Series: Zeros #1
Published by: Allen & Unwin
ISBN 13: 9781925266955
Published: September 2015
Format reviewed: eVersion from Edelweiss
Author Sites: Scott Westerfeld / Deborah Biancotti / Margo Lanagan
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Five out of Five
Six teenagers in a dystopian America had powers, but not as we usually see them. Sure, we’ve seen the power of persuasion before but not like this. We’ve seen power over electronics before, but not like this. These three authors take the idea of superheroes and manage to present it in a new way, making it utterly realistic, focusing more on the downfalls of having powers than what excellent opportunities they would present – here, they only seem to get our characters into more trouble, heartache, fights between friends and awkward moments. And it works so well.
I’m a fan of all three authors, having read their work extensively. I was so dang excited for this book to come out and then surprisingly, despite the hype I got myself into, I still wasn’t disappointed. I’m so glad this is a series! I agree with friend Tehani – can we please have a tv series? It would work so well!
As mentioned earlier, this goes more into the downfalls these powers would bring. This gives us a gritty and realistic novel and it has more layers than I can count. Giving a young man who is treading a path into the political world, the power of persuasion? That is damn scary. Another of the characters is blind, yet she can see through others’ eyes, and it’s handled so brilliantly – especially in crowds. Another is known as Anon as once there’s more than a few people in an area he blends into nothingness and it’s incredibly hard to remember he exists – he has a tragic backstory that you can’t stop thinking about, putting him into all kinds of scenarios because it’s endlessly interesting how he fits into everything. Poor kid. He was easily my favourite character.
Crash is a character I want to see more of – even though she’s in the novel quite a bit, she’s actively fighting against them all and I didn’t feel I connected with her as much, though the same goes for their Glorious Leader, the upcoming politician, as he lead them all without getting overall involved as much as, say, Scam who was the main character out of them all throughout.
This is a character driven book, which are my favourite. The tidbits we get of the world were interesting and made me want to know more, but ultimately I can’t wait to see these characters again, see where they get to, see what battle they need to fight next. This is exciting and written with such an elegant hand that it takes the overdone superhero novel and makes it zingy and fresh. They’re all portrayed in an incredibly powerful way – and the best thing is that we get to see several instances of their powers manifesting. I’m hooked! I need more!