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Forging Zero: The Legend of ZERO Audible – Unabridged

4.4 out of 5 stars 1,474 customer reviews

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have very mixed feelings about this novel. I did enjoy it and found myself reading rapidly and turning pages with excitement. The main character Zero intrigued me throughout the novel. His internal conflicts drew me along and they way they payed out in his behavior offered surprises that fit the character and plot without being predictable.

On the other hand the plot itself took some turns that felt contrived to me. The kind where you roll your eyes and say, "Really?" Some of the aliens were planted solidly in fantasy, not science fiction. Poison that could kill anything almost instantly, etc.

It's certainly a war novel. If you find tough military types interesting, you will like this novel. I tired of them needing to beat each other up in order to forge a connection. I tired of the tough leaders punishing their recruits, even harming them severely, yet earning their respect. This is part of certain cultures and some readers may enjoy it, but I did not. I hated the people Zero came to respect. Sometimes he hated them, too. I know this is one of e conflicts the author created and she did so well, but all too often it felt like an abused child who lived his parents despite the beatings and psychological abuse.

Without offering a spoiler, let me add that the ending left me at best disappointed and at worst frustrated. Yet even as I offer what is a fairly negative review, I can see more books by Sara King on my screen and I recall enjoying her style. It won't cost you much to see if you like her novels. And her essay on her writing philosophy at the end is refreshing and respected by me.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
With all the political strife out there right now in real Earth time, this hits on what it means to be human; what we fight for, live for and die for. It contains rich, character driven plots, prophecies, and has enough twists and turns like a great mystery novel. Nothing is predictable. "The Legend of Zero" held me captive to the events, emotions and possibilities that unfold from the very first page, everything wanted when I read a really great book, here's why.

Usually science fiction books take a while to settle into, not this one. Miss King's visualization grabs you by the throat from page one and doesn't let go. It begins with the numbness and mind-freeze that we all experienced at the devastation of 9-11. No, I am not trying to compare that to this book, just the FEELING. Earth is invaded; people glued to their TV's, dumbstruck as their nations bow to this nightmare, this alien takeover. They call themselves Ooreiki, tens of thousands of the "War of the Worlds", nasty kind. Fourteen year old Joe Dobbs in an attempt to keep his little brother from the aliens grasp finds himself captured; thrown onto an alien ship along with 98% of Earth's children, then transported across the universe.

Forcibly recruited by the alien army, Joe is chosen to lead a ground-team band of misfits: Maggie, Monk, Lizzy, Elf and Scott. Everything they once knew is gone; mom, dad, home and fruit loops for breakfast. In its place is an alien army boot camp, where learning to work together as a team is a matter of survival.

The strong characterizations of both the children and their captors constantly evolve and shift. The fact that nothing is predictable makes it wonderfully unique. You KNOW them, FEEL for them, SEE them becoming adults before their time.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The interesting story kept me going until about 2/3rds the way through when I realized I was getting numb to the idea of children being tortured. Almost every scene was accented by some child (5 to 14 years old, all kidnapped from earth) being (take your pick) yelled at, berated, beaten, stabbed, sliced, shot, dismembered, ripped in half, tongue torn out, or eaten. Punishment consists of an implanted device in each child sending waves of pain throughout until the child either passes out, on the lowest setting, or complete body disintegration on the highest. A large part of military training was paint ball capture the flag where the paint ball causes such extreme pain the the child becomes unconscious and/or paralyzed, but no worry, they are revived by medics to live another day and another game. The torture goes on and on. If this is the new science fiction that the Amazon reviewers claim, then count me out. I prefer my own nightmares.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Truly something extraordinary and special. I've been reading a book (or 2) a day for weeks, and its getting harder and harder to find anything of note, much less anything of quality. I tend to avoid the fairer sex authors in sci-fi because they end up being romance crap in space or some other feminist crusade posing as sci-fi. Yes there are exceptions, but damn few, or they want $9 for a chapter length ditty. I came across Forging Zero and got warning bells right away. Glowing reviews, female author, cheap price. It must be a trick. The description looked promising though, but the clincher was the book length, 600 pages. Why can't they all be 600 pages... Finished Forging Zero in a day and Zero Recall the next day, well 3:30am, so technically more than a day.

Man, can this girl write. Characters and places that you can smell, taste and hear. Things that make you uncomfortable, that make you squirm, that piss you off, that make you grin. Damn few can write anything that will cause a person to be still thinking about it days latter, Sara can. I didn't agree with where she went with a few things and maybe the underlying logic, like kids getting shot in the face and then forgotten, and Maggie, really? The author has dark, cruel, and fear down pat, and therein lies the only real issue I have with both books. Where is the joy, happiness and positive messages, where is my happy ending? Call me old fashioned, but I like my heroes to win. Poor Joe gets screwed over win or loose, every frign time. Help me here Sara..

I have read a lot of sci-fi in my near 60 years, and there are a many talented new authors out there writing really good books. None however are in the same class as Sara. Editing, punctuation, spelling, dialog, all perfect.
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