________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 27. . . .March 16, 2018


Will to Survive. (The Rule of Three #3).

Eric Walters.
Toronto, ON: Razorbill/Penguin Canada, 2017.
322 pp., trade pbk., $12.99.
ISBN 978-0-14-318754-7.

Grades 8 and up / Ages 13 and up.

Review by Sarah Wethered.

*** /4



At Herb’s direction, we weren’t going straight toward the compound. He wanted to check all major routes leading into the neighborhood just to make sure nothing was coming toward us as we were heading to the Division’s home.

“I can see the hospital,” Todd Said. “Or What’s left of it.”

From this distance it really didn’t look too bad I’d been closer, though, and knew that parts had been set on fire. Some of the windows were smashed out, and there was no telling what the inside looked like.

“Judging from the security fence, there must be people living down there,” Quinn observed.

All around the perimeter of the hospital grounds a primitive defensive wall had been constructed. It looked like it was made of scrap wood and metal, as well as overturned cars and a couple of ambulances. It didn’t look very formidable even from this height, but any wall was better than no wall.

I had to assume two things – there were guards on the wall and there was something worth guarding down there. It might be simply where a group of people – a cluster of families – had come together to live and provide mutual protection. I could also see that some of the hospital’s lawn had been turned into gardens that were no semi-harvested. The inhabitants were making a go of it, although definitely not on as a large scale as we were.


As the conclusion of “The Rule of Three” series begins, 16-year-old Adam Daley is grappling with the aftermath of his attempted kidnapping by former community member, Brett. During this attempt, Adam was forced to kill two of Brett’s accomplices. It has been four months since a suspected computer virus affected the entire world, and in that time, Adam and his mother, along with his ex-CIA operative neighbour, Herb, have set up a community that is thriving. A government has been established, and people’s basic needs are being met. Unfortunately, not everyone is content. One time community member, Brett, is seeking revenge on the community in general, and Adam in particular. The community of Eden Mills is forced to explore into unknown territory to seek alliances and valuable resources to survive the inevitable showdown with Brett and his paramilitary group, the Division.

     Will to Survive is a fast-paced story that examines what life would be like if everything with a computer chip ceased to work. Old cars and airplanes are valuable again as they provide reliable transportation. Eden Mills must draw on every members’ skills to be able to produce enough food to feed everyone and build defences for protection. Herb and Adam work together to expand their alliances with other communities and prove themselves to be adept diplomats. Adam is a valuable part of the community, and not just because he is the only one who can pilot the community’s ultralight and Cessna. He, along with Herb, constantly try to make morally just decisions that will benefit not only Eden Mills, but also their allies.

      This conclusion of “The Rule of Three” seriers once again gives readers many opportunities to think about how they would react in survival situations and the morality issues that arise because of the situation. As the people of Eden Hill expand their alliances, they begin to set up a makeshift bartering economy between communities, with each member of the alliance providing essential items, such as food, fuel, and medicine. Readers will be compelled to know whether the community will survive and if the lights will ever return.

      I recommend Will to Survive to fans of “The Rule of Three” series as well as those readers who enjoy action/adventure, survival, post-apocalyptic, or realistic stories. The teenage characters of Adam, Lori, and Todd show great courage and intelligence and are good role models for other teens.


Sarah Wethered has been a teacher-librarian at New Westminster Secondary School for 18 years, and she currently lives in New Westminster, BC.

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