New Release Book Review: Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti


Title: Zeroes
Author: Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan & Deborah Biancotti
Published: September 24th 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Length: 546 pages

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Blurb (via Goodreads):

Don’t call them heroes. But these six Californian teens have powers that set them apart

Ethan aka Scam has a voice inside him that’ll say whatever people 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, aka 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. 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.

My Thoughts

I was so excited about this one when I read the blurb for it. Superheroes that aren’t exactly great, or as you would imagine, is always a great plus for me. Making heroes more accessible to the everyday person makes for a much better read, in my opinion.

Zeroes follows a group of six teenagers in America who are struggling to cope with the challenges of having powers. Giving each other code names and going on practice missions was all well and good when they were trying to train themselves, but then Ethan (known affectionately as Scam to the group) went and let his voice loose and the Zeroes disbanded.

Fast forward a year and Scam is finding himself in a pretty hard spot. All he wanted was a ride home and he’s suddenly found himself in a police station being questioned. His voice has a way of getting him into all sorts of trouble. Doing the only thing he can think of, he calls Nate (code name Bellwether) – their Glorious Leader.

Nate decides a year has been long enough and gets the other Zeroes together to break Ethan out of the police station – I mean, technically, he’s not done anything wrong. But the ‘mission’ turns into a disaster when Chizara (code name Crash) accidentally goes in too deep. She starts to pull away from the group as more and more bad guys start hunting down Ethan.

As Nate tries desperately to keep them all together and right all the wrongs that the group has accidentally made, a new Zero surfaces – one that intrigues them all.

I absolutely loved this book. Superheroes that aren’t all that is one of my favourite things to read about. The powers that each of the teens have is really unique and I loved seeing how they all gelled together to work as a team – when they weren’t arguing or trying to leave.

I think Flicker was probably my favourite – her personality and the cool way she handles herself and her surroundings made her an instant favourite. She was just so likable. Anon was another favourite… but I forget why… (this is a pun, read the book and you’ll understand 😉 )

The general hi-jinx that Ethan gets the whole group into was great, poor guy couldn’t do right for doing wrong and his power, his ‘voice’, was just way more trouble for him. Out of all the powers in the book, I think that would be the one I’d like least. He really did get the sucky end of the deal.

There are a few things that have intrigued me enough to already be excited about the next book. An excellent superhero novel that is easily more accessible to the average Joe. Fast paced, full of action and fun, this is one not to be missed.


Buy Links: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
Affiliate: BookDepository

About the Authors

Scott Westerfeld is a New York Times bestselling author of YA. He was born in the Texas and now lives in Sydney and New York City. In 2001, Westerfeld married fellow author Justine Larbalestier.

He is best know for the Uglies and Leviathan series, and his next book, Afterworlds, comes out September 23, 2014.

His book Evolution’s Darling was a New York Times Notable Book, and won a Special Citation for the 2000 Philip K. Dick Award. So Yesterday won a Victorian Premier’s Award and both Leviathan and Midnighters 1: The Secret Hour won Aurealis Awards. Peeps and Uglies were both named as Best Books for Young Adults 2006 by the American Library Association.

Website | Twitter

Margo Lanagan, born in Waratah, New South Wales, is an Australian writer of short stories and young adult fiction.

Many of her books, including YA fiction, were only published in Australia. Recently, several of her books have attracted worldwide attention. Her short story collection Black Juice won two World Fantasy Awards. It was published in Australia by Allen & Unwin and the United Kingdom by Gollancz in 2004, and in North America by HarperCollins in 2005. It includes the much-anthologized short story “Singing My Sister Down”.

Her short story collection White Time, originally published in Australia by Allen & Unwin in 2000, was published in North America by HarperCollins in August 2006, after the success of Black Juice.


Deborah Biancotti is co-author of the ZEROES series with Scott Westerfeld and Margo Lanagan. She lives (and writes) in inner-city Sydney, Australia.

Deborah’s first collection, A BOOK OF ENDINGS (Twelfth Planet Press), was shortlisted for the 2010 William L. Crawford Award for Best First Fantasy Book.

Her first novella, from the ISHTAR anthology (Gilgamesh Press), was shortlisted for a Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novella.

And long ago, her first short story won an Aurealis Award for Best Horror Short Story.

Her second short story collection, BAD POWER, is available from Twelfth Planet Press. Her new novella, Waking in Winter, will be available from PS Publishing in 2015.


5 thoughts on “New Release Book Review: Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti

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