Review: Zeroes (Zeroes #1) by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

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.


I’ve read both really great and not so great reviews for Zeroes and I think I fall somewhere in the middle. I think the premise was pretty interesting and that it started out really strong and ended fairly strong, but large parts in the middle dragged for me.

Zeroes, while having many action-packed scenes, is definitely a character-driven novel. There are six Zeroes and we get each of their POVs. Did it feel a little too much at times? Maybe. But, I don’t think the authors could have told the same story without giving us the POV of each character. However, I think it could’ve been maybe edited down a little bit better. For instance, I really could have used far less of Crash. The majority of her chapters were dedicated to technical jargon and how she used her power and it got old for me real fast. Mob’s chapters also had more than the average detail of her power, so her POVs were probably my second least favorite. The other chapters all had the details of their powers to some degree, but focused much more on character development.

Thibault (AKA Anonymous) was definitely my favorite. His “power” makes you forget about him unless all of your attention is focused directly on him. Reading about his experiences, though, was pretty heartbreaking. He was in the hospital when he was a kid and once his parents left the first day, they forgot to ever come back and he almost died because the nurses and doctors would forget about him, too. I loved that Flicker was so determined to remember him. I TOTALLY ship Flickonymous! I also really ship the budding bromance between Anonymous and Scam. I hope there’s a lot more of that in the next book.

One thing that was pretty different than most super-hero type books is that there is very little time spent in explaining how they came to be. Nate, their Glorious Leader, makes notes of everything and is trying to figure out when their powers manifested, how they work, etc., but we only get small pieces of his information and even then, it’s not any type of real explanation. I didn’t necessarily mind that, since I do enjoy character-driven stories and this novel did a good job of that, but I would expect there to be more information in future installments. And speaking of Glorious Leader, I’m not 100% sure of him. I could really see him becoming a super villain in the future. He’s probably the most intriguing character and I hope to see more of him.

Overall, Zeroes was a fun, if slightly too long, read. I think that the multiple author styles blended pretty well together. While I enjoyed all the characters, there were a couple I could have done with much less of, but I think they were all pretty well developed overall. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3.5 Stars

3.5 stars

3 thoughts on “Review: Zeroes (Zeroes #1) by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti

  1. Pingback: November 2015 Recap | Stephanie's Book Reviews

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