Zeroes | Book Review






Initial Thoughts

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 Good

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 Not-Good

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.

The Consensus

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.

Title: Zeroes
Author(s): Scott WesterfeldMargo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti
Pub. Date: September 23rd 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre(s): Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Sci-Fi

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12 thoughts on “Zeroes | Book Review

  1. With so many character POVs, I totally understand why you’d [want to] gravitate towards some over others (in which this case, Scam is peanuts to Anonymous for me LOL — but still an improvement on Bellweather as of now). But I guess his role was critical because conflict…so I digress.

    I will report back to you in the next book as to whether or not Anonymous takes center stage but I am doubtful as it is likely to be Bellweather that steps up (I’m only guessing). BUT AT LEAST FLICKONONYMOUS LIVES ON.

    1. I thought the same thing, but Six of Crows had what five POVs that we switch into? I think that’s right, Wylan never had a chapter of his own. Anyway, what I was going to get at was the way action was handled in the multiple POV in SoC as opposed to Zeroes. There was significantly more going on in that storyline, including amazing backstory along with the actual plot itself that I was genuinely rooting for each character at all times, and they were all so different. But then again, that’s Bardugo for you.
      And yeah, Bellweather just did not do anything for me. Also that might have had something to do with the superficial Hispanic references that I thought were silly but *shrugs* whatever.
      And I love Flickonymous, so totally let me know when the next book hits and you read it.

  2. Bummer that you didn’t enjoy it so much! I seem to be finding reviews that either really loved it or not. But the one common denominator is that Anon is a beloved character!

    I really hope to get to this book before the year is over and form my own opinion of it!

    Great review Nicolette! I’m thinking of adopting this style of review writing in the new year as opposed to the ones I’m doing now.

    1. Yeah, I really wanted to fall head over heels in love with it, I definitely put the effort in but it just never happened. And, yes, Anon is a total heartthrob, tragic but AMAZING!

      What does the rest of your year look like in terms of reading? Or do you plan that much in advance? You know me, so I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you that I already have my lists for the books I’m reading until the end of the year, *smh* there is something wrong with me… LOL X-)

      And I’m really flattered that you like the style of the review! I’m still trying to find my grove with how I want to write reviews and this came much more organically than some of my others. I guess we’ll see if I continue it since I think each review has it’s own life because each book is so different. *shrugs*

      1. I somewhat have a clear idea what I want to read for the rest of the year. November is reserved for a re-read of the first three books from Falling Kingdoms before the 4th is released in December, + HP #3, TMI #3 and Grisha #3. December is going to be for new books and sequels such as Frozen Tides (Falling Kingdoms #4), Six of Crows, Rose Society, Ice Like Fire, and Zeroes xD

        I’m sure you will find your style soon! I have been struggling with review writing lately. I’m not enjoying it as much. So I think it’s time to revamp and try something new!

      2. I really want to read the Falling Kingdom series, if only so I can fangirl about them with you, lol. That and they sound freaking fantastic. But unfortunately, they’ll have to wait until the new year. And OMG you will love Six of Crows!!! I think…. Well, I certainly did, it was absurdly good. Hit me up when you read it!! I plan to get the review up sometime this week…maybe, lol! I’m having a lot of fun designing graphics for my posts and not actually writing them, sounds like we’re both in a little slump.

      3. Thank you! I’ve been trying my hand at new stuff! Like tomorrows graphic, I’m in love with right now. I know that’s so silly to say, but it took me forever to figure out the curve text thing in Illustrator and then I just looked it up and finished it in like 15 minutes, *smh* I need to stop trying to figure things out on my own, lol!

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