Kindle ads strike again! I think the worst thing about the ads is that I’m compulsively tempted to click and spend money I really shouldn’t spend – although, in the end, I usually find it well worth it. Forging Zero definitely rewarded my compulsive clicking. Enter Joe Dobbs, a fourteen yr. old who witnesses first-hand the alien take-over of Earth.
Now, before I ruin the surprise for anyone, let me say that in this review there be spoilers! Now that you have been properly forewarned, here we go!
First off, I have to mention that while the main character of this book is a teen, the themes and subjects in this book are geared for much older teens – say 17+. The feel of the writing, the age of the main character, and the focus on violence throughout the plot reminded me of The Hunger Games, and The Maze Runner, with the more scientific influence and bent of Orson Scott Card’s classic, Ender’s Game.
While the circumstantial hardships described in the book will definitely remind the reader of similar teen-focused dystopian world settings, the subject matter is actually much more unique than the gratuitous violence implies. Joe Dobbs stages a rescue to prevent his little brother and hundreds of other children from being taken by the aliens in their draft.
Ok, now here is where I get to complain. This particular rescue wasn’t described until almost the end of the book. Not only did this leave me very frustrated – it pulled me out of the story every time the rescue was mentioned because I questioned what happened, how did it happen, and why didn’t the writer of the book just damn well tell us how the rescue happened in the first place? When the scene was finally described at the end of the story, it answered those questions, but the suspense of not knowing only left me feeling as though the writer was interrupting the general flow of the story.
This kind of story line interruption and flow-hiccup happened several times. The first of which was the missing scene I just mentioned, and the others occurred every time the story line was stopped for flashbacks of the secondary characters. The flashbacks felt as though they were popped in there because the writer didn’t know where else to place them. And every time I read a flashback, it brought me out of the story flow because I started wondering why the writer just didn’t have the characters discuss the information in dialogue.
Now, that I’ve complained about these little hiccups, PLEASE DO NOT LET THAT STOP YOU FROM READING THIS BOOK. Trust me, this book is well-worth those small little bumps. I was sucked in and was unable to stop reading. I started the book sometime in the afternoon, and finally finished the book at 5am the next day- with a migraine as punishment for my lack of sleep. I literally could not put the book down.
In fact, I immediately purchased the sequel, Zero Recall which, I must add, was even better than the first.
Anyways, where was I?
Joe Dobbs stages a rescue.
Long story short, Joe is taken in the draft instead of his little brother. As punishment, the aliens give him the name Zero as all children taken in the draft are given numbers instead of names. From there, Joe must decide whether he is going to learn what the aliens want to teach him about warfare – or turn against his new friends and allies.
I could go on and on – the book is long – but I’ll end my review with this note: If it weren’t for the chronological hiccups in the story I would have given it a full 5 stars. This book was worth my time, though. Suffice it to say that you won’t regret picking this book up, and by the time you put it down you’re going to want the next book immediately.
3.5 out of 5 stars.
See my review of the sequel, Zero Recall.