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Three by Jay Posey, Legend of the Dustwalker #1                   

The world has collapsed, and there are no heroes any more.

But when a lone gunman reluctantly accepts the mantel of protector to a young boy and his dying mother against the forces that pursue them, a hero may yet arise.

I don’t know how this book totally escaped my attention. Luckily Angry Robots have their notification emails that mentioned Jay Posey’s Three.

Jay Posey has been working in the game industry since 1998 and has been writing for over a decade, currently Jay Posey works as a Senior Narrative Designer for Red Storm Entertainment. His portfolio consists of designing for Tom Clancy’s award winning Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six.

As you can see the synopsis of this book is pretty short but judging by the cover of the book, which is just stunning to say the least and the words like lone gunman and a collapsed world, it did entice my curiosity. And I directly had to think of a fallout-esque type of story. Three is a dark post-apocalytic science fiction thriller. Ill get back to the setting of this book in just a second because it’s really amazing what Jay Posey put down. But first the characters.

In Three you follow Three. The main protagonist, the lone gunman, is named after the title of the book. However as to why Three is called Three still remains an obscure fact. Which pretty much counts for his whole character. Three’s introduction was like a cool, collected mercenary purely out in the world for his own goals, picking up a job here and there. It directly felt like his character was always trying to do the good things in life. And just after completing his current job he stumbles upon the other two characters that you follow closely in Three, Cass and her 6 year-old son Wren. Three is somehow drawn to the boy Wren with his startling eyes. But he cannot say as to why in particular he. Even as the story takes it course this fact also remains obscure. This drawing of Three towards Cass and Wren causes him to finally help them by playing their safeguard. Cass and Wren themselves are on the run for a force that Three hadn’t thought of. Firstly Cass said that they were on the run for Sec/Net a know corporation to Three, but later he finds out it is false and that they are actually running away from RushRuin. Brainhackers. Yes you read that correctly, brainhackers. Pretty neat.

Lets get to the world of Three. From the beginning of the prologue and onwards, you are just navigating a very rich world in Three. Its dark, futuristic, scary and a lot more at that. There isn’t any mentioning of a date or that this story takes place in a future of our own planet Earth. Instead you are thrown smack in the middle of this world. There are few people who are still “normal”. Many others are well… modified.. Take for example Cass, she is a chemist, a person who is augmented by the usage of drug, who can on the fly “burn” a drug to gain strength, speed or endurance. Next there are some of the ruffians that follow Three, Wren and Cass who are known as genies, genetically altered people. And still others have gained power through physical alterations, mechanical arms or other prosthetics. It is quite cool to read about all these different enhancements, and makes the interaction unpredictable. Even more as you figure out that people are wired and have build in gps and able to pim (message) to each other by just thought. But then you encounter Wren and Three himself who are quite different than mentioned above…

The world of Three is just destroyed. Like the mentioning of the Vault as a safe-haven in the prologue and other parts of the world that you visit, the towns and other settlements, they really put the post-apocalytic setting just right. This was made even clearer by the scarcity of several produce, fresh fruit and veg and by the more corruptness of the guards they encounter along the way. And as if navigating through this destroyed world alone wasn’t enough, there is a threat that walks this world at night…  

Why would you need Vaults and other walled in safe-havens otherwise? The threat that only arises at night is known as the Weir. You learn early on that they are feared by everyone, doesn’t matter how tough you are, you are better off to avoid these beings and stay in at night. What I could have read about the Weir so far is that they are ruthless and can locate people by their electrical signals (wired part). I don’t know if you can categorize them as a bit of electrical post-apocalytic zombies, I think I would just do them injustice, I think there is more to it. As you near the ending of the book and read a bit of the hows of the Weir you see that they can make up a sort of society. However it still remain unclear as to their origin and what they really do to the people they capture… but on the whole each time you read a part where Cass, Wren and Three were on the run and the mentioning of a shriek nearby and the blue eyes flashing and searching it just caused me to grab the book that much tighter. The encounters with the Weir were action-packed and quite often chaotic (not written at all on the contrary so, Jay Posey worded this brilliantly) everything occurred in just a few seconds creating some magnificent fighting scenes right there. He managed to capture these scenes in great detail. The Weir are a very cool addition, you just never know when they might pop up…

As for the story of Three. Three is running around to protecting Cass and Wren without knowing himself why exactly. You might think that this chasing down of Cass and Wren by RushRuin might produce a linear story at that. However you are in for quite a surprise. It’s not only them that they have to fear. Yes it makes up a large part of the storyline, but during their time on the run, they encounter many other things that they have to fear in equal amounts or even more. Jay Posey involves already a lot of what is still left of this post-apocalyptic world. All the elements, the lone gunslinger, the people needing protection, the vaults, the Weir, the wasteland all spoke on their own by the way that Jay Posey wrote but it is on the whole when everything comes together that Jay Posey’s story telling really delivers and takes this story to another level.

However one thing must be said, which is not a bad thing at all actually. From the go of this book you are dropped into a rich world and several terms are thrown at you, which you just have to take into believe for the time being, like the genies, chemist, the wired part, the Weir and the destroyed world, there are several others more though. Some of these science fiction things do become clear as the story progresses but a lot still remains unclear. I am particular interested as to how this world became so destroyed and how the Weir are being made and what makes them act this way. I hope several of these aspect will be tackled in the book to follow, because that will make this post-apocalytic world only that much stronger. Jay Posey did a good thing in portraying the characters just the right way, there was one great dialogue between Cass and Three where they told each other something of their pasts and just made Three’s character much more obscure even though you learned more about him. I am still curious as to his true past and why he is what he is now.

Three is a great start into a new series. The post-apocalyptic world that Jay Posey created in Three is brilliantly constructed, it’s just chock-full of the cool stuff, futuristic gadgets (guns and the like), augmented people and not forget the Weir. The surroundings and the towns alone are described in quite the detail that really produced the feeling that you are navigating through the ruins themself. Added to this is the constant threat of the Weir, who can pop-up at any moment. Not knowing when the encounter would occur between our band of travellers and the Weir, kept you on the edge of your seat the whole time. On top of this all are the characters of Wren, Cass and Three, who have to navigate through a lot of hurdles to reach their goals, and it isn’t without sacrifices. Three does leave you on a cliffhanger regarding a pretty cool event in the end that I am very eager to see explored in the second book of the series, out 2014.

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