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Version Zero

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  37 reviews
A lightning fast and scorchingly observant novel of the moment, Version Zero is a thrilling, humorous adult debut from the brilliant mind of New York Times bestselling author David Yoon.

Reboot the present. Save the future.

Max, a data whiz at the Facebook-like social media company Wren, has gotten a firsthand glimpse of the dark side of big tech. When he starts asking quest
Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: May 25th 2021 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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  • Version Zero by David  Yoon
    Version Zero

    Release date: May 25, 2021
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    Giveaway dates: May 04 - May 18, 2021

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Community Reviews

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    Average rating 3.50  · 
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     ·  60 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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    Sylvain Neuvel
    Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    Imagine a world in which the entire Internet is controlled by a handful of shady CEO’s. Oh. Right. Well, imagine someone doing something about it. Imagine a high-speed, edge of your seat adventure with stakes higher than you can measure. Imagine it told in David Yoon’s unique and singularly engaging prose. That’s VERSION ZERO, an addictive, brain-hacking exploration of the tech-run world we live in, and a rollercoaster so fast it will blow your hair off.
    Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    If you don't read this book, I think you're a total zero.


    Alright, now that all my screaming is out of the way and I'm calm, gigantic thank you to the publisher for reaching out to me and providing me with an advanced copy of this highly anticipated book of mine.

    So I've now read every single book he AND his wife have put out and I have opinions. It would appear that, no matter what, I'm just going to auto-read anything the
    Jessica Woodbury
    If THE CIRCLE was the internet novel that asked "What have we done?" then VERSION ZERO is the internet novel that asks, "How do we stop it?"

    The thing I enjoyed the most about this novel was that it kept on surprising me, especially when I thought I had it pinned down. This is a particular pleasure of mine and I don't encounter it often. (See also: THE HIKE by Drew Magary.) At first we start with a Silicon Valley satire, and then it seems like this is turning into a real hero's journey, there's a
    Aug 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: mindbenders, 2020, arcs
    If "Black Mirror" were funnier, you'd have "Version Zero"! This book, set in the very (VERY) near future, poses some serious questions about ethics and modern morality, but it's written with a great sense of humor and fast-paced action, is incredibly (sometimes horribly) relatable, and leaves the reader guessing. The fun action is perfectly balanced against the dark side of technology, and David Yoon's voice is witty, fresh, and authentic. I'd highly recommend this for anyone who dug "Ready Play ...more
    Mar 09, 2020 added it
    Read as manuscript - will defer review until finished copy is published.
    Jan 09, 2021 rated it liked it
    2.5/5 stars. This book was a mixed bag for me. Sometimes it was way too on the nose, at other times it was clever. Sometimes it was really exciting, but a bit later it would become super predictable. I can understand why other people might dig the book, it just didn’t end up being my jam. Im also definitely left with some disappointment as I like the authors first book so much (granted it was a completely different genre).
    Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of Version Zero.

    I haven't read the author's YA books but I know he's popular.

    ** Minor spoilers ahead **

    I don't usually read thrillers based in Silicon Valley because I know the techno babble will go right over my head (and it did), but I was intrigued about a story centered around how three misfits work together to take down an establishment based on greed, privilege and status.

    When Max, a talented programmer in a Facebook-like company, brings his ethical
    *I received a copy via the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.*

    After questioning his employers, data technician Max finds himself fired and blackballed across the industry. Taking his insider knowledge, he gathers his friends in a daring plan to rip the curtains off the stage and make a stand. When they receive a mysterious invitation from a reclusive tech legend and access to his technology, their plans go further than they cou
    Elli (Kindig Blog)
    Apr 18, 2021 rated it it was ok
    Version Zero did not initially sell itself to me and I must admit I found the first 10 percent to be so bad that if I hadn’t been reading the book for NetGalley I would have put it down and never picked it back up again. That said, I’m happy that I stuck with it as past the first 10 percent is a decent novel with a good deal to say on the dangers of how we use and are being used by the internet in modern day society.

    I think my main problem with the beginning of the book was that it involves a lo
    Jan 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: tbr-2021, arcs-2021
    This was such a fun read! It's like Black Mirror but with a lot of heart and humour injected into it. If you're familiar with Silicon Valley and start-up culture, you'll appreciate the satire. ...more
    Maggie Lovitt
    Apr 01, 2021 rated it did not like it
    David Yoon's Version Zero Fails to Impress (READ FULL REVIEW:

    Have you ever read a book that so desperately wanted to be the next edgy thriller that everyone’s raving about, but it ended up feeling like that book you picked up at the airport on a layover because you forgot your phone charger and you needed something to do on the flight, but listening to screaming babies was better than reading it? Unfortunately, Version Zero is that book, and because I do
    Nannette Demmler
    Apr 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
    ARC provided by Penguin Group via NetGalley for an honest review

    This book and I got off to a bit of a rocky start, but once I was in and committed it ended up being absolutely brilliant. I was so glad it worked out, because I really didn’t want to be disappointed by a book from this author.

    The rocky start was mostly due to the language, especially the slang, and somewhat the writing style. It is a science fiction, and it took me a while to figure out that this was a slightly alternate world to t
    Apr 24, 2021 rated it liked it

    What do you do when social networks are taking over the world? The dystopian ideas contained in Version Zero give some thought, but they are not family-friendly.
    Three Friends, Max, Akiko and Shane, are low-level workers at Wren, one of the most wide-spread of the main five social networks, networks that know all of the secrets of people, that offer them little in the way of protection, and when things go wrong, as they always do, will deny any responsibility.
    So, when Max discovers something abou
    May 02, 2021 rated it it was ok
    Uh. So I definitely liked parts of the book. Sometimes a lot. The love triangle between the three main characters will strongly resonate with many nerdy boys who know what's it like to be in love with a smart, beautiful nerdy girl above their league. I imagine this may be an overused trope in the modern YA or romance but since I don't read these genres I liked it. It felt real and full of heart. The descriptions of the high echelons of the tech world and the kind of conversations that are likely ...more
    Melysah Bunting
    Mar 31, 2021 rated it it was ok
    Version Zero by David Yoon is a YA sci-fi thriller. The big five social media companies are ruining, I mean, running the world. In the Empty Age, all give their data freely to these social media companies. These companies then use the data to exploit the masses. Max has a plan, a few good friends, and one of the smartest and wealthiest guys in tech to help him take the internet down. Can you take the internet down?

    Max works at Wren, which is like Facebook. He was asked to work on a project on wa
    Nancy L
    Mar 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
    Max is a computer geek who goes to his boss after finding out that the Silicon Valley company he works for has a secret plan to sell private data to our government and others. He is subsequently fired. He then goes on a quest along with a couple of his childhood friends to inform people about the ways of the big internet companies.

    The group calls themselves Version Zero and are soon befriended by an internet tycoon who has spent the past three years as a recluse. As their plans to right the wron
    May 08, 2021 rated it it was ok
    (Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

    TW: use of the word "powow"

    Version Zero is a SF thriller that examines just what it will take to shock us. Everyday users from a state of willful ignorance where we don't 'know' what rights we are signing away. What starts out as an attempt to make us aware, quickly devolves into a means to break a system we may just be trapped within. My favorite element of Version Zero has to be th
    Margaret Schoen
    Mar 02, 2021 rated it liked it
    This is a review of an ARC from Edelweiss.

    Max works at Wren, a social media company that's basically Facebook, coming up with new and brilliant ways to trick users into giving up more data. When he learns that some of what Wren plans to do with that data is more nefarious than he thought, he rebels, teaming his best friend, coder and fellow Wren employee Akiko, and her boyfriend, pool cleaner Shane. When the trio hooks up with reclusive tech billionaire Pilot Markham, things get more intense, an
    Mar 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading Version Zero by David Yoon, courtesy of Net Galley and Penguin Group Putnam. For me, it was the perfect book at the perfect time - a timely, swiftly-paced, quick read with engaging characters and an intriguing (sadly, somewhat predictable) plot.

    Set in the near future, Max works at Wren, a very successful social media company, whose job is to create new and brilliant ways to trick users into giving up more (and more personal) data. It is not something he is completely
    May 15, 2021 rated it liked it
    What do you get when you inject Black Mirror with humour?

    Answer: Verison Zero

    Version Zero begins when Max, our main protagonist, discovers some shady going ons at his social media company, Wren. FYI Wren is in Version Zero what Facebook is in real life. Because he is a good person, he begins to question things and we all know what happens when you begin to question the man at the top.

    You get fired.

    With his two friends and a disenchanted tech guru, the team devise a plan that will shock the wo
    Jan 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: eidleweiss
    ***Review e-ARC provided by Edleweiss***

    This is a fast read and I would attribute that to much of the narrative being taken up with explanations (accurate enough) of how the real-life Internet works. A quick perusal of some other GR reviews confirms my hunch that this style is way too facile for some readers. I went with it, though, because the characters are well-drawn and author, David Yoon has created an original set of circumstances for this thriller. In the world right now, we are talking a
    Dec 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: netgalley
    This is a story about a young man who is employed by a major tech company to develop games that will allow the company to gather personal information about the users, which the company then sells to advertisers. He becomes disenchanted with the process, and, along with a small group of friends, decides to try and educate the general public about how their information is (ab)used. This decision causes him to lose his job, and brings him to the attention of the people who run the major tech compan ...more
    Mar 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    So, from 9% straight through to the end. I’d say I dug it! And goddamn! Did it throw a WTactualF right in the end?!? Hell yes it did.

    So, I went in thinking of the David Yoon who wrote Frankly in Love. And what I got was, like, SO. NOT. THAT. But I loved it. The tech world is not something with which I have much familiarity, but I feel like a bit of a vet in the industry from having experienced this read! There was just so much to get outta this story, too. The surprise of Brayden, the sociopath
    Kelly Coffman
    Apr 01, 2021 rated it liked it
    3.5 ⭐️
    What are you willing to give away to stay connected on the internet? Max, a tech guru was fired after he began questioning his company’s data information practices. He and his friends, Akiko and Shane decide to “fix” the internet. Pilot,a tech mogul with his own agenda offers to help Max and his friends with their plan.

    I wanted to like this book, i really did. The story was intriguing, the seedy and dark side of social media and data harvesting. Maybe it’s my age, but the characters are a
    May 03, 2021 rated it liked it
    I really wish I could give this a higher rating, there was so much about it that I really loved - but unfortunately there were a few things that just didn't sit right with me. The whole concept of bringing down the Internet, and more importantly the big businesses who take advantage of users, is something that we need to think more about. We all accept all cookies, without really appreciating how much value the information we give up has.
    I didn't understand Pilot's usage of Mister and Miz, it fe
    May 15, 2021 rated it it was ok
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    MTPL Teens
    Apr 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
    Thank you Netgalley for the e-arc!

    I really enjoyed Yoon's writing. I think in another author's style the storyline could have gotten bogged down, but Yoon has a sparse sort of way of describing character emotions and setting descriptions that enable the reader to easily read between the lines to understand the larger (and there are many) concepts in the book.

    I got a little confused however, with this style of writing towards the end of the book, when the action really ramps up. There are struggl
    Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    I did not realize this would not be out until May - I am bummed that it will be so long until we can share it with patrons. This is a timely and smart book - I absolutely love Yoon's unique prose, which I think is the novel's greatest strength. I also loved the characters. But many readers will also be drawn in by the high concept - a group of individuals with tech know-how who set the goal of breaking the Internet. So many thought-provoking insights, and it definitely makes me think twice about ...more
    May 11, 2021 rated it it was ok
    Shelves: netgalley
    There was a lot I enjoyed about "Version Zero" (most notably David Yoon's writing style), but the plot and characters (too many to connect with any of them the way I wanted to) felt a little bit flat to me in places. It's a great story, but I think it just wasn't for me. My loss.

    My thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley. This review was written voluntarily and is entirely my own, unbiased, opinion.
    Jessica Howard
    I struggled at first to figure out what was even happening in VERSION ZERO -- it's written in a very elliptical style. It's my first David Yoon book... maybe this is how he always writes?

    Once I got a handle on his writing style (which was maybe *too* clever and parenthetical, but also poked fun at itself a bit, which I appreciate); I thought it brought up some good questions about the internet / our devices / the privacy we willingly give away.

    Full review coming for Shelf Awareness.
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