Published by Simon Pulse on September 29th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science-fiction
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Don’t call them heroes.\r\nBut these six Californian teens have powers that set them apart. They can do stuff ordinary people can’t.\r\nTake 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.\r\nEnter Nate, a.k.a. Bellwether, the group’s “glorious leader.” After Scam’s SOS, he pulls the scattered Zeroes back together. But when the rescue blows up in their faces, the Zeroes find themselves propelled into whirlwind encounters with ever more dangerous criminals. And 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.\r\nFilled with high-stakes action and drama, Zeroes unites three powerhouse authors for the opening installment of a thrilling new series.\r\n
Zeroes is a collaboration between Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti. I haven’t read any books by the latter two authors, but I am a fan of Scott Westerfeld, which was initially what drew me to the book. The Zeroes are a group of teenagers who happen to have extraordinary powers. They’re not your typical save-the-day heroes, though, as their powers mostly tend to get them into trouble. There’s Scam, who has a voice inside of him who will say whatever it needs to say to get what he wants. Flicker, who is blind but can see through anyone else’s eyes; Crash can “crash” anything that is electronic, and Anonymous is forgettable. Bellweather (the leader of the group) and Mob (the newbie) both have abilities to control crowds, although in different ways. And yes, those are code names. The crew gave themselves these names when they were doing practice missions to test their powers. I listened to the audiobook, and while I enjoyed the story, I ran into a major problem – I was not a fan of the narrator! I think this led to me not liking it as much as I would’ve if I’d been reading. I thought the narrator read a lot of the voices in an annoying and stereotypical teen voice. And while they were teenagers, I felt like the tone was all wrong in places. On more than one occasion, I found myself thinking “NO! That’s not the way that character was saying that!”. The fact that the chapters alternated between six different points of view made it a little difficult to really connect or get into a lot of character development for all of them. Flicker (real name Riley) was my favorite, and I also liked the backstory of Anonymous. How lonely and frustrating it must be for people to forget about you almost immediately? I found Scam to be a little annoying, just because he constantly relied on The Voice to help him out. I saw him a weak person, even though he did have some growth over the course of the book. Overall, this book fell a little flat for me. I never had a moment when I was completely drawn in and couldn’t wait to see what happened. Again, part of that was probably due to the fact that I didn’t like the narrator. I kept waiting for some super-powered villains to enter the picture, and I’m still hoping that might happen. I will read (not listen!) to the next installment, because I do think there is a lot of potential. The concept is great, the characters are original, and there are so many ways to take the story.