Swarm: Zeroes 2
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Swarm: Zeroes 2

Margo Lanagan, Scott Westerfeld, Deborah Biancotti

Every power has a dark side. Keep the secret. Use your power for good. Keep out of trouble. Stick together. Or things will fall apart…

It’s the holiday season, but the celebration at the Zeroes’s underground nightclub is blown apart when two strangers with new powers take to the dance floor. The Zeroes pursue them, only to discover that they’re fleeing an even more sinister power-wielder, Swarm. The Zeroes must learn all they can about this dangerous new player if they are to stay safe…

Meanwhile each of the Zeroes also has their own issues to deal with. Bellwether’s confidence is challenged, and Mob questions the nature of her power. Crash’s conscience gets a workout, and Anon and Scam face harsh truths about belonging. And it’s up to Flicker to pick up the reins and lead the Zeroes into a terrifying showdown…

A terrific sequel with a cracking pace that raises the stakes in this brilliant and unique superheroes series…

Review

I have been desperately awaiting the next instalment in this series since I finished the first book, Zeroes, late last year, and I have definitely not waited in vain. Flicker, Anonymous, Crash, Scam, Glorious Leader, and Mob have been lying low, developing and testing their powers in their underground nightclub. But the relative peace and quiet is not meant to last, as they begin to discover that more and more Zeroes exist.

As new powers emerge and new characters bring trouble to the group of super-powered teens, the realisation that some of the group’s abilities may not be as pure as they think they are brings devastation and chaos in its wake. The nerve-racking adventures continue at the same breakneck pace as the first novel, and keeps your heart beating at matching speed from start to finish. I literally gasped as I read the final line – while it is a painfully massive cliffhanger that will haunt me as I wait for the next book, it does mean that there will need to be more books in the series!

Westerfeld, Lanagan and Biancotti have expertly interwoven their own writing styles and the differing arcs of the characters into a seamlessly epic story. The plot flows flawlessly from character to character: while each voice is completely distinct and they vary greatly, it seems impossible that three very different authors have written the Zeroes books.

Highly recommended for lovers of The Hunger Games, Divergent and Uglies series.


Jo Boyce is a bookseller at Readings Carlton.

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