Scott Westerfield
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Dec 11, 2015

In general, I like my superhero stories epic and idealistic. The "fresh take on superheroes" idea is getting pretty worn out, and I've grown tired of people deconstructing superheroes and trying to apply the genre to "real life." But Zeroes pulls it off and really does seem fresh and original, even when relying on some standard clichés of both superhero and YA fiction.

It doesn't hurt that I've always loved teen superheroes. Spider-Man, the X-Men, Teen Titans, Legion of Super-Heroes, the Young Justice animated series--the strange, transitional feeling of being a teenager mixes well with the weirdness of having super powers. Scott Westerfield, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti nail this in Zeroes. The teen would-be heroes--Scam, Flicker, Crash, Anonymous, Bellwether, and Mob--are both blessed and burdened with unusual powers and complicated relationships with their families and each other. A collision of coincidences and bad decisions brings them all together, not to save the world, not even to save their city, but simply to save themselves from the tangled mess they've gotten themselves into. The novel is a rush of adventure and suspense, along with painful honesty, self-discovery, friendship and love.

Bonus if you listen to the audiobook: it's read by actress/writer Amber Benson, best known for playing Tara on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who gives a great performance.

Reviewed by Josh N.
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