Jay Posey’s Three is a new addition to the post apocalyptic genre. With a novel that plays out more like a movie, Posey sets a fast paced tone early on. The world of Three has an eerie creepiness to it despite the novel’s ups and downs. Posey brings a conviction to the story he tells and shines in action packed scenes which help reinforce the cinematic feeling.
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.
The familiar wild west backdrop is certainly used nearly to a tee. This makes the story seem quite predictable, however at times the familiarity is somewhat comforting. Through much of Three, scenes play out quickly and oftentimes in a jumbled manner. I kept noticing a pattern of seeing the effect without the cause, as if scenes where missing leading up to character’s reactions. Whether this is a stylistic choice or not, I find this manner of storytelling to be unhelpful and misguided at best. This could be forgiven had there been some semblance of backstory. Instead, the thrill and fear which Posey attempts to bring about never quite succeeds. I blame this mostly on Posey’s underdeveloped characters.
The Weir, the resident evil in Three is barely established and readers are left wondering why the main characters are afraid of them. This issue is exaserbated when a plot line has us feeling sympathetic for the Weir. Without the initial fear, the reaction doesn’t work well for reader and character alike. The poor character choices don’t end with the villains. I found all of Posey’s cast to be unmemorable; save for the whiney kid, whom I found annoying.
There are few highlights of Three and I wonder if the story could be brought to life by actors who delved deeper into the character than Posey. All in all, between the choppy plot and flat world, Posey creates something which has been done better before.