Eric Mesa's Reviews > Zeroes

Zeroes by Chuck Wendig
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really liked it
bookshelves: sword-and-laser, 2018-laser-challenge

(edit because the first review was written on my phone when Kindle was asking me to review for GR and Amazon)

There are a few things I knew about Wendig going in. I knew that he was mostly known for fantasy. I knew that I enjoyed his short story collection, Irregular Creatures. (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...) I knew he was known for bad language. I didn't know how good (if at all) Wendig would be at writing a techno-thriller, "next Sunday" science fiction book. But it was the book of the month for Sword and Laser and Wendig was offering it as a huge discount to S&L readers, so I was game to check it out.

Wendig does a couple real hard things with this book. He writes a large ensemble cast where everyone seems like a fleshed out character. All too often, as the cast of characters grows, their personalities shrink. In the most extreme version, you end up with a cast of caricatures or archetypes. But with Zeroes I feel that Wendig does a pretty admirable job of giving everyone good personalities and backstories. It also helps to expand the notion of the type of person who could be a hacker to better reflect reality.

He also writes about technology intelligently. (The acknowledgement section shows that, hacker-wise) he's kind of at Wade's level. There is some techno-artistic license taken to make it more of a thriller (almost horror) but it didn't take me out of the narrative. As someone who does computer stuff for fun and for a living, sometimes hacker narratives can really just dissolve to me just shaking my head and classifying the book more as urban fantasy. As for where Wendig took artistic license - well I often found myself thinking (and describing the plot to others) that this was kind of a modern (view spoiler) story using technology as the (view spoiler).
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Reading Progress

June 16, 2016 – Shelved (Audiobook Edition)
June 16, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read (Audiobook Edition)
November 7, 2018 – Started Reading
November 7, 2018 – Shelved
November 7, 2018 – Shelved as: sword-and-laser
November 7, 2018 –
6.0% "Joining along with Sword and Laser for the first time since Frankenstein in January.

Boy Wendig started in media res there, eh?

First chapter is interesting to read after having just finished "The World's Most Dangerous Hacker" which included an essay about Anonymous and that guy who went against the rapist football team."
November 7, 2018 –
8.0% "That's 2 protagonists now. So far looks like the recruitment MO is poorer computer nerds. I wonder if the "recruiter" is a nod to Sam Jackson as Nick Fury"
November 7, 2018 –
20.0% "Quite an Avengers team he's assembled. Wendig's writing has me wanting to stay up all night and finish. Amazon says just 5 hours to finish the book."
November 8, 2018 –
22.0% "The cast is so large and varied that I just want to keep reading forever. However behind I was from the rest of my S&L reading group, I will probably catch up very quickly. Can't wait to do some discussions on the forums after I finish up. (To avoid any accidental spoilers)"
November 8, 2018 –
23.0% "Test day.

I'm really enjoying being in everyone's head. Wendig does a good job making them all different."
November 8, 2018 –
29.0% "Of course in a book like this there are layers upon layers going on. Plus the changing POVs helps mask what might otherwise be obvious."
November 8, 2018 –
37.0% "Team cohesion is becoming a thing"
November 9, 2018 –
48.0% "Lots of dominoes set up. I wonder if we're close enough to a climax for them to start falling."
November 10, 2018 –
51.0% "Revelations ... What will they do with the knowledge?"
November 11, 2018 –
59.0% "Back to where we started"
November 12, 2018 –
70.0% "Things keep spiraling... Where does it go from here?"
November 14, 2018 –
73.0% "That is some high octane nightmare fuel"
November 16, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018-laser-challenge
November 16, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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Dara Great review! I really like what you said about it being a modern techno-zombie thriller. Very apt descriptor.


message 2: by Stephanie (new) - added it

Stephanie Griffin Great review! I follow Wendig on Twitter- he’s a hoot!


Eric Mesa Stephanie wrote: "Great review! I follow Wendig on Twitter- he’s a hoot!"

Thanks. I should follow him.

Dara wrote: "Great review! I really like what you said about it being a modern techno-zombie thriller. Very apt descriptor."

Thanks. The wife loves horror, so she was able to grok that description.


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