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The Swan Riders
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The Swan Riders
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Treacherous twists await Greta as the stakes get even higher in this stunning follow-up to the “masterful” (School Library Journal, starred review) novel, The Scorpion Rules.Greta Stuart...
Treacherous twists await Greta as the stakes get even higher in this stunning follow-up to the “masterful” (School Library Journal, starred review) novel, The Scorpion Rules.Greta Stuart...
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  • Treacherous twists await Greta as the stakes get even higher in this stunning follow-up to the “masterful” (School Library Journal, starred review) novel, The Scorpion Rules.
    Greta Stuart has become AI. New transmitters have silvered her fingerprints. New receptors have transformed her vision. And the whole of her memory has become one book in a vast library of instant knowledge. Greta is ready to rule the world.

    But the new technology is also killing her.

    Greta is only sixteen years old, but her new enhancements are burning through her mortal body at an alarming rate. The leader of the AIs, a ferocious artificial intelligence named Talis, has a plan. Greta can simply do what he’s done when the time comes, and take over the body of one of the Swan Riders, the utterly loyal humans who serve the AIs as part army, part cult.

    Now two of the Swan Riders are escorting Talis and Greta across eight hundred miles of post-apocalyptic Saskatchewan. But Greta’s fate has stirred her nation into open rebellion, and the dry grassland may hide insurgents who want to rescue her—or see her killed. Talis has enemies everywhere. And even the Swan Riders may not be everything they seem…

About the Author-

  • Erin Bow is the author of The Scorpion Rules, which received three starred reviews and was a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year and it's sequel, The Swan Riders, which received two starred reviews. She also wrote the acclaimed Russian-flavored fantasy Plain Kate, which received two starred reviews and was a YALSA Best Book of the Year, and the terrifying YA ghost story Sorrow's Knot, which received five starred reviews and was a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year. Visit her at ErinBow.com.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from July 15, 2016
    A girl, remade, might just remake the world. Princess Greta Stuart of the Pan Polar Confederacy was tortured and killed, then remade through politics and science into the first new AI in over a century (The Scorpion Rules, 2015). Now it's time for Talis, the godlike, peace-dictating AI (who blows up cities to ensure compliance), to bring her home to the Red Mountains. But he's currently in a vulnerable human body, subject to attacks both emotional and physical. Bow's second volume starts slow, almost bogging down in minutiae, then accelerates to an extraordinary conclusion. This is not a fault: the slowness is an exquisite example of showing. Greta is AI, and AI tend to focus on minutiae. As Greta loses her humanity the narrative slows, swallowed in detail and exposition--only to switch pace and subtly alter in voice as she regains the qualities that make her human. All of this plays out against small human dramas and intense political plotting, all focused on an exploration of power, corruption, and compassion. Are there a few references that seem too now? Sure. Does it matter? Not at all; this is a treatise on humanity and love and the importance of caring--and also a sharp science-fiction novel of a weirdly plausible future. Brilliant and compelling: don't miss this. (Science fiction. 13 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from August 1, 2016

    Gr 10 Up-This sequel picks up shortly after the conclusion of The Scorpion Rules. Greta Gustafson Stuart, former princess of the Pan Polar Confederation, is a newly minted Artificial Intelligence. In agreeing to become an AI, Greta has saved herself and fellow hostage Elian Palnik while avoiding the wrath of Talis-the all-powerful AI who rules the world with the judicious use of satellite weaponry, carefully chosen hostages, and his Swan Riders, who act as part army and part cult. Greta is the first new AI in more than a century. Haunted by memories of her time as a hostage growing up at Precepture Four-including torture, friendship, and Xie, the future queen and the lover Greta had to leave behind-the protagonist struggles to cling to what is left of her humanity while learning about her capabilities as an AI. With the future of the world hanging in the balance, Greta will have to use everything she knows about being AI and human to bring her two dramatically different worlds together. Quick recaps and Greta's own memories bring readers up to speed in this fast-paced sci-fi novel, although having knowledge of the first book is ideal. Bow dramatically expands the world here by introducing more of the landscape as Talis, Greta, and two Swan Riders travel across Saskatchewan toward the AI home base near Montana. Interludes from Talis's point of view-in his present form as an all-powerful AI and in flashbacks to his time as the idealistic Michael Talis, who wanted to save the world-add another dimension to this disturbingly likable character. Weighty subject matter and heavy questions about what is best vs. what is right are tempered with humor and Greta's wry first-person narration. Like its predecessor, this installment has a thoughtfully diverse cast of characters with familiar faces and newer additions, including Francis Xavier, a stoic, dark-skinned Swan Rider born with one hand. VERDICT A fascinating follow-up and stunning story that is a must-read for fans of the first volume.-Emma Carbone, Brooklyn Public Library

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Margaret K. McElderry Books
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