Review

Sci-Fi Month 2015: Review of Zer0es (Zer0es #1) by Chuck Wendig

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This post is part of Sci-Fi Month 2015, a month long event to celebrate science fiction hosted by myself and Over the Effing Rainbow. You can view the schedule here, follow the event on Twitter via the official @SciFiMonth Twitter account, or the hashtag #RRSciFiMonth.

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3 out of 5 stars | Goodreads

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

Zer0es was a fun, rather over the top read, and unlike anything I’d ever really read before. I’m not sure how many books I’ve read about hackers – I’m pretty sure this was the first (and since then I’ve now read two more…). Opening with our five ‘Zeroes’ being recruited (or rather apprehended) by the US Government, it easily set up each character’s personality. The hackers are given the option to either work for the government as ‘whitehats’, or go to prison. They each, sensibly, choose to become ‘whitehats’ (the ‘good’ hackers, or rather those working for the government), and form an elite team. However, once their work begins they start to discover secrets, secrets and more secrets…

I’m actually really struggling in writing this review, as you can probably see by its length. This is definitely a ‘disappointed, expected more’ kind of three stars, and there isn’t that much I feel I can comment on. This is the most useless kind of review, where a book doesn’t make me feel any kind of strong negative or positive feelings, but unfortunately that’s how Zer0es was for me. This book felt like it was lacking something, and it didn’t quite pull me in enough. What ultimately let the book down for me in the end were the characters. The five ‘Zeroes’ felt very 2D, there wasn’t much to them past their hacker personas, or else they felt a little stereotypical. I particularly wanted to slap Reagan, a typical internet troll. Maybe that’s the reaction the author was going for, but as a reader I don’t really want to feel aggravated whilst trying to get through a book…

However I can’t fault the action in Zer0es. Despite much of it comprising of people sat at screens, typing rapidly and furiously, Wendig’s writing somehow made that into something very exciting and gripping. Whilst I won’t be continuing with this particular series, I won’t let it stop me from trying out some of Wendig’s other writing.

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8 thoughts on “Sci-Fi Month 2015: Review of Zer0es (Zer0es #1) by Chuck Wendig”

  1. I know what you mean, Wendig is one of my favorite authors but this didn’t work nearly as well for me as other books of his. I love his fantasy and this real life tech story, while really exciting, wasn’t his best. And yeah, the characters are somewhat clichéd. But it was a lot of fun:-D

  2. Definitely not my favorite of his, but I still had a lot of fun with the characters, especially at the beginning before the plot kind of went haywire with brain viruses and everything 😉 I’m still looking forward to the next book set in this world.

  3. That cover is trippy! I like it 😀 But, hmm…sounds like a meh sort of book. It happens sometimes. And I agree with you – when a book neither makes you dislike it or like it, writing a review about it is hard!

    1. For me, characters are a BIG deal – if I can’t get attached to at least one, the book feels a little hollow. And I didn’t feel much for any of these 😦

  4. I’ve found this sort of up-and-down scale of reactions with Wendig myself, if I’m honest. I’ve read the Miriam Black series and I absolutely love it, but when I tried his Heartland books (YA) I couldn’t get past the first book. It wasn’t bad, it just didn’t move me nearly the way Miriam did. Mookie Pearl is better, as is Aftermath, but so far Miriam’s the one for me.

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