Author: Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti
Series? Yes, 1 of 3
While I finished Zeroes in one day, meaning it was a fast paced and riveting read, I did have some issues with the book. The things I loved and the things I didn’t are split quite evenly in for this novel, so I have conveniently broken the review into two section for you all to peruse!
- Unconventional Superhero Powers: Forget about the old flying, invisibility and superhuman strength – the protagonists of Zeroes have wickedly original superpowers. There’s Ethan, with the omniscient ‘voice’ that can talk him out (and into!) all sorts of trouble. There’s Anon, who’s so forgettable his own mum couldn’t pick him out in a hospital – making him a formidable criminal. There’s Flicker, who’s a twist on the old Oracle: she’s blind but she can see through other people’s eyes. I love seeing these unique powers and how creatively the authors apply them to the plot line.
- Zeroes Not Heroes: Book wise, I’ve been sucked into the superhero/villain craze lately (I’ve read Steelheart, Vicious and Zeroes within the last 2 months, I need recommendations). What I enjoy seeing the most is seeing how these superhuman deal with their abilities, after all, having power does not immediately mean you become a hero. Watching these teens figuring out how to use their power: not only in a technical but also in a moral sense, adds a compelling level of complexity in the book.
- Great Pacing During the First Half: The first half of the novel was quickly devoured because there was endless action. We hit the ground with Scam talking himself into a life-threatening situation and somehow trekking from bad to worse. I also enjoyed seeing the gradual buildup as the six different narrators were revealed.
- Unique Collaborative Effort: While I could tell that the different POV were written by different authors, I appreciated how cohesive the story felt. The writing voice were also similar enough to prevent the experience from becoming too jarring.
- Anon: I just really loved him and his sob story OK?! Don’t judge me. He also used his power in the EXACT same way I would have: to squat at the most luxurious suite in the best hotel of the city.
- Lack Of Actual Plot: I felt like the majority book was very character based and there was not enough content in the plot to propel the protagonists along. I understand that the first book serves as a set-up, so the authors were likely just establishing their team of misfit. However.how do characters progress in the absence of plot? THEY CAN’T. And here lies my biggest issue.
- Confusing Beginning because we were plopped into the book unceremoniously: Why is Kelsie all alone? Why is Ethan alienated from the rest of the Zeroes? What were their interactions like prior to the beginning of the novel? I had so many questions that were never satisfactorily answered in this book. As they were questions that were posed very early on in this book, I was disappointed they were never resolved.
- Underdeveloped Characters: This is pretty much inevitable when a book has six POV, especially when it only sits at 450 pages. The weakest link for me was Crash, who has an awesome power, but whose storyline was dull as dishwater. She was also quite removed from the main action. The other weak point is their Glorious Leader: Nate, I know nothing about this guy, I don’t even know what to say about him!
So have you guys read this book? What did you think? Rec me some superheroes book!
Sorry I’ve been so behind on blog commenting, real life ate me alive this week. I will be back in top form soon!