I stepped into Three by Jay Posey, already being fully “Wowed” by the breathtaking cover and post-apocalyptic jazz that seems to electrify my “MUST READ NOW” electrodes. I set the bar extremely high for the novel and the initial vibe I felt was a Book of Eli-ish read. It is now, suffice it to say, that Three shattered all my expectations. I’ve been recommending it as one of my top reads so far in 2013, and now I can’t wait for a sequel to be preciously placed in my trembling hands.
Three centers around, well, Three: a bounty hunter of remarkable ability, whose prowess as a fighter and survivalist, rivals that of the hidden layers of back story that shroud the man himself. Three quickly comes into contact with our other two main characters; six-year-old Wren, a child who sees into the world and has the talent to tap into things that shouldn’t be possible and his drug/stem enhanced mother, Cass. I envision the pair as a wary tiger and her cub, constantly being cornered and harried as they trek past the point of exhaustion for survival. If ever a more apt analogy to use in describing the relationship between this pair comes about, please feel free to inform me. Why Three decides to latch onto this duo and risk his life for them, is the sole question that nags at me. If I remember right it was something Three mentioned, that he instinctively knew what was going to happen.
It wasn’t until forming the outline on this review, that I realized how much Jay Posey’s background in the Gaming Industry played an effect on the setup of the novel. The initial cinematic scene of the stronghold being overrun by Weir, introduction of the main character dragging his bounty through town, walk through queuing in desperate Wren and Cass on the brink, leveling between protecting the mother and son along with survival tactics, more killer combat by Three and further character expansion, a bit more leveling and side exploration of the world along with a tiny info drop on the secrecy of Three’s past, and the final epic conclusion between Three, Wren, Cass, and their hunters. Step by agonizing step the characters are ground through a gauntlet of grunge settings and near-death experiences, with a glimmer of hope resting on a city that seems like a dream so far out of reach it can’t possibly exist.
In my interview with Jay Posey, he mentioned that Three is an extremely character driven book and I couldn’t agree more. The texture and narrative quality of even the minor individuals is impeccable. This book makes my hands itch when I think what a stellar video game this would make; I see Diablo and Final Fantasy game play and storyline comparisons written all over this. Better yet, what an epic movie Three would make, if I could watch it on the big screen. I want Karl Urban to play Three and Kate Beckinsale as Cass; still on the fence as to who would play Wren. The mixture of young boy trying to act tough would have to be near spot on acting or it might appear forced. Posey does an incredible job of making the actions and behavior of this kid entirely too realistic. If you haven’t thought about purchasing Three by Jay Posey yet, you better think again. Top marks for Three all around.
Thanks as always to the wonderful folks over at Angry Robot for all the arcs provided for review.