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

Review

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Genre: YA, Science Fiction
Pages: 546
Series: Zeroes #1

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2.50 Stars

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Sometimes you read a book that you really want to like but then it disappoints you and that makes the book almost worse that it would’ve been if you’d gone in having no expectations. This novel is kind of like that.

I just liked the concept of it so much. It’s about a bunch of kids who call themselves Zeroes. They had a falling out a year prior but when one of them gets in serious trouble, the group’s self-proclaimed leader decided to get them back together to help.

This is favourite book trope. When a group of people with different personalities and specialties come together for a common cause. I like any book with this plot by default. And yet, the book somehow managed to mess things up. I even made a positives and negatives list (because lists are my thing) in the hope that I’d find more good than bad. Alas, that did not happen.

The writing in the book was good and, as I said before, the concept was great. The powers were different from any I’ve read before and had me very intrigued — their abilities were actually the best part of the book. I even liked four of the six main characters (Liked: Bellwether, Scam, Crash and Anonymous. Disliked: Mob and Flicker)

Where things started to go wrong was when the romances came along. Because I swear, the romances were so incredibly forced that they managed to ruin two perfectly good characters. The one with Scam was just because the girl was hot and the one with Flick was also because the guy was hot. She actually referred to him as “the beautiful boy” for quite a while. The stupid thing managed to overshadow the friendship building between Scam and Anon—one of best things in the book.

Besides, do you actually expect me to believe that two weeks of make out sessions and mostly forgotten conversations equals true love? Insta-love much? I mean, there was never even any talk about what one person liked in the other!

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Then there was the “mission” which I didn’t give two shits about and their ‘coming-together moment’ that was anti-climatic, rushed and happened because… reasons. The villain was… someone …for some reason, since his motivations for such a huge step were unclear. Meaning even the stakes were forced! *look to the above gif again*

Crash was a good character even if her story was a little rushed toward the end. Honestly, the best character was Bellwether, aka Glorious Leader. He wasn’t the best guy but he easily the most interesting one. He, and Scam’s ability, i.e. his ‘voice’, kept me going.

I’m not sure if I’m going to be reading the sequel. I’ve heard that’s it’s better but I’m still not sure. As for this one, I, personally, wouldn’t recommend it. But it does have a cool concept — seriously, for the first quarter, I thought this was the coolest book — and a lot of other people like it, so it’s up to you whether or not you want to read it. It’s possible I’m being a but harsh, but I’m just sticking to my list. And list is unhappy.

If you do decide to give the book a shot, be sure to tell me what you think.

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