Series: Zeroes #1
Published by Simon Pulse
Published on September 29th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Friendship, Paranormal, Romance, Superheroes, Young Adult
Don’t call them heroes.
But these six Californian 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. The only people who can help are the other 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. 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.
Novels featuring teenagers with superpowers seem to appeal to me a lot. Two of my favourite YA series are The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken and Gone by Michael Grant. Zeroes offers a similar premise but with one slight twist- these kids have no idea what they’re doing with their powers. Instead of calling themselves Heroes, they call themselves Zeroes.
I’m not really sure what it was about Zeroes that I disliked- in fact, I don’t think there’s an aspect of the book that I really despised. I do know that I could not connect to the story, though, and I found it challenging to get invested in the characters. It’s often hard to find a way to explain why exactly I didn’t feel sucked into a book, but I suppose I’ll try.
POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS FOR LACK OF EMOTIONAL CONNECTION
1. This book has a very big cast of main characters- we get narratives from 6 perspectives (one from each Zero). I’m often a fan of big casts, but not when you thrust them all down my throat at the same time, and that’s kind of what happened here. I felt a bit overwhelmed, and wasn’t really able to develop a real attachment to any of the characters. Gone had a massive cast as well- over a dozen main characters from whom we got POVs. But Michael Grant did a really good job of introducing them little by little, and developed each character really well, giving each person their own story arc. The authors of Zeroes tried to do the same thing here, but I don’t think the idea was executed well.
2. Almost right away I felt detached from the central characters. I think one of the reasons why I couldn’t grow attached to them was because the Zeroes had a history prior to the beginning of this novel. They had spent the entirety of the previous summer together, and this book took readers straight to the one-year reunion. So I wasn’t there when the group first formed, when the relationships were first forged, and when the characters first started utilizing their powers together. I thought I was missing the first chapter of the book, or even as if I was reading the sequel of a series whose first book I hadn’t read.
3. There was no explanation as to why these teens got the powers that they did. The powers seemed kind of random: someone who could talk his way out of (and right into) trouble, someone who could see from everyone’s eyes but herself, someone who could make people forget about him, someone who could control crowds, etc. The book never explained why these particular powers appeared, and why they manifested in these specific teens. Both The Darkest Minds and Gone explained why superpowers existed, but Zeroes seemed to skip the issue altogether. I wanted some kind of explanation (even a really crappy one) because I don’t like it when authors create whatever fictional world they want and don’t bother explaining its existence in detail.
4. Some of it has to be my fault. While I was reading this, I was inundated with tests, projects, and university applications. I was trying to read this to relieve some stress, but that may have backfired a bit, and I might have let the stress get in the way of my reading pleasure. I suppose that if you don’t feel at ease about life in the real world, it can also affect how much you like reading. It’s a bit of a shame, really.
So there. I’ve tried to explain all the possible reasons why I did not get attached to Zeroes. It’s just one of those books, you guys, where I never really got into it and couldn’t pinpoint why. I was basically skimming the second half, just because I wanted to be done with the book. I don’t think Zeroes is a bad book, I just wasn’t feeling it at the time. Don’t hesitate to give this a try; maybe you’ll connect to it a lot more then I did.
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