I’m a huge Scott Westerfeld fan and I absolutely loved the Leviathan series. Westerfeld has proven himself to be a fantastic writer, a seamless narrator in the multiple POV and has this wonderful imagination that allows him to breathe life into some truly amazing and relatable characters. Naturally, I expected nothing less when I got my hands on his latest release.
The Seamless Writing Style of Three Authors
I honestly could not tell who wrote what, the writing was flawless. Everything blended so well together in terms of style, without compromising on voice for each character.
The Masterful Juggling of Six POV’s
I can see why Westerfeld would want to team up in order to tackle six independent points of view. While I couldn’t tell who wrote which character, and I do have some guesses as to who may be responsible for each one, what I found to be the most amazing is the sheer amount of character voice that leaps off the page. If there are any writers out there looking for good examples of wielding a multiple or alternating POV, then this is the book to read and study.
The Heartbreaking Character Arcs
By far my favorite part of the book was Anonymous. His past is just so tragic and he was really one of the only characters that I found myself connecting 100% to. I felt like the book followed in Scam’s perspective too much and therefore he started to seem less like a character I wanted to follow and more of a nuisance, which I get because of his power and all, but still. It wasn’t until Scam’s chapters with Anon that I started to really SEE him as a character and feel for him. Also not until later, I realized Anon brings out the most transparent and relatable sides of everyone. So because of that, he is the strongest character to me out of the whole cast.
The Faux Sense of “Fast Paced”
The chapters are really short, which I loved at first because it made the book feel very faced paced. BUT as time wore on, I realized it was only giving me a false sense of faced paced because not much was really going on, which leads me to my next point.
The Lack of an Action Packed Plot in a Book about Superheroes
I know Westerfeld can pack WAY more action into a plot. I’ve seen him do it. So the fact that there are, let’s be fair here, only like two major action sequences, really was a disappointment. Not only that though, the plot line itself is just a drag. It takes an entire book for what happens to actually happen, and that’s only because we have six POVs that we are constantly having to jump around to. I’d wager that if we cut half of those POVs out then the book might genuinely become fast paced, but of course that would force the authors to come up with more things for the characters to do for the next 150 pages or so.
The Superfluous Characters
Although each character was given a purpose, I can’t help but wonder, did we really NEED all six POV’s. The one’s I could have done without: Nate & Crash. And why is that? Because (1) Nate and Crash are both given ethnicity, yet all we see of this cultural background are glimmers of it in their names and the way people address them. Hermano? Really, that’s the best you’ve got? I mean, why bother having people with an ethnic background if you’re not going to do anything with it? Now, to be fair, Crash addresses her ethnicity a little, which I thought was great, so I’m won’t rope her character into this entirely, but honestly, there was nothing particular about Nate that made him hispanic. Get rid of the hermano stuff and he could have been pretty much whatever and still been the same politico-egotistical-leader type motivated by his own goals. On to my next point, (2) pacing was slowed down too much for me, and there was no real reward for it either. I didn’t get enough into each character (besides Anon) to truly care for them.
Zeroes was an enjoyable book to read but it wasn’t one of those books that has me coming back to it because I am so enamored by it. It had it’s moments of brilliance, and there were certainly elements that I enjoyed but overall I felt let down by the promise of action and faced paced. The good parts of the book were amazing and there was just the right amount of “good enough” to keep me a fan of Westerfeld. But in the end, I left the book feeling underwhelmed. I was a good story but not spectacular. I guess that’s what you sign up for in a story of Zeroes, not heroes. In any case, I’m not sure if I will be reading the next installment in the Zeroes’ story, despite the fact that there is still a lot to be explored. Unless Anonymous takes center stage in the next book, I’m not all that interested.