Zeroes Series – Book 1: Zeroes – By Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan & Deborah Biancotti

Hey Jared,

Yes, that is three authors. It makes the title of this review really long but I didn’t want to diminish their work by leaving any off or just doing their last names. And yes, this is another book about kids with superhuman abilities or powers. I’m starting to get a little tired of the genre and almost didn’t finish this one.

zeroesTitle: Zeroes
Series: Zeroes Series; Book 1
Author(s): Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti
Genre: Science Fiction
Audience: Teen/YA
ROTS Setting: AU, Superpowers
Synopsis: Six Californian teens have superpowers and for a time they were friends. But when personalities collide they went their separate ways until the actions of one threatens to reveal them and their powers to the world. Can they unite in time to keep their secrets hidden while avoiding police and drug lords alike?
Recommendation: Not a terribly original take on superpowered teens, but it was still worth reading.

I’ve been putting off writing this. Finding the words to accurately convey my feels have not been easy and will likely fail me again.

This book has been described as a mix of X-Men and Heroes. No, it’s not. It has been described as fast-paced. Again, no. First of all it is no where near as badass as X-Men and no where near as dramatic as Heroes. The only thing in common between the three are superpowers. Honestly, it’s more like The Tomorrow People without the evil organization hunting them and there are only 6 of them who are all teenagers. Second, just because the events all take place within a week doesn’t make it fast-paced. There were only 2 points in which I felt compelled to turn the page, since one of them was the climax it doesn’t count. They had time to talk and get to know one another, and have meals together, and carry on with normal life, and contemplate their place in the universe. It really wasn’t ever edge-of-your-seat page turner, except for the climax. To me that isn’t fast-paced.

And those are my biggest gripes with the book. Not bad in comparison to some of the others.

The characters are pretty good. They’re a tad flat because they’re mostly just their powers, but for a first book its understandable. I would have to say the main character of the book is Ethan, aka Scam. Sure you learned about the other characters and there are other POV but it was primarily advancing his character. The author did a good job of getting you to quickly dislike Scam, so then as his character evolved you could easily sense the shift.

The powers aren’t terribly original, but they aren’t terrible either. I’m not going to get into specifics. However I will say they’re all different, but they are all based/tied to how we, as humans, connect with each other.  So you aren’t going to see telekinesis or anything. Ya, they’re kind of lame compared to X-Men, but you don’t have apocalyptic people being born left and right.

Back to the story. It was alright. Sort of gets back to, oh look teenagers can get away with anything and adults are helpless before them, but they do have superpowers so everyone else kind of is helpless. Well the two antagonists of the book are the police and a drug lord. Neither posed much danger for three quarters of the book and the way it was written I never feared for the protagonists. Of course they’d survive, if they didn’t then I’d have to take the book seriously and question my assumptions about life. No teen or YA wants to read something that asks deep questions, so I feel safe in my assumptions that they’d all survive completely unscathed.

And I was right.

So, in summary, it’s an alright book, with alright characters who have sort-of unique powers, the story is slow but takes place in a short time period, the bad guys never really pose a danger except at the very end, but not really, and it was an enjoyable-ish read.

Holy run on sentence Batman! Oh well, it’s what you get. I’m done with this review. The second book in the series comes out Sep.27.2016, that’s this. I don’t know if I’m going to try and review it right after its release. This book was sort of meh, and I don’t know if it’s worth the extra effort with so many books I’m trying to read/review in a short time.

Robert


 

Links

Zeroes Series – Book 1: Zeroes – By Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan & Deborah Biancotti

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