Thursday, 24 September 2015

Review: Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan & Deborah Bancotti

Publication Date: September 24th 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK Children’s Books
Length: 546 pages

Thanks to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster UK Children’s Books for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

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.

I love some good super powers and this blurb had me thoroughly excited to get stuck into a new series by some authors that I’ve loved. Unfortunately the book never quite lives up to the expectations set by the blurb.

There are six point of view characters, all with code names all with different stories and abilities. That’s a lot of points of view to get used to, particularly when they’re skipping between them every few pages. I never really felt like I got change to get to know one before we were off with someone else. Sadly I only ever really connected with two of the characters, which of six is a bit worrying. The other four were filled with padding, useless exposition and frustrating inner dialogues that never really moved the story forward. I frequently found myself skim reading those four and only properly reading Flicker and Anon, the two I found most interesting. Add to that the other four being thoroughly unlikeable or uninteresting and I found myself feeling thoroughly bored for the majority of the book.

That is a symptom of the entire book, there’s so much set up and then nothing much happens. You just end up skimming back and forth between all these different characters whilst nothing actually drives the plot forward. There are one or two moments where everything kicks up a gear and it gets interesting, but on the whole not really enough to keep my interest. There’s a lot of referencing to events that happened before the start of the book which leads to a lot of confusion and frustration. I was almost more interested in the events prior to the book than in the events in this book. So whilst it felt like a sequel, it also felt like a prequel, one to introduce these characters and put them all in place for the proper start to the series. So perhaps the second book in the series will go infinitely better than this one.

This had so much potential, and it does shine through at a few points, but if you’re after an exciting and fast paced new set of super powered teenagers this is not the place to look. Slow, boring and sadly lacking in interesting characters, zeroes sadly lives up to its name.


  1. AHHH I AM 100% THE SAME HERE. Except I kind of like Scam? Only because I think he was the most well developed. ANON WAS EVERYTHING OMG MY LITTLE DARLING TEEBO. (I love his name.) But yes, WAY too many POVS. I like books with a lot of POVs but I think you have to give them all a decent amount of chapter space before bopping around. Otherwise you're just being flung everywhere and how can we connect to characters when we only get 2 pages with them???? Excellent review and my thoughts exactly. ^_^

    1. He was definitely one of the more intriguing characters, but I just didn't like him as a person which kinda coloured my judgement. ARGH TEEBO BABY. So glad I have another person to flail over him with! And that it wasn't just me that got cranky with the constantly moving POVs, it was too much for my little brain!