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(Zer0es #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  4,787 ratings  ·  686 reviews
Five hackers—an Anonymous-style rabble-rouser, an Arab Spring hacktivist, a black-hat hacker, an old-school cipherpunk, and an online troll—are detained by the U.S. government, forced to work as white-hat hackers for Uncle Sam in order to avoid federal prison. At a secret complex known only as "the Lodge," where they will spend the next year working as an elite cyber-espio ...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published August 18th 2015 by Harper Voyager
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Carrie Mansfield I'd give this an R rating. There's language and innuendo a plenty, and there's a decent amount of violence. I never found it excessive or gratuitous (…moreI'd give this an R rating. There's language and innuendo a plenty, and there's a decent amount of violence. I never found it excessive or gratuitous (I think it's cleaner than many an HBO show) but it is there. If you're genuinely concerned, you might want to keep looking.(less)
Robert Osborne
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

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Average rating 3.63  · 
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Review originally posted on

In Chuck Wendig’s techno-thriller novel Zer0es, five hackers — some highly skilled, some not so skilled — are not-so-innocently going about their daily business when they are unpleasantly interrupted by a tall African-American man who introduces himself as Hollis Copper or (in one case) “Mr. Government.” This motley crew of five consists of Chance, an aspiring Anonymous-style hacker who’s more con man than computer whiz; DeAndre, a talented h
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Readers are taken on a wild ride through the dark side of the internet in what might be Chuck Wendig’s most ambitious novel to date. Exploring the world of hackers, cybercrime and artificial intelligence, Zer0es is a sci-fi thriller featuring the largest cast he’s ever written, as well as a scope that spans the entire nation. As a fan of the author, I knew I had to check this one out as soon as I learned about it, and by
Elise (On The Bookshelves)
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Original review post can be found at On The Bookshelves

"The Kardashians are hot."
"They're not. Okay, Kim's kinda hot.
But that one sister looks like a shaved Wookiee.
She's basically a giant thumb with a wig."

Five hackers—an Anonymous-style rabble-rouser, an Arab Spring hacktivist, a black-hat hacker, an old-school cipherpunk, and an online troll—are detained by the U.S Government and given two options: spend time in jail, or work for them over the next year. The group are thrown together and it'
jv poore
Sep 29, 2015 rated it really liked it

To be fair, I'd buy cereal for the box if Chuck Wendig wrote the Nutritional Information.

To me, when he puts the words on the paper, he can do no wrong and I believe the far-fetched, yet oddly believable narrative spun in Zer0es is a spot-on example of this.!
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommended to Jenny (Reading Envy) by: Elizabeth and Sword & Laser
Well, this has elements of different novels that I like more than this one, but I'm always up for a nanotech or hacker romp. Why not both! I liked the audiobook narrator well enough, and he was great at 1.5x speed. ...more
Aug 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Full Review at Tenacious Reader:

I expect I may have some unpopular opinions on this .

Actual rating for me is a 2.5.

I have a strong regard for Wendig and his other books, so I was really looking forward to this one. Unfortunately, there’s no way around it: I was disappointed. I wanted to love or at least really like this book and felt like I hit obstacle after obstacle. Some of my complaints are more minor, but they cumulate to an overall less than positi
Ashley Daviau
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's difficult to put into words how bloody brilliant this book was! I loved the Miriam Black series and thought it was impossible to beat its greatness but I'm pretty sure Zeroes did that and more! It was just so stunningly intricate and my mind is still reeling from everything that happened!

While it was mildly confusing at first having to deal with the many different characters and POVs, I quickly became absorbed by the story and fell in love with each character and their quirks. And let me t
Holly (The GrimDragon)
"Naw. I'm no Boy Scout. Boy Scout does the right thing because it's the right thing. I dug a hole with an ugly shovel and now I'm trying to fill it in with good dirt."

Jesus Crispy Pork Cracklings Christ, this was wicked entertaining!

Zer0es is Chuck Wendig's cyberpunk exploration into artificial intelligence and hackers. It follows a diverse crew of hackers, trolls, cypherpunks and credit card scammers who have been sentenced to jail time for the crimes they have committed online. This ragtag gro
Executive Summary: A strong start with an alright finish. I liked the book as is, but probably would have enjoyed it more as a Cyber thriller rather than a sci-fi book. 3.5 stars

Full Review
I picked this book up on a daily deal at some point and I had been planning to read it towards the Sword & Laser's Laser group challenge because I was behind on my pledge. Then they went and made it the November pick.

I've long held a fascination on the early days of computers, networks and the phone phreak
This was a pretty good techno-mystery, quite thrilling & interesting at first. Unfortunately, it really fell apart at the end. Especially at the beginning, the tech stuff was good. There are a lot ways to hack & that was addressed along with interesting personalities. The way these people were forced together & how they managed to bond & work was great.

The need for suspension of disbelief became greater as the novel progressed, though. At the end, it just turned into a hot mess - lots of action
Jul 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Five hackers—an Anonymous-style rabble-rouser, an Arab Spring hacktivist, a black-hat hacker, an old-school cipherpunk, and an online troll—are detained by the U.S. government, forced to work as white-hat hackers for Uncle Sam in order to avoid federal prison. At a secret complex known only as "the Lodge," where they will spend the next year working as an elite cyber-espionage team, these misfits dub themselves "the Zeroes."

But once the Zeroes begin to work, they uncover secrets that would make
Sep 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
I was excited to see another book by Chuck Wendig, who is a creative guy, with imagination galore. And a technothriller. This book focuses on five hackers recruited by the U.S. government, who must dedicate a year of their lives to a top-secret program to avoid conviction and jail time for their escapades. Of course, as hackers, they are unable to follow the rules, and are soon asking questions and trying to find answers and an escape. Their opposition is fierce and something new. However, it wa ...more
Peter Tillman
May 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
I checked this out based on a glowing Tom Shippey (WSJ) review, and just came across a note to myself: "Very bad". I'm starting to think that if Shippey likes a book, I probably won't.

I don't actually remember much about this one, but here's a detailed 1-star review you should read, if you are considering Zeroes:
Aug 25, 2015 rated it liked it
This book was a lot of fun and perfect for my mood. Fast paced, interesting story, and fun characters. Read almost like a movie with short scenes and chapters.

Will continue the series if/when more books come out
Lilia Ford
I found this next to impossible to put down which was a problem given its length. I adored the set up and the cast of misfit-hackers, who had the great advantage of feeling like genuine misfits, i.e. unlike the usual photogenic, close-up ready Hollywood Misfits played by people like Brad Pitt. My favorite character, to my enormous surprise, was Reagan, the internet troll, and probably one of the nastiest bitches to ever serve as heroine of a bestseller; the effect was downright liberating. She h ...more
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A disparate group of hackers are coerced into working for the NSA after they are each caught using their hacking "skillz" for illegal purposes. Each person brings a little something different to the team, who name themselves "Zer0es", and they are put to work probing the cyber-security and infiltrating various companies and institutions around the world. They are skilled and they are determined to serve their time at the NSA and then get back to their real lives. However, something else is contr ...more
Gang Lei
It is a great book every software developer, architect, designer or even QA engineer should read. It focuses on principles and guidance so it may feel like it misses some level of details.
Karen’s Library
Oct 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I went into Zeroes just thinking it was a story about hackers and a secret government plot. I got so much more as yes, it was about hackers, but also, it was a suspenseful, technothriller.

5 hackers with completely different skill sets and from different backgrounds are captured by the U S government and they had a choice to make. Either go to prison for years or join them for a year at The Lodge (a more comfortable sort of prison) and become White Hats.

Of course our 5 elect to go to The Lodge.
Michael Hicks
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In short, I don’t give a damn what NY Daily News says, Zer0es is a sheer f-ing blast and might very well be my favorite novel of the year. Although, I do reserve the right to change this opinion after I finish reading Chuck Wendig’s next novel, Star Wars: Aftermath, due out in about two weeks, in which Mr. Wendig gets to play around in the SW universe. And that, my friends, could very well be the book of the decade century. But, for now, let us discuss Zer0es.

In case you can’t tell, I’m a huge f
Laura Roberts
For the TL;DR crowd I’ll skip straight to the end: Go read this fucking book now!

For the rest of you, strap yourselves in and let’s ride.

See, as soon as I found out Chuck Wendig had written a book about hackers, I was like YES, I’M ALL IN!

I used to love reading books about hackers. When I was in high school, I eagerly gobbled up Neal Stephenson’s early books like Snow Crash and The Diamond Age. My favorite was actually Zodiac, more of an eco-thriller than a cyberpunk book, but I loved the high-s
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i am hopelessly tech challenged. so i normally pass on "cyber espionage" type books. but i was fortunate enough to meet mr wendig at phcc and he was super nice and kind enough to give me an arc of this book. so i figured it would be rude of me not to read it. plus i've always had a hard time putting down one of his books once i start it. zer0es was no different. while there was plenty of tech talk, it wasn't overwhelming or bogged down by insider jargon and it never slowed the intense pace of th ...more
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
What a pleasant surprise! If you liked Daemon then be sure to give this a read. I actually got this completely by accident, I actually meant to get Zeroes. So a strange twist of fate made me read this wonderful book which I would not have gotten otherwise. Very entertaining and looking for more from the author,

I too was a BBS junkie. So it could relate. :)
A group of hard core hackers are captured by the US Government and given the choice "work for us for one year or go to jail". This is how the story begins and progresses along the sort of path you would expect from a present day/near future techno thriller. Later in the book, more futuristic elements introduced as the small group of characters uncover the hidden secrets.

There was nothing much wrong with this book, but I did not find it particularly outstanding either. The techno thriller part ha
Stephen Richter
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
A group of hackers are gathered by the government, installed in a compound to do what they do best. But in the process, the doing becomes a case of getting it undone. Wendig fleshes out the characters, providing a SciFi Techno-thriller with a slow burn to a frantic ending.
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chuck Wendig’s new novel, Zer0es, is more cyber and more thrilling than most cyber thrillers I’ve read. From the very first page, it’s evident that Wendig is either secretly a world-class hacker in his own right, or he’s done so much research that he has become not only comfortable, but fluent in the technical and paranoia-fueled online world that hackers inhabit. Either way, he’s definitely on the NSA’s watchlist — but this book should be on their reading list as well, as Zer0es is an entertain ...more
Aug 09, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
After a brief respite, we were hit by another tropical wave, so this will be very brief review. I picked up this book because of Wendig’s upcoming Star Wars book, Aftermath. Having never read anything by this author, I wanted to check out his writing.

If you want a detailed, thoughtful account of this book, read Mogsy (MMOGC)'s review - it's spot on.

Zer0es is a techno-thriller with sci-fi elements set in the present (Arab Spring is mentioned, for example). If I have to compare it to anything, it
Nov 28, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-recommended
I’m really starting to lose faith in Goodreads reviewers. It’s not that I don’t trust you guys. It’s just that… ok, I don’t trust you guys. 3.75 stars? Now I’m positive we all read different books with the same title and author.

Where do I even start with this book? The paper thin characters, the usual AI apocalypse tropes, the direct ripping off of the Matrix (and not in a good way), the gun fights and chases that seem to be directly based on REAMDE (as was the lodge, sort of), or the hackers th
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.8 Out Of 5 "conspiracy theory" STARS

Full Disclosure:  I was little confused while listening to this…because I'm not hacker proficient.  Did I enjoy the story despite that…yeah…for the most part, I did.  The characters more-so than the plot.  There is plenty of humor in this, albeit profane and lots of techno-action, and actual action, considering it’s a book about hacking and such. 
The narration is surprisingly good, considering how many main characters there is in this.  Ray Chase manages to
Mark Gardner
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I missed a chance to pick up a paper version of Zer0es while at Phoenix Comicon, but after an email to Harper Voyager, they sent me an eARC via Edelweiss. I love a nice autographed paper version, but eARCs are my preferred reading method.
More than one reviewer has compared Zer0es to the television show Person of Interest, and this comparison is just. I enjoy the TV show, and I really enjoyed the book.

I have yet to read a story by Chuck Wendig that I didn’t like. I’ve not cared for certain aspect
Oct 29, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a cross between the tv show, Person of Interest (big brother anyone?), and the sci-fi movie, existenz (Cronenberg).

There are a group of hackers hired by the CIA for a secret project. Everyone involved is left in the dark, but this group is hired to peel away the layers of the onion. When they do their job too well, they find themselves on the run from the very program that hired them.

This is fast paced and engaging. I liked where the story took me and I could suspend my disbelief enoug
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The Sword and Laser: * Zs: November 2018 Pick: Zeros by Chuck Wendig 63 290 Dec 14, 2018 02:28PM  
The Sword and Laser: S&L Podcast - #339 - Nope Ropes on a Tren 15 90 Dec 08, 2018 01:51PM  
The Sword and Laser: Zs: sci-fi? 62 164 Dec 02, 2018 09:23PM  
The Sword and Laser: Zs: The ending (Spoilers) 16 144 Nov 29, 2018 11:22AM  
The Sword and Laser: Zs: Present Tense 28 100 Nov 26, 2018 05:05PM  
The Sword and Laser: Zs: Realistic Characters? 5 73 Nov 25, 2018 05:51AM  
The Sword and Laser: Zs: Too far, Reagan 16 163 Nov 25, 2018 12:23AM  

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Chuck Wendig is a novelist, a screenwriter, and a freelance penmonkey.
He has contributed over two million words to the roleplaying game industry, and was the developer of the popular Hunter: The Vigil game line (White Wolf Game Studios / CCP).

He, along with writing partner Lance Weiler, is a fellow of the Sundance Film Festival Screenwriter's Lab (2010). Their short film, Pandemic, will show at th

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Zer0es (2 books)
  • Invasive (Zer0es, #2)

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