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The Secret Value of Zero [Kindle Edition]

Victoria Halley
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $3.99
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  • Length: 242 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

What if your genes alone determined your value in society?

After a devastating global war, the Foreign Powers split North America, leaving two countries with no weapons, no resources, and no hope. One side, called Prosperon, devised a solution: allocating resources only to the ones with the highest genetic potential. The Stars and the Fivers—the smartest and the most able—get the most resources. The Squares and the Equis get the leftovers. The Zeroes get nothing. Prosperon keeps Zeroes alive for only one reason: to serve as subjects for inhuman scientific experiments.

Meke Lichota is a Zero, all because she was born without the ability to hear. When she wakes up one day with unexplainable side effects, Meke finds herself entangled in a war between mysterious revolutionaries and the government. The revolutionaries offer her a chance at a new life, but it is up to Meke to fight for a future that she believes in.

Product Details

  • File Size: 991 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #341,913 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adult Perspectives Hiding in a YA SciFi/Fantasy June 16, 2013
By Louie
Format:Kindle Edition
The Secret Power of Zero is like Orynx and Crake meets X-Men.

Set in a dystopia future, the book immerses you in a world where 23andMe has gone terribly wrong. Genetic testing is used to create a ranking system that all but guarantees your destiny. This is the story of how one strong female protagonist, Meke, sets out to prove them all wrong.

The novel is an inspiring reminder of how everyone is valuable in their own right.

Entertaining, thrilling, and a life lesson. What more can you ask for?
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Memorable Meke June 15, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When your identity is defined upon birth and shaped by factors beyond your control, it's unfathomable to be anyone else but you. When external factors cause your *potential* to be branded on your person, it's impossible to be anyone but you, anywhere but where you are, anytime but when you are. The limits that someone else describes are as matter of fact as any natural law; unquestionable in their existence. The imposed identity is all that is worth being, even when it's not worth a thing.

Unless someone believes in you.

Meke Lichota's metamorphosis from battered survivor to empowered leader began with a set of simple words given to her by her mother "No matter what people tell you, you're worth something." This compelling story chronicles the paradigm shift that occurs when an individual realizes how to use truth and democracy to topple hierarchies constructed solely on lies and propaganda. I appreciated that the main character, Meke, seized the dormant truth given to her by her mother and used it to create a potential she could never imagine. Meke is easy to relate to, she is flawed, doubts her abilities, believes lies, and follows the rules like a good girl. Ultimately, when she casts off the imposed identity, she reminds us all that our potential is limited only by our courage to write our own future.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YA Fiction Candy for the Mind June 7, 2013
By Alecia
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In this book, I felt elements of some of my favorite works of YA fiction along with a nice blend of new ideas and storylines. There is enough of a "familiar" feel to the world and setting so that I didn't feel lost, like I sometimes do when starting a new "world" by a new author. Meke is a strong character without being "too perfect" - she's human enough to relate with. The point-of-view is very loyal to Meke's character - we very much stay with her and her consciousness rather than gaining some extra-knowledge/insight into other characters like we might in other books - and at first, this was a bit frustrating to me (I'll admit, I sometimes like to gain "extra" info and insight into other characters or the background of a story), but as the book wound on, I began to appreciate this more realistic vision of the world through Meke's eyes only. Because of the unique "powers" and experiences she has, keeping our vision solely to her own eyes is more immersive.

I appreciate an author who gives you a satisfying ending (nothing I loathe more than a new author with a new book that leaves you hanging, since you're never sure if this author will produce again and you'll ever have answers!), but also leaves room for further growth and adventures in her world, if she so wishes. This book has that. There's a hint of romance without letting it become an overriding theme (something that I somewhat disdain, even as the thirteen year old in me sighs with romance). Well worth a read, especially to support a new author in the YA fiction domain.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complex Characters, Great World July 1, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Loved this book. While I really enjoy the dystopian genre, I loved the characters and story concept the best. Most books provide either tropes of characters or deeply flawed characters that make me want to slap them around for "why'd you do that?!" In the Secret Value of Zero, I was never sure what each character would do and was often pleasantly surprised when the character didn't do what I EXPECTED them to do. Fun read and couldn't put it down. I certainly hope that we get more Meke stories...and soon!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking entertainment April 3, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There are at least two paths a dystopian sci-fi story can take. One is social commentary through the lens of ordinary individuals - like 1984, Fahrenheit 451 or Brave New World. The other is through an action-oriented tales of not-so-ordinary heroes - like The Hunger Games.

In the former, the protagonists are part of the system - they accept their social system when they start out, but external events lead them to question it. In the latter the protagonists hate and reject the existing system already and have all the self-righteousness to rebel against it from page one. One puts us in the uncomfortable position of going against social norms, while the other gives us the thrill and satisfaction of destroying a monstrous system.

The Secret Value of Zero manages to do both. Its protagonist, Meke may hate the system, which tells her she is a worthless person, a Zero; but she also accepts it. She battles on two fronts - fighting against her own conditioning to accept the label of a Zero and fighting against the system to bring it down.

This is what put The Secret Value of Zero one step ahead of the usual YA fiction. And this is why it works so well - it's a balanced mixture of pulp-fiction and literature.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read.
Good read. If I could only be a zero.
Published 4 months ago by Glenn
5.0 out of 5 stars The Secret Value of Zero
Great little story. It did a good job holding my interest. Written very well.
Published 9 months ago by MDS
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring story
In a society where your value is determined by your genes, being a Zero means that you are regarded as nothing. Meke, a Zero, has her flaws. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Alberto
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
This book is just not interesting enough to continue reading. I don't think I got through the first 100 pages. It was too vague to be intriguing.
Published 13 months ago by Monique Wensch
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
This is an action/adventure/romance/drama/scifi story about a girl who lives in a world where everyone is tattooed with their rank in society when they're infants. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Samantha Quist
4.0 out of 5 stars pretty good
It was a good book. I liked the concept of it and I was ways wanted to keep reading. I enjoyed the romance and the ending felt right. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Cori Meyers
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay book but worth a read
It was an interesting read. I liked a lot of ideas in the book but the story didn't go to in-depth on the majority of them and I was left really confused and wanting to read more. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Leo
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick Read
The book was a good, quick read. I think it's geared for young teenage girls. No foul language, which was refreshing, and light romance without any descript love scenes. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent
In my opinion, the idea of 'seeing' without eyes and a society built on a system of intellectual rankings is a lot more interesting than the storyline of the book. Read more
Published 19 months ago by JohnLocke
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
While short, this title presents some advanced concepts and has connections to everyday actions. Made me think and once I was done the themes stayed with me. Loved it.
Published 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Victoria Halley isn't my real name. She's my cooler alter ego who writes science fiction books without any aliens or time travel. When I'm out grocery shopping and taking out the trash, I'm just plain old Cristina Hartmann.

I began a lifelong love affair with science fiction at the tender age of 7. I watched Star Trek: the Next Generation and Star Wars over and over again until I memorized every line. (What a nerd I was!) Despite the aliens and intergalactic space travel, I began to understand that the stories were really about human nature. Ever since that moment, I dreamed of writing science fiction stories. It was only in 2011 that I got serious, sat down at the computer and wrote a book. The Secret Value of Zero, my first novel, was the result.

When I'm not writing, I'm hanging out on the Internet. My stomping grounds include Quora, Twitter and occasionally Facebook. The Internet is a wonderful and dangerous place. I love it!

I love hearing from my readers, so feel free to email me at or tweet at me (@cmmhartmann) or contact me on Quora. Come on by and say hi!

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