Review: Zeroes, Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti

October 2, 2015 Reviews 1 ★★★★½

Review: Zeroes, Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah BiancottiZeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti
Series: Zeroes #1
Published by Allen & Unwin on September 23rd 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Adventure
Pages: 496
Source: Publisher
Amazon • Amazon UK • Book Depository • Bookworld

Don't call them heroes. But these six Californian teens have powers that set them apart

Ethan aka Scam has a voice inside him that'll say whatever people 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, aka 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. 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.


Meet the Zeroes: five American teens who have unusual abilities.

Scam has this voice that helps him to get exactly what he wants. Crash can take down any electrical device. Anonymous is instantly forgettable. Flicker’s own eyes may be blind, but she can see through other people’s. And their Glorious Leader, Nate, who directs attention and binds groups together. Then there’s Kelsie, who doesn’t know the Zeroes, but has her own ability to influence the emotions of crowds.

This fast-paced adventure had me hooked right from the start, with Scam accidentally on the run from mobsters, and his friends coming to his rescue. It was obvious early on that individually, the Zeroes powers often got them into trouble just as often as it got them out of it. They are just teenagers, trying to get by in the world while dealing with something that makes them different from others. Not so different to your usual teenager!

As soon as I heard of this story by three Aussie authors (well, Scott’s an adopted Aussie), I was intrigued. How well could they pull off a collaborative story? As it turns out, amazingly well. I had kind of hoped for it to be set in an Aussie city, but perhaps they thought they would have a wider audience with the story set in America.

I loved how unusual these powers were, and that most of them involved the connections between people. I found the descriptions of the abilities to be incredibly evocative, and I think this would make an amazing film or tv series, to be able to show each characters power in a visual way. I also loved that the Zeroes are essentially trying to be the good guys, with Crash’s “Do no harm” attitude and Anon’s Zen Way.

The chapters are short as the points of view change, pushing the pace along. I’ve read a few reviews now where people had trouble connecting with the characters since there are so many points of view, and while I do agree that there may be too many narrators, I didn’t think it made the story any less powerful. I’m expecting to read more about each character’s past as the series unfolds, and happily this one doesn’t end on a cliff hanger! More please!

four-half-stars – Awesome fast-paced adventure with some unusual superpowers. The chopping and changing between six points of view was a little off-putting though.

Anni lives in Brisbane, Australia with her young family. She loves everything fantasy and science fiction and believes sleep is really very underrated.

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