Friday, November 25, 2016

Swarm by Scott Westerfeld

Series: Zeroes (bk. 2)

Genera(s): Paranormal/Urban Contemporary Sci-fi

Subjects: superpowers, abilities, criminals

Setting: Cambria, California

POV/Tense: 3rd person POV rotating between 6 characters: Scam (Ethan), Flicker (Riley), Bellwether (Nate), Crash (Chizara), Anonymous (Thibault) and Mob (Kelsie).

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 448 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $19.99

Publisher: Simon & Schuster: Simon Pulse

Summary/ product description: “They thought they’d already faced their toughest fight. But there’s no relaxing for the reunited Zeroes.

These six teens with unique abilities have taken on bank robbers, drug dealers, and mobsters. Now they’re trying to lay low so they can get their new illegal nightclub off the ground.

But the quiet doesn’t last long when two strangers come to town, bringing with them a whole different kind of crowd-based chaos. And hot on their tails is a crowd-power even more dangerous and sinister.

Up against these new enemies, every Zero is under threat. Mob is crippled by the killing-crowd buzz—is she really evil at her core? Flicker is forced to watch the worst things a crowd can do. Crash’s conscience—and her heart—get a workout. Anon and Scam must both put family loyalties on the line for the sake of survival. And Bellwether’s glorious-leader mojo deserts him.

Who’s left to lead the Zeroes into battle against a new, murderous army?”

My Review:  Swarm is the sequel to Zeroes. If you have not read these books, this series is about a group of six teens with unique abilities. The book is written in 3rd person POV rotating between 6 characters that call themselves Zeroes (like heroes, but not). Scam (Ethan) has another voice that he uses to get him out of situations or get him what he wants. It knows things he doesn’t know himself. It’s almost like another entity possesses him. It’s such a unique and odd ability and works better one-on-one. I really enjoy Ethan’s character the most.

The other characters have abilities that work best in crowds. Flicker (Riley) is blind but can use the eyes of people around he to see, like remote viewing. She has a twin named Lily who she relies on a lot. Bellwether (Nate), is Latino and has the ability to lead crowds. To pull attention to him, like charisma. Crash (Chizara) can sense connected technology around her and crash it. Anonymous (Thibault) has a mental memory based form of invisibility and can’t turn it off. He’s easily forgotten when people stop paying attention to him. It’s difficult to make people remember him. Mob (Kelsie) can turn a crowd into a single organism that has one mood or goal.

This is a really unique series because of these unique abilities and how they are utilized. Their powers get them into crazy situation and they try hard to do good things, but their power aren’t exactly the kind that could save the day, like super strength or speed. In this book they meet a few other Zeroes outside their group who don’t exactly use their powers for good. A girl who can warp your perception and make you lose yourself and a boy who can temporarily turn blank paper into money. They’re like a Bonnie and Clyde couple, making big scenes in crowds and causing problems. They’re running from a worse Zero through, a guy who can turn a crown into a single-minded swarm with intent to kill. Things are really getting ugly for the Zeroes and chances of survival seem slim.

I enjoyed this books because it was so much fun. It’s very fast pace. It’s best read when you aren’t busy so you can just blaze through the pages. There’s so much action, humor and cool stuff going on in the book. There’s even some romance, but I was kind of disappointed for Ethan’s sake. The ending was truly climatic and surprising. There will be another book, but at times when reading this a I though it was a sequel-finale in a duology, but Goodreads says there’s a third book in the works.

Cover Art Review: The chain link fence photo is too busy.

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