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

“When you decide not to be afraid, you can find friends in the unexpected places.”

Ms Marvel


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 instalment of a thrilling new series.

9781925266955 Zeroes


At one time or another, I think everyone has secretly wished for a super power. Despite a lingering fear of heights, I would love to be able to fly! However, in a world where Marvel and DC characters get to flaunt their cool-kid super powers, not everyone gets so lucky. Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti explores what happens to the kids whose powers aren’t that great!

Born in the year 2000, five teens are brought together by Nate- or Glorious Leader, as he is affectionately known as – for their unusual powers. Nate has a vision for the group and wishes to train and develop their abilities however Ethan – aka Scam – ruined everything one year before the story begins. Now Scam is in trouble and he must rely on those he hurt the most to save him from himself, and the shady characters on his tail.

There is only one word needed to describe this book – fun! I honestly had no idea what to expect; I have read two of Westerfeld’s books and loved one and not the other, Lanagan’s writing is always exquisite and Biancotti is a completely new name. As a fan of super heroes in general, this book sits comfortably between my favourite Marvel and DC movies and Brandon Sanderson’s Reckoner’s series (which you should definitely read if you haven’t already). Heroes and super power’s are nothing new but this trio of Australian writer’s have created a story that is clever, fast-paced and so damn likable! Each of the character’s powers is really quite unfortunate: Scam has a ‘voice’ inside of him that knows things and can talk him out of a situation, usually always getting him into trouble; Anonymous can disappear easily which means people have trouble remembering him; Mob can control the emotion or mood of a crowd; Crash has the ability to kill all technology but doesn’t have the best self-control; Flicker is blind but can ‘see’ through the eyes of others and Bellweather has the ability to make people want what he wants. They struggle to work as a cohesive group because they are all self-centred and quite selfish. Despite this, they’re all very likeable characters and you can’t help but feel a little sorry for them.

There was only one thing that bothered me about this book; I am assuming that each author has written two characters each however it is really difficult to pick who wrote whom. The writing all blends in together and it is really hard to pick the individual voices of the authors, something I was really looking forward to. In saying this, it hasn’t compromised the individual nature of the characters. They all have their own personalities with varied backgrounds, ethnicities and beliefs.

Overall, Zeroes is a super fun read. It will definitely leave a smile on your face!


AUTHOR: Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti

ISBN: 9781925266955

PUBLISHER: Allen and Unwin

RRP: $19.99

PUB DATE: 23 September 2015


Thank you to Allen and Unwin for sending me a reading copy in exchange for an honest review!


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