a veritable utopia to those beyond its walls. Yet, establishing and maintaining order are two very different and difficult things. As time goes on and food supplies begin to dwindle, tensions and differing opinions arise within the walls, and Adam, his Police Chief mother and ex-CIA agent Herb are pushed into making difficult moral decisions. Will they ultimately remain human, preserving rights and freedoms, or will they be forced to abandon their principles in the name of survival?

     Fight for Power continues the pace of action established in The Rule of Three and takes a realistic look at how quickly contemporary life can return to an almost medieval way of living. Defense and living off the land become key elements of life, but, interestingly, technology and industrialization remain pivotal to survival throughout the series. Without the human capacity for ingenuity, invention and teamwork, Eden Mills cannot succeed. Adam had learned a great deal from Herb, his father figure, and he becomes the constant advocate for diplomacy, planning and moral decision-making in desperate times. He begins training Lori as a pilot as she becomes the primary female figure in the series. She is a capable farmer, a good shot, and very quick thinker, and though she errs on the side of compassion, her compulsion to help others is very true to her character.

     Eric Walters' book leaves lots of space for moral discussion and questioning of human action in survival situations. Rather than letting people into their own community, the people of Eden Mills offer to help the shanty towns set up their own community, bringing to mind the old adage, “give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and feed him for life.” With winter on its way, readers can only wait to see how the “Rule of Three” trilogy wraps up. Will computers return? Will Eden Mills continue to face enemies, both without, and within?

     I recommend Fight for Power to fans of the first book and to those who enjoy stories of realism, survival, science fiction and post-apocalyptic worlds. Adam is a likeable and intelligent hero.


Stephanie Dror has a Master of Arts in Children's Literature, she is a founder and blogger at The Book Wars, and she is currently living in Ottawa, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

CM Home | Next Review | (Table of Contents for This Issue - December 15, 2014.) | Back Issues | Search | CM Archive | Profiles Archive

Updated: October 17, 2014 (hsd)