ZEROES BY SCOTT WESTERFELD, MARGO LANAGAN AND DEBORAH BIANCOTTI

I was quite excited for this book. Once I had read that Scott Westerfeld was writing a superpower book I knew I had to read it. I mean, the author who had introduced me to YA – I will be forever grateful for Uglies and I seriously cannot get Afterworld out of my head – and with a love of YA books involving powers I couldn’t wait to have the book in my hands. And whilst the novel was enjoyable, with an engaging storyline and multitude of diverse characters I didn’t devour it in the way I usually do with a book I adore. Although it was good, and the pace picked up at the end, I am not desperate for the next book in the series.

Scam has a voice. A voice that he doesn’t control but can get him anything and anyone he wants. It knows their hidden secrets and closest desires. Scam usually uses the voice to his advantage. But not everything the voice says is good. Especially last summer when it cost him all his friends. His friends who were in the same boat as him, dealing with their own powers. However, when Scam’s voice lands him in police custody, he has no one else to call. The friends the voice had once scolded now have to use their powers to break Scam free. But will it really be worth it. And can he ever mend the damage the voice has done.

I really like the idea of alternative super powers. It is different and there is so much potential in the story. By using powers that others may not necessarily be in awe of strips the power down to the rawest form and proves how much a hindrance having this capability may be. Also, placing in a world that is the same as ours makes it feel just that little be more accessible. I love it when a story can achieve that.

The characters and their powers were different to what I thought I was going to encounter. With a story that already had a back plot, as the reader you were thrown in at the deep end trying to piece together everything that had happened before. Although it meant there was no mundane explanation and the characters formed around you rather than just placed, it took a bit of getting used to. This also meant it took me a while to adjust to the way the story was beig told. Once I had found my ground with it though, it flowed a lot better. The character relationships were hard to digest to begin with, but once I started becoming immersed in the Zeroes world, it became much clearer. The relationships were strained and uneasy because of the lack of trust in the group and found this a very interesting dynamic to play with. The typical ties that could have been used weren’t and that ma it that little bit more interesting. Also, the diversity of the characters, with both traits and background made more interesting dynamics as well and was an intriguing read in itself.

I did find the story had a slow start. I think this was mainly getting used to the set up and the style. It took me a while to get through the beginning chapters. However, I flew through the end of the book as it became exciting and tense.

I really wanted to fall in love with this book. And although the idea and concept was good, the beginning did not live up to my expectations. The end was really good though, and I would like to read the next book. I just won’t be holding my breath for it.

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