400 years in the future, the ice caps have melted, resources are scarce, and mankind cannot be trusted to peacefully govern itself. An all-powerful AI named Talis holds Children of Peace, the children of world leaders, hostage at communal homesteads known as preceptures while he keeps watch over human affairs. Should a regime declare war, the price exacted from them is the life of their Child. As Greta finds her homeland on the brink of war, the newest hostage, untrained and uncontrollable Elián, arrives. Unwilling to die without a fight, Elián forces Greta to reexamine what her life is worth.
Bow presents an intriguing concept but is unable to follow through with her characters, pacing, or focus. The writing is littered with unexplained technological terms and the staccato sentences take pains to link scenes together, going into unnecessary depth and history around events and characters that do not move the story forward while quickly skipping over scenes that would provide more substance. Greta is a reactionary, limited character, and she often plays second fiddle to minor characters, most of whom are one-dimensional and serve little purpose. Readers would do better to stick with the tried and true Maze Runner series.
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