Authors: Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti
Publication Date: September 29th, 2015
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I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
X-Men meets Heroes when New York Times bestselling author Scott Westerfeld teams up with award-winning authors Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti to create a sizzling new series filled with action and adventure.
Don’t call them heroes.
But these six Californian teens have powers that set them apart.
Take Ethan, a.k.a. Scam. He’s got a voice inside him that’ll say whatever you want to hear, whether it’s true or not. Which is handy, except when it isn’t—like when the voice starts gabbing in the middle of a bank robbery. The only people who can help are the other Zeroes, who aren’t exactly best friends these days.
Enter Nate, a.k.a. Bellwether, the group’s “glorious leader.” After Scam’s SOS, he pulls the scattered Zeroes back together. But when the recue blows up in their faces, the Zeroes find themselves propelled into whirlwind encounters with ever more dangerous criminals. At the heart of the chaos they find Kelsie, who can take a crowd in the palm of her hand and tame it or let it loose as she pleases.
Filled with high-stakes action and drama, Zeroes unites three powerhouse authors for the opening installment of a thrilling new series.
I was really looking forward to reading Zeroes; the concept is cool and I really wanted to love it, but it just fell a bit flat.
We don't really get to know any of the characters in great detail because there are six of them and they each have their own point of view. This made it difficult to really care about them and become invested in their story.
The powers that the kids have are one of the more interesting elements of the book. I like that they aren't your typical superpowers and it focused a lot on the problems with having powers rather than how awesome/heroic they are. That really makes Zeroes stand out from other superhero books.
Ethan / Scam is the first character we are introduced to. His power is "the voice" which says exactly what someone wants to hear. He uses it to talk to girls and get dates (he's a teenage boy after all) but it also gets him into a lot of trouble.
Nate / Glorious Leader / Bellwether is the leader of the Zeroes. He has the ability to control what people think (I think). He is the least interesting character to me. I don't really understand his power, he's boring and I have no idea what his code name means.
Riley / Flicker is a blind girl who has the ability to see through other people's eyes. I think that's quite a useful power to have, actually, but also kinda creepy to think of someone being able to look through your eyes. I liked her.
Chizara / Crash can crash technology. It's an interesting power to have and one that I haven't encountered before. Technology causes her so much pain that she struggles to be around it which is ridiculously hard in these modern times. I liked the power but I didn't like her point of view much.
Thibault / Anonymous is my favourite character. He is just so adorable and I felt so bad for him. He is literally unmemorable. People forget about him almost immediately after meeting him. Super useful for spying but rubbish for forming lasting relationships. The Zeroes have a difficult time remembering him without taking notes and his family have forgotten he exists. Quite ironic that he is the most memorable character in the book.
Kelsie / Mob is a girl with a power who hasn't found the Zeroes group yet. She has the ability to manipulate a crowd's feelings. The plot surrounds her and her criminal father who the Zeroes help to rescue.
I think given the fact that this is going to be a series, there maybe could have been less narratives in this. Additional points of view could have been added in as the series progresses. I think that would have helped with the character's development and I would have cared about them all a bit more. (Thibault should always have a pov though as he is just lovely).
The plot is mostly exciting and always moving but there were a couple of things that I didn't really care for. One of the romances was boring as was the deal with saving Kelsie's father. The writing is strong though and the chapters stitch together seamlessly (you can't tell there are three authors writing it; I don't know who wrote what). The powers are the strongest element as it's a unique spin on something that's been done before and I'll likely check out the sequel to hopefully learn more about them.