Spoiler-Free Review: Zeros

by Scott Westerfield, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti

“What a waste, using her talents this way. Like a brain surgeon clubbing seals for a living.”

What would you do if you had a superpower?

Ethan AKA “Scam” has the gift of gab. He has the power to say whatever he needs to to get you to do what he wants. The problem is that when “the voice” talks Ethan literally doesn’t know what he’s going to say next. “The voice” is handy enough for scamming a free ride. Not so handy with a jumpy bank robber who now thinks Ethan knows too much about him. . .

Ethan’s scams have finally dug him in too deep. With a sack full of drug money, a drug boss and a bank robber on his tail, Ethan needs to think about what he really wants. Will his former friends come through and help him? Or has Ethan put his foot in his mouth?

I liked this novel. I’ve read a fair number of superhero comics in my day. I must say I really like how original the superpowers are. It would have been really easy to have “the one with Superman’s powers” or “the stretchy guy” Westerfield resisted that urge and the story really is better for it.

The plot is basically the “getting the gang back together for one last score” kind of story, it’s handled well and it’s fun. All six of the Zeros are well rounded enough that you can understand them and their motives.

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