cover image Zeroes


Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti. S&S/Simon Pulse, $19.99 (560p) ISBN 978-1-4814-4336-4

Westerfeld (Afterworlds), Lanagan (Yellowcake), and Biancotti (Bad Power) weave a sprawling adventure about a group of superpowered teenagers who call themselves Zeroes. When one of their number, named Scam for his ability to tell people exactly what he needs them to hear, is detained after being in the wrong place at the wrong time, the others reunite after months apart, some less eager than others. Events quickly escalate, and soon half the group is in hiding, while the authorities and the mob hunt for them. The plot meanders, but the authors give their characters plenty of depth, skillfully blending human dilemmas with superhuman abilities. With the exception of Crash, who can bring down technology with a thought, these aren’t flashy, cinematic powers; subtle yet powerful, they largely revolve around coercion and manipulation. Mob and Bellweather can influence the emotions of crowds; Anonymous is nearly impossible to perceive or remember; and blind Flicker telepathically sees through the eyes of those around her. With action, romance, and thorny ethical questions, it’s a book with a little something for everyone. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary Management. (Sept.)