Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti
Summaries from the Author’s wesite.
Don’t call them heroes.
But these six Californian teens have powers that set them apart. They can do stuff ordinary people can’t.
Take Ethan, a.k.a. Scam. He’s got a voice inside him that’ll say whatever you want to hear, whether it’s true or not. Which is handy, except when it isn’t—like when the voice starts gabbing in the middle of a bank robbery. The only people who can help are the other Zeroes, who aren’t exactly best friends these days.
Enter Nate, a.k.a. Bellwether, the group’s “glorious leader.” After Scam’s SOS, he pulls the scattered Zeroes back together. But when the rescue blows up in their faces, the Zeroes find themselves propelled into whirlwind encounters with ever more dangerous criminals. And at the heart of the chaos they find Kelsie, who can take a crowd in the palm of her hand and tame it or let it loose as she pleases.
Swarm by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti
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?
I have really enjoyed this series. Although I get that it isn’t for everyone. I also struggle with the multiple points of view, each chapter is narrated by a different Zero, which makes it hard to relate and care about any one character. But this is still a really good read, and one that is hard to put down. I find the powers these teens have to be very intriguing, especially Kelsie’s, aka Mob and Nate’s, aka Bellwether. Their abilities to control and sway a crowd is kind of scary, and very real as to how an ordinary crowd can behave and feed off of each others emotions. Although I don’t like the multiple points of view, I think it is very important in this series, namely because most of the characters struggle internally with their powers and whether or not they should use them. If we only saw what they did and not what they were thinking we might end up not liking any of them, because even though they try to do the right thing in both books it usually ends up with people being hurt, including themselves. I will warn you that there are some scenes in the second book that could be disturbing and it also ends with a cliffhanger. If you like Scott Westerfeld’s other series, I would give this one a try, it might surprise you