Three - Jay Posey Thank you to NetGalley and Angry Robot for providing me with a pre-release copy of Three in exchange for an honest review. This futuristic, post-apocalyptic science fiction novel piqued my interest as soon as I saw it, and I knew even from reading its simple and brief description that I definitely had to check it out.

The story opens, introducing us to a world where society has crumbled and human activity only exists in pockets of safe zones across a devastated landscape. When the sun sets, creatures known as the Weir come forth and the night is filled with their glowing blue eyes and sounds of their electrifying howls. The setting is unmistakably post-apocalyptic and even has the slight feel of a western, but at the same time it appears a significant portion of technology has survived. Throughout this novel you will encounter characters utilizing high-tech weapons, implants, chems, mechanical limbs and the like.

The book features our eponymous protagonist Three, a lone gunman who has turned to bounty hunting to make a living. One day, he emerges from the wasteland to collect on a successful job and encounters a distressed woman pleading for help with her young son in tow. Three has always worked alone and prefers it that way, so he is surprised to find himself accepting the mantel of protector to Cass and her boy Wren. To keep themselves alive, the trio must go on the run to escape the merciless adversaries who are after them.

I remember finishing the prologue and being a little unsure about what to make of it, which really isn't all that unusual given how it typically takes me at least a few chapters to get a feel for a book. But then I read the first chapter which introduces Three, and I was hooked. There's just something about him that makes the reader want to learn more, his character being a man of few words notwithstanding. While Three may play to the familiar dangerous-looking-but-honorable-tough-guy archetype with simple and straightforward motivations, the author definitely knows how to present his character as someone you want to root for right away.

I also liked the trust and respect that develops between Three and Cass over the course of their journey. To me it felt really natural and gradual, even with the many trying yet justifiable obstacles along the way. Cass loves her son Wren and guards him with the ferocity of a lioness protecting her cub, so it's such an engrossing process to see her views evolve as she begins to accept Three and make room for him in their lives.

I very much enjoyed the setting as well, which I talked a bit about at the beginning of this review. There are elements of it that will be familiar to readers of post-apocalyptic science fiction, but it also feels unique. My one regret is that the book didn't provide as much context as I'd have liked, such as how the world became this way, how some of this strange and awesome technology came about, what gave rise to the Weir and where they go during the daytime and how they turn others into one of them, etc. None of this information is necessary to understand and follow the story, of course, but my curiosity gets the better of me sometimes, and it sucks having these questions hang at the back of my mind as I'm reading, especially for such a fascinating world.

Needless to say, for a debut novel, I thought this was very impressive. Three may be a little light on plot, but I like that it makes up for this with its fast pacing and well-written action sequences, sometimes alternating between the viewpoints of the various characters like you see in movies, creating this atmosphere of danger and suspense.

If his goal was to leave me wanting to know more about these characters and this world, then Jay Posey definitely succeeded. I wasn't sure before if this was going to be a series and if there were going to be any more books, since the story's ending tied up rather nice and neatly (which was a nice plus). But then some digging around showed me that Legends of the Duskwalker is indeed going to be a series, so I'll be sure to be on the lookout for more by this author in the future. There's still so much I want to know about the history of some of these characters, how they got to where they were, and what else is in store for them.

More reviews at The BiblioSanctum