- Paperback: 560 pages
- Publisher: Del Rey (May 31, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553391283
- ISBN-13: 978-0553391282
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 7.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #592,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Zero World Paperback – May 31, 2016
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From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, The Lying Game. Pre-order today
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“This is sci-fi writing at its best. I couldn’t put the book down.”—Felicia Day, author of You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)
“An enjoyable read . . . Expect minor whiplash from the frenetic pace.”—Entertainment Weekly
“[A] science fiction [novel that] smashes The Bourne Identity together with The End of Eternity to create a thrilling action rampage that confirms [Jason] Hough as an important new voice in genre fiction.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“No one has created a multiverse like Jason Hough does in Zero World. Imagine Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets James Bond.”—New York Journal of Books
“A fast-paced cinematic novel full of action . . . Story, character, world building, action—all points are firing on all cylinders here.”—Bookreporter
“A fast, furious powder keg of a novel . . . Hough pulls off a complex science fiction thriller, keeping the reader guessing about the good guys and the bad guys. . . . This is a smash hit. Loved it.”—Examiner.com
“Hough has combined all the ingredients of a first-rate sci-fi thriller.”—Kirkus Reviews
“One hell of an entertaining read. Hough continues to deliver white-knuckle books anchored by unusual and fascinating characters. Zero World is a giant cup of pure badassery that secures his place among the finest sci-fi action writers today.”—Kevin Hearne, New York Times bestselling author of the Iron Druid Chronicles
“A high-octane blend of science fiction and mystery, Zero World is a thrill ride that shoots you out of a cannon and doesn’t let up until the very last page.”—Wesley Chu, author of the Tao Series
“Warning: Do not pick up this book if there is anything else you need to do. There is no safe place to rest inside these pages, no lag in the full-throttle action, no moment when you will think, ‘Okay, this is a good spot to take a break.’ Once you realize how much you don’t know—about this world, these characters, this inexplicable mission—the only way out is forward.”—Brian Staveley, author of the Emperor’s Blades series
“I just finished Zero World and there’s only one thing I need to know: How long must I wait for the sequel!?”—Raymond Benson, former James Bond novelist and author of the Black Stiletto series
“A brilliant combination of spy thriller, cold-case mystery, and hard sci-fi tale, Zero World is a smart, action-packed thrill ride of a book. Jason Hough is redefining storytelling with his new novel.”—Ted Kosmatka, author of The Flicker Men
“Zero World deftly blends the best elements of sci-fi and spy thriller with blistering action and a depth that unfolds itself in surprising ways. Hough is a master.”—Jay Posey, author of the Duskwalker series
“Fast, fun, and full of action, Zero World melds a spy thriller with science fiction to excellent effect. If you’ve ever wished Jason Bourne would tackle a mission involving wormholes and mirror worlds, this is the book for you.”—Courtney Schafer, author of the Shattered Sigil trilogy
“Electrifying and addictive, Zero World is a page-turning sci-fi thriller that had my pulse pounding.”—Adam Christopher, author of Made to Kill
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Jason M. Hough is the New York Times bestselling author of the Dire Earth Cycle: The Darwin Elevator, The Exodus Towers, and The Plague Forge, as well as the novella The Dire Earth. Hough was born in Illinois but grew up on the mean streets of suburban San Diego, California. In 1978, when he was six, his parents took him to see Star Wars, and so began a lifelong love of sci-fi and all things geek. He later worked for a decade in the videogame industry as a 3D artist and game designer. Today he lives in Seattle with his wife and two young sons. When not writing, Hough enjoys building LEGO spaceships with his boys and other similarly grown-up pursuits.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Top customer reviews
I was very excited to dig into Zero World after having read his previous trilogy that started with Darwin's Elevator. Like his previous works, Jason demonstrates in Zero World a talent for steady, thoughtful character development, building a suspenseful story arc (usually several interlinked), and punctuating it all with quick action scenes that don't drag down the plot.
I read it with absolutely no knowledge of the storyline and came away delighted -- and eager for more (semi-spoiler, the story leaves the reader with threads continuing onto much bigger story, presumably over a couple of books). Plenty of other reviewers provide a decent enough plot synopsis, so I'll offer some comparisons instead:
Zero World has the basic plot of Vernor Venge's "Tatja Grimm's World" (with a better twist and a better ending) combined with both the commando-level action scenes and the solid character development of John Scalzi's "Old Man's War" (or maybe more like "Ghost Brigade"). Despite the comparisons, Zero World is it's own book. The character's motivations, for me, were completely reasonable and the main protagonists had moments of fear and concern yet they maintained composure in crazy situations. Many sci-fi action stories that I've read seem to degrade down to either "who has the biggest guns" contest or "the antagonist has an unbidden epiphany or undisclosed skill that saves the day". Boring! Hough does a great job at foreshadowing enough that everything that comes up seems reasonable. Early into the book, you know the characters well enough. They aren't complex, but they are complete and consistent. Important for me, they are allowed to change their minds as the plot throws new information at them.
Overall Zero World is a light read -- this plot does not plumb the depths of any major social issues or high-level sci-fi concepts, though Hough does a great job at imagining a world where many of our current social issues (racism, misogyny, etc) are better managed than in the real world and the tech tools and weapons he describes for his characters to use are completely acceptable and interesting.
My one pique with the book is perhaps a stylistic thing. A couple of times while reading, I had to backtrack to make sure I didn't miss something when, apparently, there was a sudden and inexplicable shift in either the scenery or the time of day, or both. Weird enough to notice, not bad enough to affect the story line. I feel like the problem is more in the editing; in many books, such mid-chapter jumps are usually indicated by some icon or other visual break. Not so here in Zero World.
That little problem was just enough for me to ponder the difference between 4 or 5 stars. I went with 5 because the story simply delighted me so much. I loved the plot twist in the middle of the book (because suddenly a whole new set of plot arcs opened) and I especially loved both the main protagonists. The bond they form during their encounters starts out contrived -- because hey, sci-fi novel -- but ends up being endearing and the perspective they provide to give the reader a real sense of the world(s) was nicely done. Well done, overall, so 5 stars.
But this is just the launching point for this story,and once we follow Caswell through a hole in space to a parallel Earth, things get really fascinating. Jason Hough deals with so many of the clever elements that would inevitably crop up with parallel worlds and just adds them to the list of issues Caswell is dealing with.
Absolutely love this book. Want the sequel. NOW.