Friday, August 21, 2015

Zer0es - Chuck Wendig

Chuck Wendig
Harper Voyager, Aug 18 2015, $25.99
ISBN 9780062351555

In Midland, North Carolina Mr. Government abetted by two local football players grabs computer nerd Chance Dalton.  Hackers DeAndre Mitchell in Sausalito, Aleena Kattan in New York City, Reagan Stolper in Pittsburgh and Wade Earthman in Collban, Colorado are also kidnapped.  Enigmatic Typhon gives the five abductees a choice: work on his Top Secret NSA program or go to jail for several years without connectivity.

Though the quintet comes from vastly different reasons for hacking, each shares in common a big distrust of the government especially NSA; an even bigger wariness towards one another; and their biggest suspicion towards their handler.  Typhon assigns each with what appears to be separate hacking tasks, but the five begin seeing mission linkage; they realize failure to team up will eventually lead to their expendability either in instant death or longer term deadly rendition.  To have any chance of surviving after their usefulness ends, the frightened five seek an edge so investigate Typhon.

Even with easily guessing what major event will happen next and dealing with a cast rivaling a Cecil B. DeMille movie; Zer0es is an awesome action-packed thriller that never gives the reader a respite from start to finish.  The fearful flawed five struggle between personal desires and group need to learn the truth; while Typhon for the most part remains a conundrum in spite of the hackers’ efforts.  Suspense fans will want to join the quintet on this wild ride.

Harriet Klausner

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