Zeroes – Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, & Deborah Biancotti

Summary:

Don’t call them heroes. But these six California teens have powers that set them apart. They can do stuff ordinary people can’t.

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 and lands him in deep. The only people who can help are the 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 rescue blows up in their faces, the Zeroes find themselves propelled into whirlwind encounters with ever more dangerous criminals across the city. 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.

Filled with high-stakes action and drama Zeroes unites three powerhouse authors for the opening installment of a thrilling new series.

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Review:

So I have to admit that I haven’t been reading as much as I usually do. It’s been two months since I’ve actually finished a book. This book has been sitting on my shelf since Christmas, just staring at me, waiting for me to pick it up. Zeroes got me back into my constant need to read. I just wish the sequel, Swarm, would be out before September! Once I started this book I just could not put it down. I bought it because I’ve liked everything I’ve ever read by Scott Westerfeld. I actually didn’t realize it was co-written until about halfway through it when a coworker asked what I was reading. I will definitely be looking into other books by Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti.

Zeroes was beyond good. I was hooked from the first chapter. Who wouldn’t be hooked when it comes to books about superpowers? The story starts following a boy who has two voices. His every day voice and one that when used is always unpredictable. Ethan is one of six we meet in this story. His power is the most unique of the six. The more you read the more you see how Ethan feels alone, like nobody understands his lack of control over his power. There were many self realizations with the characters, but I think Ethan’s was the most profound. He went through so much craziness and chaos all caused by his voice. I really enjoyed seeing Ethan learn when not to use his power even though he very well could have. Part of this lesson comes from Kelsie and his determination to help her.

Kelsie is the newest Zero on the team. She, like Ethan, feels very alone through most of the book. Her dad, Jerry, keeps getting into trouble and that trouble has found its way to Kelsie, partly because of her father and partially because of her determination to rescue her father from his latest antics. Kelsie is a take no shit kind of girl. Someone I would definitely get along with in real life. She does what she needs to for the people she cares about. She goes through the biggest struggles compared to her newfound friends. Her dad robbed a bank and went to jail. Then got out of jail and got hooked on the drugs he was supposed to sell for a very dangerous family. And while all of this is happening his daughter is trying to figure out how to help him, which is how she meets the rest of the Zeroes. They show her that she isn’t alone with her powers and that they will always be there by her side when she needs them.

That was another one of my favorite parts of this book, the protectiveness the Zeroes felt for one another. Even though most of them hadn’t spoken in over a year when Ethan’s voice said some things Ethan couldn’t take back, they still come to his rescue when he calls for help. Nate or Bellwether or Glorious Leader, the ring leader of the Zeroes always has a plan. He always knows exactly what to say to motivate the team. His ability to lead large groups, to give them a focus, is his superpower. Its way too complicated to fully explain (you’ll just have to read it!) Nate is the one that keeps this odd group together, always getting everyone together, always the one with the plan for what to do next. I’m excited to see more of him in the next book.

Thibault or Anonymous is without a doubt my favorite character. He has the power of forgetfulness.  He is a very forgetful person. So much so that for the first half of the book all five of the other characters continuously forgot he was in the room, and struggle to remember his name or what he looks like after he leaves the room. His power would be the most difficult to deal with in my opinion. To be completely forgotten by anyone and everyone as soon as you left the room. Thibault was the most hurt by Ethan’s voice a year ago. So when he was the only one that could hide Ethan from the trouble he got himself into it was very interesting to follow his thoughts while he decided whether or not to forgive Ethan and the relationship that the two developed after he did.

Thibault also very slowly developed a relationship with Riley or Flicker as she likes to be called. Flicker is blind, but her superpower is to see through the eyes of others. She can flit from one pair of eyes to another to another to see what they see. Flicker always wants to help. She likes being a part of the Zeroes, a part of something that can do good. She decides that she needs to know this Anonymous character so she has her sister make up stories laced with facts so that she will not forget him. She goes so far as to figure out where he lives, which ends up saving him and Ethan. Flicker, after Nate, is the most confident of the group. She is just so enthusiastic and adorable and all around loveable.

The last of the six is Crash. I think she grows the most after Ethan. She struggles as much as him, if not more, with her power. She was raised to ‘do no harm.’ Her power of crashing technology doesn’t always help with that. As we read we see her try to give up on the Zeroes more than once, but in the end realizes that she is a part of them whether she likes it or not.  Her power changes a bit at one point and she realizes it’s not all bad. She struggles more than anyone with her power, controlling what she can do and the effects of what she has done after she loses control. She’s very hard on herself and her mistakes. And that drives her to be better, to learn more control over her ability. Crash realizes, like Kelsie, that the Zeroes are here for her whether she wants them or not.

Zeroes was such a good read. It was fast paced. The authors left you wanting more on each page, only giving bits and pieces of the story at a time. I finished this book in less than a day. The story is out of the box. Maybe not the superhero part, but their powers are all very different and unique. The story of these six kids is a crazy one, but definitely worth the read. There are many relatable thoughts and feelings from each character and we get to see them overcome their fears and worries. This book was super motivational. It’s a great young adult novel. There are always others that feel the same as you, and there is always a way to overcome it. I really enjoyed reading Zeroes, so go to the book store or library or wherever you get your books and read this!

 

Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.

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2 responses to “Zeroes – Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, & Deborah Biancotti

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