I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.Zero Repeat Forever by G.S. Prendergast
Series: The Nahx Invasions #1
Published by Simon and Schuster on 2017-08-29
Length: 496 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2017, 2017 Dystopia Reading Challenge, 2017 New Release Challenge
The 5th Wave meets Beauty and the Beast in this fast-paced and heart-stopping novel about an invasion of murderous creatures and one girl fighting for her life at the end of the world.
He has no voice or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind.
Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall.
His job is to protect his Offside. Let her do the shooting.
Until a human kills her…
Sixteen-year-old Raven is at summer camp when the terrifying armored Nahx invade. Isolated in the wilderness, Raven and her fellow campers can only stay put. Await rescue. Raven doesn’t like feeling helpless, but what choice does she have?
Then a Nahx kills her boyfriend.
Thrown together in a violent, unfamiliar world, Eighth and Raven should feel only hate and fear. But when Raven is injured, and Eighth deserts his unit, their survival comes to depend on trusting each other…
After spending just under a week reading Zero Repeat Forever by G.S. Prendergast, I’m not really sure how I feel about it. My initial reaction was that I loved it, but now that I sit to write the review, I find that maybe I didn’t love it as much as I originally thought. Zero Repeat Forever is told in dual POV and takes place over the course of a year after an alien race seemingly invades Earth and begins wiping out the human population. Honestly this seems right up my alley, but the execution was odd and at times hard to follow.
What I Liked
I really enjoyed the dual POV. Eighth and Raven have distinct enough voices that I did not get confused about whose POV I was reading. It gave the reader a comprehensive look at what was going on in the world and who the Nahx were.
Eighth was my favorite character. I know I shouldn’t have liked him as much as I did, but he was compassionate and resilient. It made me root for him. I liked that the author gave us his POV as it helped to flesh him out, understand his motives, and the daily struggle he lived with going against the directives. He was like a child really in his attachment to Raven, snowflakes and dandelions. It was sweet, even if his violent outbursts broke my heart a little.
The plot of the story has a lot of promise. An unknown invader, post-apocalyptic type survival, and rebellion….what’s not to like?! I enjoyed the parts of the plot that dealt with the Nahx and what was happening. Every new piece of information that I learned brought up more questions about the invasion and who the Nahx really were. It made for an exciting read.
What I Didn’t Like
I was not a fan of Raven, even if a majority of the story was told from her POV. She acted as if the world was out to get her. She was of mixed race (her biological father was white….I think and her mother African American) and she harbored a lot of resentment for bullying she received as a kid. I get that bullying is a thing. What I don’t understand is why it played a role in a post-apocalyptic novel. Shouldn’t those differences be put aside to save the human race? We are all human after all, even Raven makes this point. Yet when one of the characters calls her a “mixed breed” (who does that by the way?! We are people not animals.) and another character tells her that no one thinks of her like that, she takes it to mean because they think of her as white and gets mad about that too…..While this didn’t make a lick of sense to me, it did shape Raven’s character to be an angry person.
The romance aspect….I just didn’t buy it. It felt off to me. I may have rooted for it and my heart broke for Eighth because of how Raven treats him, but it was really weird. It felt like stockholm syndrome and not healthy at all. Eighth was obsessed with Raven and Raven was entirely dependent upon him for everything from food to being able to use the bathroom. It wasn’t healthy, and I just didn’t buy it.
Ugh!!! The pace of the book was SO slow!!!! It started off promising — lots of action, close encounters with the Nahx, and near death experiences. Then it just stopped. There was barely any forward movement in the plot. Eighth’s chapters were short (sometimes just over a page) and made absolutely no sense, leaving big plot holes. Then suddenly the pace picked up again and the book ended. Frustrating!
While this book is billed for YA, I don’t feel it is appropriate for YA…maybe the mature YA, like 16+. There is quite a bit of strong language used, underage drinking and drug use, and sex. It was just a bit much for a YA book in my opinion.
Overall I really wanted to like this book. I liked Eighth, and aside from her anger issues I liked Raven as well. The romance could use some work though and the plot holes need to be filled in. However the revelations at the end of the book (some of which were predictable due to some good foreshadowing) have me intrigued and I want to read more of the series. If you enjoy scifi and dystopia, don’t mind a slow pace, maybe give this one a go.