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Zeroes: 11/20/17

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti is a YA urban fantasy about a group of six teens who have superpowers. They each have a secret identity or a code name, if you will. Set in Cambria California (though a much larger and more urban Cambria than the real one), the story follows how these six teens come back together following a bank robbery where Scam uses the Voice to survive a bank robbery.

The book is set up to read like a superhero movie — with lots of short chapters, each chapter taking on a different point of view so that we see what each teen is doing. It's supposed to build tension but it gets tiresome after about five of these two page long chapters.

Cutting between characters and keeping the chapters short hides the fact that there's not a lot of meat to the plot. Nor is there a lot in the way of character development. There isn't time to get to know the city or the teens or really much about how they came to be friends or came into their powers.

I would have preferred to stick with one or maybe two characters tops — probably Scam and Crash and let the remaining four teens be supporting cast for this book — as it is essentially Scam's problem from start to finish — and Crash's time to really come into her powers. Then for future books, the point of view could pivot to one or two more characters in the group.

Two stars

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